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By G. Brian Karas
Scholastic Press, 2010
$17.99, ages 4-8, 48 pages
Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods & Heroes
By Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda
Candlewick Press, 2010
$29.99, ages 9-12, 12 pages
Mythical gods may not rank up there with wizards and vampires as your child's favorite characters -- and not surprisingly. With so many duking it out for control over the universe, it's enough to make your child's head spin.
But when you think about how often myths pop up in children's books -- from Chris Van Allsburg's The Wreck of the Zephyr to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series -- it's hard not to want to nudge your child to learn the basics.
Just knowing a little about the gods, heroes and beasts of Greek, Roman and Nordic mythology can enrich your child's reading experience -- and ideally, give them insight into some of the books they already love to read.
The challenge, of course, is finding books about mythology that are interesting enough to draw young readers away from their usual selections long enough to brush up on who's who.
Fortunately there are some really great books that bring levity, clarity and a lot fun to the subject.
One of my new favorites is Karas's Young Zeus -- a perfect picture book to introduce young readers to the Greek gods' family tree. Karas retells the story of Zeus, the chief deity of the Greeks, in such a playful way it reads more like a fairy tale than an ancient legend.
We have been exploring the Robert Sabuda site and spent a while working on "Simple Pop-Ups You Can Make" and while we feel simple may be a bit misleading, it was fun.
This month on the site, they are giving away a copy of Maurice Sendak's Mommy? illustrated by frequent Sabuda collaborator Matthew Reinhart.
May 2-8, 2011, is Children’s Book Week. Each year, during this week, The Children’s Book Council hosts the Children’s Choice Book Awards. These are the best awards because the children are given a voice! I highly recommend checking out the thirty books that have been nominated for the six categories: k-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, Teens, and author of the year. Then, along with your kids or classroom, go and vote for their favorite(s)—you have until April 29. The winners will be announced on May 2 at the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala.
by Chris Barton (Author), Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
Publisher’s synopsis: Shark VS. Train! WHO WILL WIN?!
If you think Superman vs. Batman would be an exciting matchup, wait until you see Shark vs. Train. In this hilarious and wacky picture book, Shark and Train egg each other on for one competition after another, including burping, bowling, Ping Pong, piano playing, pie eating, and many more! Who do YOU think will win, Shark or Train?
Add this book to your collection: Shark vs. Train
by Tad Hills
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; 1 edition (July 27, 2010)
Publisher’s synopsis: Learn to read with this New York Times-bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own!
With a story that makes reading fun—and wilAdd a Comment
Today I’ve a bumper set of free activity sheets for you from children’s book authors and illustrators. Whether creating pop-up cards, designing posters for your home book corner or imagining what colour skin dinosaurs had is your thing, today there’s something for everyone.
Robert Sabuda is a preeminent children’s pop-up book creator, a paper engineer extraodrinaire. He has created pop up versions of many children’s classics, including Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Robert Sabuda’s webpage has a dedicated subsection packed with pop-up designs you can print and create yourself, including animals, celebrations and a whole series of Star Wars designs! For each pop-up design there’s a template to download and print, followed by detailed photo tutorials taking you through the process step by step.
Robert Sabuda has collaborated on a dinosaur pop up book, but there are no free dino templates on his website. If dinos are your thing, then head over to Paul Stickland’s website. Paul Stickland has written a series of fantastic dinosaur books for the youngest of listeners, Ten Terrible Dinosaurs being one of our personal favourites. He’s also interested in paper engineering.
There are many dino colouring-in sheets to download on Paul Stickland’s site (right clicking to view image brings up full size image which can then be printed).
Elizabeth O. Dulemba has illustrated over 10 books, and one of the nicest things about her website is that every Tuesday she publishes free colouring pages for anyone and everyone to enjoy. She’s created a veritable treasure trove of colouring-in sheets, arranged by topic to include school and Display CommentsAdd a Comment
Are you watching wynflete's winsome and heart warming Nerd Fighter: Australia videos featuring John and Hank Green's secret niece and nephew, Natalie and Calvin? Debbie is so creative. Her videos sneak up on you, take your hand and make you want to go skipping down the street.
