Why the World Needs Pop Up Books

I have heard the phrase “digital native” in reference to people who are generally younger than I am.  Everyone has their own definition of what this term actually means.  So, I’ll offer mine.  A true digital native is a person who’s birth was announced on Facebook and who has fewer than 10 photos of him or herself on film rather than digital images.

There, that’s my definition.  And, by my own definition, all of my four children are digital natives.  What is different about these children?  For starters, as far as they know, people have always communicated by text messages, the ipad is the best gaming system you can have in a minivan and camera film is a totally foreign concept.

When I was a younger adult, I bought one of the best cameras mankind ever produced, the Nikon N90.  I take it out on occasion to take pictures of the kids.  It’s hilarious to take a picture then have them run over to the camera only to be disappointed that there is no picture at which to look.

I digress, this post is supposed to be about pop up books.  I love pop up books.  They are marvels of art and engineering in one package.  I own a respectable collection of pop up books from the 1890s to 1980.  These old books are luminescent windows into the past.

We have taken these books and made a video collection of them on this site.  You can see it here.

It is impossible to project how the world will use paper to communicate in the future.  I tend to think that nothing will ever fully replace the printed word.  But, I’m not a digital native.

Although I am uncertain about the future of books and printed media, I am certain that a real book provides a literary and learning experience that is richer and fuller than taking in the same information digitally.

Pop up books are the apex of the experience that can be had with printed media.  They tell stories in three dimensions with a two dimensional medium.  Today’s pop up books are wonders of story telling.  They range from classic stories to lessons on science and history to creating totally new worlds.  Regardless of the subject matter, all these books perform actions that a digital screen cannot.

Although pop up books have been around for hundreds of years, we are NOW in the golden age of pop up.  The books today’s paper engineers are making are just breathtaking.  These books give today’s children the opportunity to have a rich experience with a paper book.  The actual book will be an experience that will pique their curiosity and young brains in a way that a screen simply will not.

My personal favorite among all pop up books in Print is The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.  It is not only a literary achievement, it’s a beautiful blend of pop up and literature in a well-made book.

These books are a little expensive.  But, they are well worth the money.  If you do not own a modern pop up, you need to experience one for yourself.  Just don’t give it to a toddler.  Little hands will revel in ripping your treasure to pieces.

We have generated a list of what we believe to be the best pop ups available right now.  take a look at the list and choose one as a gift or for yourself.  You wont’ be disappointed.