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The New Pop Up Book for Kids

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I was at Barnes and Noble the other day and there was a display by the kids’ play table of two pop up books: one about dinosaurs and one about sharks. The covers are hard but slightly padded and they had a kind of old fashioned illustrated look to them. The interior featured wonderful 3D imagery with each page featuring one large pop up and several small ones at the outside corners of each page. I was sure that these books were $60 or more but instead, they sold for under $20. It seemed like a bargain to me and it is. The production costs are 2-3 times that of an average book . The tot isn’t quite old enough for these but I was tempted to buy them and save them for when she is.

The Wall Street Journal had a write up about these books in today’s online journal. The original publisher of these pop up books on steroids was Candlewick Press and it began with Dragonology in 2003. The series has sold more than six million copies and the publishers, both Candlewick and the imitators, refer to the books as “ology”.

One frustrating thing I noted in the WSJ article was that the publisher deems these books to be male oriented and they are creating female oriented books such as “Fairyopolis”, a diary of sorts that chronicles a girl’s search for fairies in the flowers. My girl likes dinosaurs. I’m guessing she would stomp on the Fairyopolis book. While I applaud the efforts of publishers to draw in the “reluctant reader” through these beautifully constructed books, I am a bit irked at the continued efforts of manufacturers to foster a gender divide. I think that these are great kids’ books, no matter what the gender.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

5 Comments

  1. Meljean
    Aug 24, 2007 @ 10:08:01

    I got the shark one for my daughter — I couldn’t pass it up. (And, okay, it was so freaking cool — I always wanted something like that when I was a girl.) My daughter would love a Fairytopia book, but she likes the “How Airplanes Work” pop-up just as much (thank goodness.)

    The bargain tables really are great for books like this — I’m constantly surprised by what is out there, although I do end up wondering how there seems to be so many types of books that go to the remainder table.

    We’ve picked up tons of those coffee table art/photography books that way. There’s no way we would have at full price. Do they sell so many at full price that the publisher can justify the expense of production?

  2. Tilly Greene
    Aug 24, 2007 @ 10:47:21

    Ahhh, the pop-up…my addiction, and yes, I’m a member of the Moveable Book Society!

    The -ology books don’t push the boundaries of creativeness for a paper engineer like pop-ups do, but they are interesting and interactive. Egyptology was the best, and I’ve given the Dragonology as gifts to both nephew and goddaughter [yup, publisher talking out of their backside and showing they have no idea who their customer is] but I might get the Mythology one for myself.

    As for getting the pop-ups for your little one…why not? The Encyclopedia books by Sabuda and Reinhart are full of information and fun, you can’t beat that for encouraging her to go against type :-)

  3. Tracy
    Aug 24, 2007 @ 13:04:50

    I would have gone for the dinosaur book before the fairy book when I was little. I was such a tomboy the neighbor boy thought I WAS a boy until my first day of school~the dress clued him in that I was, in fact, a girl! ROFLOL!!

  4. Janice
    Aug 24, 2007 @ 21:57:13

    Oh, awesome. I think I found one of the gifts I’m getting my boyfriend (a dinosaur nut) for his birthday.

  5. Tara Marie
    Aug 28, 2007 @ 07:01:57

    Aren’t these fabulous? I bought my son the shark one the last time I was in B&N.

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