She took John Green's Nerdfighter song and embellished it to become: "Nerdfighter Live." My family falls into almost every category of nerdfighter she (and John) thought of. Also, do not miss Nerdfighter Storytime.
...and thanks to Arthur Slade, I've discovered a new (to me) musical group, Arrogant Worms. Their song "It's Great to be a Nerd" also tracks our entwood rather precisely.
The popup book is an old favorite in the kidlit world, but the latest iterations are so sophisticated that they’ve inspired a new term for (or is it from?) their makers: paper engineers. Recently a book not even out yet has generated lots of interest on youtube; check out Marion Bataille’s 3-D ABC. It’s due out in October by MacMillan’s Roaring Book Press, the first book by this French graphic designer to be published in the U.S.
I first encountered the engineered version of the popup genre at my nephew’s house in North Carolina. His 6-year-old had received Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs for Christmas and was thrilled. Paper engineers (and pioneers) Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart collaborated on the project, which was published by Candlewick Press in 2005, each book made entirely by hand in Thailand or China. Encyclopedia Mythologica is due out in May.
For the Encyclopedias, Sabuda created popups for Reinhart’s story and illustrations, but both talented artists are also working independently now. Here’s a Barnes & Noble interview with Matthew about his creative process, and here’s Robert talking with the Wall Street Journal about some of his work. These two are an innovative, iconic and prolific phenomenon, and their influence will be felt increasingly in the world of multicultural books, no question.
Pop’n Kimchee is an early example of the use of popups – and the first multicultural popup title we know of. It’s also an example of just how much the art of popups has developed since it was published in 2000.
Sam Ita’s Moby Dick, a state-of-the-art popup book published in November 2007, features many thrills, including the Pequod opening in full sail, almost a foot high. Ita’s next book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea comes out in October 2008.
For more about the art and science of paper engineering, check out this list of how-to books on Robert Sabuda’s website. And for you teachers, here are some general tips on popups in the classroom, and here is more from Sabuda and Reinhart on classroom use, from the early days of their collaboration.Display Comments Add a Comment
On Tuesday night, First Book had the incredible pleasure of attending the third annual Carle Honors event, held at the University Club in New York City!
The Carle Honors, sponsored by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, is a unique set of awards designed to recognize four distinct forms of creative vision and long-term dedication to the art of the picture book and its vital role in supporting art appreciation, early literacy, and critical thinking. This year’s amazing list of honorees included Maurice Sendak (Artist), Vanita and Jim Oelschlager (Angels), Susan Hirschman (Mentor), and Jim Trelease (Bridge).
And what an amazing evening it was! Everywhere one looked, there was an author or illustrator standing nearby – people like Chris Van Allsburg, Jon Scieszka, Rosemary Wells, Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, Ashley Bryan, Matthew Reinhart, Robert Sabuda, Leonard Marcus, and Lois Ehlert, just to name a few in attendance. It was incredible to encounter so many talented people gathered all in one room!
In celebration of 2008’s Carle Honors recipients, First Book is happy to announce that we will be donating 5,000 new books to children in need in New York and Western Massachusetts. We’d also like to take a moment to thank our wonderful friends at the Carle, especially Museum Director Nick Clark, Assistant Director Rebecca Goggins and Board Member Leonard S. Marcus for their amazing support of First Book’s mission and for continuing to help bring the magic of books to children everywhere!Add a Comment
Two members of our Inklings Picture Book critique group recently made a pilgrimage to see the original pop-up art of Robert Sabuda and David Diaz in an exhibit “The Wizards of Pop-up.” It was at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas.
Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhar,t are considered to be the premier contemporary pop-up book artists in the U.S.
Maurice Sendak tried his hand at 3-D moveable art with great results. Mommy? released in 2006 by Michael di Capua Books/Scholastic was a collaboration between him, author-playwright Arthur Yorinks and pop-up wizard Reinhart.
