Pop In for Pop-Ups

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Today the Main Library hosted it’s first Pop-Up program. Featured were not only pop-up books from our circulating collection, but also from our professional collection which does not circulate to the public.

Pop-ups first became part of literature in the 1200’s with the work of Matthew Paris who designed volvelles, or circles placed one on top of the other which revolve around a central access.  Below is an example of a volvelle.


In 1765 the first pop-up’s were produced exclusively for children by Robert Sayer. His work included paper flaps that could be folded down to change the illustrations within a book, and therefore change the nature of the story.

The first golden age of pop-up’s came in the 1800’s. The use of movable elements within books proliferated, as did a leisure class of people who had not only the money to spend on these expensive creations, but also the time to read them to their children.

1929 brought the first use of pop-ups as we know them today, illustrations that pop-up from the page and can be activated by turning pages within a book.

1965 brought about the second golden age of pop-ups the popularity of which continues through today with the exquisite work of people like Robert Sabuda.

Here is a complete timeline of the history of pop-ups.

Today many wonderful and intricate pop-ups were on display for people to come in, read and admire. Some of the most popular were:


Cinderella by Matthew Reinhart with pop-up illustrations by Robert Sabuda

Alice in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll with pop-up illustrations by Robert Sabuda

Night Pirates

Night Pirates by Peter Harris, illustrated by Deborah Allwright and designed by Corina Fletcher


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Two crafts were also offered. In the first three slits were cut in a half folded piece of paper. The strips that result were then folded so they stood up from the paper. To each of these strips a die cut image could be glued. When the paper was opened the images then popped up from the page.



The second craft involved folding a chosen image into the shape of an accordion. One end of the image would be glued to one side of a folded piece of paper, the other end would be glued to the other side. When the paper was opened the accordion image would pop up from the page.





A little girl creating a pop-up page based on the first craft.

This was a wonderful chance for the public to come out and experience books they would otherwise not see.

-Miss Jessica


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