Encyclopedia Mythologica Dragons & Monsters

“A Taste For Dragon: Legends tell that Dragons’ body parts held magical properties. For example, eating the shed skin of the Scadinavian lindworm was believed to increase one’s knowledge of medicina and the natural world, thus allowing one to bypass years of schoolwork!” —Dragons & Monsters

When we think of pop-up books, we often think of books expressly for very young children.

After doing a little digging, however, I learned that the very first pop-up books were designed for adults, rather than kids. I’ve also seen more pop-up texts devoted to fanciful books for little girls, rather than little guys. With the pop-up book we discuss today, that’s about to change (but girls will get a kick out of this one, too…at least the young women in my circle did).

The first of such books was thought to have been used as part of an astrological text in the early 1300s. Pop-up books with their intricate moving images were an ideal medium for engaging young readers, which may account for the transition of making the books for children as opposed to adults. In recent years, most mass produced pop-up books have been created for the youngest of kids, with older children left for wont of decent pop-up books.

Enter master paper engineers Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda and their pop-up series “Encyclopedia Mythologica.” The very first page of “Dragons & Monsters” opens to the classical villain Medusa, snakes rise from the page to delight and horrify the reader with her nest of “writhing vipers.”

It’s immediately clear that this pop-up book is not for the faint of heart. Young readers with an interest in mythological monsters and nautical nemesis are in store for a real treat with this heirloom quality book.

Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda

Don’t worry that the medium is paper. Even the most tech-savvy kids will look in wonder at the tortuously folded images of the undead, the Kraken, and lichen as they pounce from the pages to envelope the reader in myth and mayhem.

With gargoyles, snakes, leeches and a young girl who fights off a knight bent on killing her pet dragon, readers have plenty to devour as they learn about the most wicked of dark dwelling beasts.

You can purchase the third in the Encyclopedia Mytholigica series, “Dragons & Monsters” here, and read more about the art of pop-up book paper engineering here.Kids can make their own pop-up butterfly by going to this link.