Erik and Christy’s field trip got me thinking how much I enjoyed pop-ups and any kind of “3-D” art as a kid.
Maybe because it broke the picture plane and added one more dimension of “make believe.”
I once owned a reprint of a Turn of the Century pop-up book about a Victorian family’s visit to a zoo. don’t remember the title or the artist
As you turned each page, you saw the same family and a different cage of animals come to life before you. The animals did stay behind the bars, thank heavens.
The book gave you a charming experience of visiting a zoo.
There was this one issue of “Jack and Jill” magazine ( I was a proud 10 year old subscriber) that had a sort of 3-D assemble-it-yourself Dinosaur Diorama.
It featured Pteranadons, Brontosauruses and maybe a T-Rex.
You placed them into a primeval forest stage-set with a curved backdrop that gave depth to a world of volcanoes, ferns, and Jurassic beasts.
Of course the best dinosaur is a 3-D dinosaur.
After doing my part in the assembly I felt as if I’d done the whole mural myself. It wasn’t like I’d painted the dinosaurs. I just punched them out of cardstock and inserted them into their places in the scene. But I had helped to contribute to the 3-D effect!
Pop up books have been around since the Middle Ages — for kids books, since the 1800s. Here, according to Amazon.com is Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart’s List of “Top 10 Pop-Up Books”
Speaking of 3-D papercraft, Kids Can Press has re-released the eminently kid-friendly The New Jumbo Book of Easy Crafts by Judy Ann Sadler. A redesign and smartly graphic illustrations by Caroline Price keep176 pages of step by step procedurals from feeling burdensome.
Mark G. Mitchell hosts the How To Be A Children’s Book Illustrator blog.
NEW JERSEY! The Garden State, The Clam State, The Pathway of Revolution and the lesser known Switzerland of America! Last Monday, three of my First Book colleagues and I traveled north along Interstate 95 to New Jersey, where we experienced many of the state’s nicknames and helped to further the “The Pathway of Revolution” by distributing more than 200,000 new books throughout the Garden State and beyond.
Although we were only there for a short time, we were able to distribute popular books such as Movable Mother Goose by Robert Sabuda and Nature Science by award-winning authors Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone to over 100 First Book Recipient Groups. Of those groups, more than 20 organizations were able to pick their books up in North Brunswick, New Jersey thanks to the generous donation of warehouse space by Feed the Children, while the remaining groups will have their books shipped right to their programs.
Looking around an empty warehouse after two long days of hard work, it’s hard to believe that the 200,000 books that filled the same space just a few days earlier have been given to groups all around the United States. This change is always humbling, exciting and reminds us that without the tremendous support of our partners – Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Sterling Publishing Company, the Feed the Children warehouse and numerous KPMG volunteers and their families – we wouldn’t have been able to make such a large impact!Add a Comment
Revision update: Still nothing done. Sigh!
I know I’m a big kid, but I love pop-up books. I have loved them since I was a kid and they still make me giggle with delight whenever I open them. So I was thrilled to see an older video pop up (pardon the pun) on the Wall Street Journal website with an interview with pop-up-book artist Robert Sabuda.
The pop-up books Robert and his team create are wonderful, and I hope they never go away. Due to their intricate nature, pop-up books are made by hand, which, of course, makes them very expensive. In today’s economy, publishers are thinking twice about the money they put into each and every book they produce. I wouldn’t be surprised if pop-up books are a category publishers are shying away from now because of their expense in this uncertain market.
But that would be a shame. Books have an amazing ability to transform readers to other worlds, but nowadays they face stiff competition for kids’ attention from videogames and movies. But pop-up books can give picture books — and their stories — an added excitement and wow factor for youngsters that could encourage their continued love of books of all kinds — pop-up or not — in some kids who might have moved on to more interactive entertainment.
WordPress won’t let me embed Flash videos, so the Wall Street Journal interview is accessible here. (Oohh! That Narnia one looks beautiful.)
Here’s another interview with Sabuda from YouTube:
What do you think of pop-up books? Did you have a favorite as a child?