Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘pop-up books’

18 JUNE, 2014

Leonardo da Vinci’s Life and Legacy, in a Vintage Pop-Up Book

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The legacy of the great artist, inventor, and scientist in illustrated “interactive” paper engineering that would’ve made Leonardo himself nod with delight.

As a lover of pop-up books, a celebrator of the intersection of art and science, and a great admirer of the vintage children’s book illustration of wife-and-husband duo Alice and Martin Provensen, I was instantly smitten with Leonardo da Vinci (public library) — a glorious 1984 pop-up book that traces the life and legacy of the legendary artist, inventor and scientist in gorgeous illustrations by the Provensens and “interactive” three-dimensional paper engineering that would’ve made Leonardo himself nod with delight.

In the spirit of previous efforts to convey the analog magic of vintage paper engineering in animated GIFs — including Bruno Munari’s “interactive” picture-books and this naughty Victorian pop-up book for adults — I’ve animated a couple of the visuals, which is of course no substitute for the hands-on whimsy but at the very least a whetting of the appetite.

Leonardo da Vinci is, sadly, long out of print, but surviving copies can still be found. Complement it with the Provensens’ timelessly wonderful illustrations for Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Aesop’s Fables, some classic fairy tales, young James Beards’s cookbook, and a poetic homage to William Blake.

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12 FEBRUARY, 2014

The Little Prince as a Pop-Up Book

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“One should never listen to the flowers…”

“The Little Prince will shine upon children with a sidewise gleam,” a 1943 review of the beloved classic proclaimed. “It will strike them in some place that is not the mind and glow there until the time comes for them to comprehend it.” And so it did, shining its sidewise gleam on generations of children and ageless spirits alike.

Given my soul-anchored affection for Saint-Exupéry’s gem — especially after glimpsing its remarkable creative journey — and my soft spot for pop-up books, imagine my delight at discovering The Little Prince Deluxe Pop-Up Book (public library), which reimagines Saint-Exupéry’s already beautiful and enchanting story in magical paper engineering.

The Little Prince Deluxe Pop-Up Book is an absolute treat. Complement it with Alice in Wonderland as a pop-up book.

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23 JANUARY, 2014

The Life-Cycle of a Single Water Drop, in a Pop-Up Book Animated in Stop-Motion

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Nature’s rhythms in masterful paper engineering.

Given my soft spot for pop-up books, I was instantly taken with this collaboration between paper engineer extraordinaire Helen Friel (who brought us those amazing 3D paper sculptures of Euclid’s elements), photographer Chris Turner, and animator Jess Deacon, visualizing the life-cycle of a single drop of water as a pop-up book animated in stop-motion, nearly a year in the making:

To fully appreciate the incredible craftsmanship that went into the project, here is a timelapse of the making-of:

Complement with a different kind of 3D papercraft labor-of-love, celebrating favorite books.

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