In celebration of National Book Lovers Day, today I’m musing about some of my favorite kinds of books – those with flaps, fold outs, flips, pop-ups, and all manner of fabulosity. We’ll add a bonus F into the mix, because as is my custom, I’ll offer a floriography rating of each of the books I mention.
Here are the books I’m reviewing:
First up, Funny Birds by Philippe Ug.
This is a charming little book with rather intricate colorful pop-ups of whimsical birds, and simple one-line text on each of the seven spreads. Here’s my favorite spread:
- My rating, using floriography, the language of flowers: a bunch of Cockscomb, which translates to affection.
Next up, being the moon lover that am I, there’s no doubt I’d gravitate towards The Moon Book: A Lunar Pop-Up Celebration by Arlene Seyour. It’s a charming little introductory book with lots of interactive bits.
Here’s a peek at one of the spread where you can dial in the phase the moon is in and see how the phases change in upcoming days, along with a rough calculation when the moon will rise and set, and whether that’s in the night or day sky.
- Turning to floriography, I’m giving this a bouquet of Cosmos (joy in love and life.)
Next up: The Little Prince Deluxe Pop-Up Book. The text is the unabridged version written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and the pop-ups are created from his original illustrations – so it’s basically the book beloved by so many of us, except now the illustrations pop off the pages, or contain flaps to be lifted or dials to spin.
I’m guessing this project was very much a labor of love by a number of people in love with the book. The engineering know how to create pop-ups and the technical expertise to do so on a level that allows mass printing is extraordinary, and yet the people who did this for this book are allotted only small lines of credit at the opening of the book. So the true credit for the magic of The Little Prince and its illustrations remains firmly with Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Frankly I’m of the opinion The Little Prince should be re-read and pondered frequently. We all could use some of the wisdom provided by this little visitor from asteroid B-612 who left behind three volcanoes and a rose.
Given my love of roses, even temperamental ones like the specimen from the Little Prince’s home, I’ll give you a peek of the pop-up for that page:
- My floriography rating: I think our dear prince has earned a very lovely boutonnière of Azalea (fragile and ephemeral passion) and Crocus (youthful gladness).
Returning to an earlier time Christos Kondeatis and Sara Maitland’s Pandora’s Box: A 3-Dimensional Celebration of Greek Mythology is a delight as well.
Bound as a book, one side holds some punch-outs masks of Zeus and Aphrodite to construct, a game board with pieces, and a small book with an overview of Greek mythology and ancient Greeks. The other side, bound pages forming spreads have various pop-ups and pockets; things to pull out and unfold.
With a little tale about the Delphic oracle, you can pull out a card with a listing of some of the actual prophesies recorded in the historical works of Herodotus and Plutarch. There are eight prophesies, and after you read the prophecy you can lift a flap and find the explanation.
- My floriography rating: With a tip of the hat to the Greek custom, I’m giving this book a crown of Laurel (glory and success).
Another “box” book I love by the same creators as above, Kondeatis and Maitland – The Ancient Egypt Pack.
It contains masks, a game, hieroglyphics, pyramids, a separate little book and well as the bound spreads with pop-ups and pockets, and fold-outs. I confess to being totally in love with ancient Egypt, and so I find this book to be a delightful treasure.
I used to spend endless hours in Chicago’s Field Museum studying the mummies and all the collected artifacts, and so of course one of my favorite things is this book is the pocket with a golden sarcophagus. Open it up, and there’s an accordion-fold mummy – you can unfold it until you get to the unwrapped person.
- My rating: Let’s go with a pot of potato vine (you are delicious).
I hope you’ve got something fun to read on National Booklovers Day. Have any recommendations to share? Have a favorite book that begins with the letter F? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
Hi Deborah – love the floriography – hadn’t been aware of that word before. While all the books you mention are a delight to see … and I’m sure will teach many a thing or two …
F books … I can see near me – “Familiar Quotations” a large tome of 1891 – though mine is 1901 apparently … “From the Mundane to the Magnificent” by Vera Stanley Alder … you might be interested in – her extraordinary journeys on the etheric plane … : except I see it’s hugely expensive (I am somewhat surprised at that) …. so it’s via the library I guess!
That’s me … my mother had “Flowers of the Field” by C A Johns (mid 1930s) that she won at school and treasured … I have it here now.
What a wonderful selection of “F” books Hilary. I will most definitely be checking the library for the Vera Stanley Alder book – you called more interest correctly. And how lovely you have the book that was so precious to your mother – that really makes my heart smile. Happy reading always!