I've bought a lot of pop-up books, most of the time I buy when I come across one that grabs my interest. This little fella, though, I did not buy at that point. Why? Well it was coming on Christmas 2016 and people were asking me to give them some ideas of what to get me.
I literally held the book up to show one loved-one. I told another (and maybe sent an email), and gave hints that a third might ask if it had been purchased. Then I waited for Christmas.
So, I spent last year trying to find it. I suppose, for the sake of honesty, I should acknowledge that I did indeed find copies early on, but they were full-priced in my "only buy discount" store, so I passed, hoping to find one in my "buy new" store.
Nope. And no longer in the store I'd found it. And not in any store. I forgot the title and for some reason couldn't get close enough with google, but I did eventually find it online—something I worked out in the fall, so started hinting about.
Christmas came and…nada.
So, "screw it," says I, and ordered it online. A year after everybody else, I have my J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World: A Pop-Up Gallery of Curiosities.
Thank you internet.
What makes it interesting (besides the obvious)?
It's not trying to be a book. It's design is that of a display case.
The illustrations are well done and the designs are exciting—they're dynamic and whimsical and humourous, at least. Rowling has always been able to create material that's fit for kids, but also the kid in adults. That's refreshing. So many pop-up books are clearly for children, so of lessened interest to me as an adult.
The book has some creative bits, like different ways to make the text as pop-upish as the illustrations, and these aren't groundbreaking or anything, but somebody put some thought into them, so kudos for that. The little write up on Newt coming out of his case on the floor, pulls out from the floor. That's a subtlety they didn't have to include, but did.
There's a couple of parts that have to be manipulated by the reader. Floating candles in one part, and the anchoring of a bank vault for the niffler scene. My photos here don't do this vault justice. There are layers of paper cut inside that provide a nice detailed depth.
My one real complaint is that it's so damned short. Pop-ups get very thick, very fast, so most of them are shortish. But a few more scenes wouldn't have been too many.
Almost all the text in pop-up books are brief. It's either because text is hard to incorporate, and large amounts of it exponentially harder, or because there's some belief out there that people who like pop-ups are not going to be all that interested in reading large sections of prose.
I have a few books that contain either pop-ups or some other paper-arts enhancement that are first and foremost books (lots of text). They'll eventually get blogged about, I suppose.
I don't usually rate my books (except in Library thing where I faithfully rate with stars for the sake of organization) but if I were to give this one a grade, it would still be four out of five despite the brevity.
I'm sitting here, now, wondering why that is. It's a good book, but doesn't have the most "wow!" which is what makes pop-ups call my name. The only thing I can think of is that I like the subject matter enough for the book to get an automatic bump.
Maybe also it's because I had to wait a year to get it.