Book Review: Popville, In the Forest, and Under the Ocean by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud

First published on 14th July, 2013 in The Star


I THINK it’s come to the point where 3D versions of movies are being produced just because. It’s like a matter of course, just like filming in colour. I don’t get it though. I mean, 3D effects are not necessary for all movies. I can understand why a superhero/action film might benefit from being 3D (Spider-Man leaping into your lap is, I believe, the sole content of some people’s sexual fantasies), but The Great Gatsby? Really? I fail to see the point, and I don’t intend to find out whether there’s one. (I wait, with dread, for a 3D Casablanca.)

Anyway, what I think about 3D movies is what I’ve recently started to think about pop-up books … which are, really, 3D books, or books with 3D illustrations. Suddenly, it’s like every title needs to pop, and, because of the very nature of pop-up books (their production is time-consuming and labour-intensive), the pop-ups are the main event, not the story – at least not when classics are turned into paper art. There’s no way the unabridged The Wizard of Oz could be made into a pop-up book (imagine the price tag!). Instead, massively abridged versions of these books are produced. Sometimes, only key scenes make it into the book as is the case with Robert Sabuda’s The Chronicles of Narnia.Read More »

Interview: Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart

sabuda & reinhartFirst published on 22nd October, 2006 in StarMag

A FEW years ago when my son was in hospital for surgery, I went shopping for books to cheer him up with. I decided that lift-the-flap and pop-up books would do a great job of distracting him from the pain of his surgical wound and other related woes.

I found some good ones at Kinokuniya Bookstore, including one about butterflies (A Young Naturalist’s Pop-Up Handbook: Butterflies). This was really beautiful and detailed, with pop-up butterflies that looked like they might lift off from the page and fly off in a blur of iridescent wings. At the time, I was not familiar with pop-up books and did not recognise the names on the cover: Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, whom I now know are two of the most highly respected pop-up book artists (also known as paper engineers) in the world.

Butterflies: A Young Naturalist’s Handbook

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