Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Engineering at it's Finest

Yesterday I went to the down town Salt Lake City Public Library for the first time. It was really amazing! I must admit, I'm a country bumpkin and because of that I don't get to spend much time in big city libraries.

One of the things that really hit me, as I was touring the huge multi level building, was the sheer number of books. It's incredible to think of all of the books out there, it kinda blows my mind. Then after I recovered from the mind blowing I began to think how absolutely terrific it is that there are so so so many books, and more specifically so many different types of books in the world... because that means no matter who you are, how old, what your interests; there are books out there for everyone. It's a great time in the history of the world to be a reader! When I got home from my city trip there was a package in the mail from my sister to my birthday boy son. This was one of the items in the package:

 The "Encyclopedia Mythologica" by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda "Dragons & Monsters".

If you haven't heard of books by these fellows before it's high time you did. They have written numerous books together and every book is filled with incredible works of art and amazing feats of engineering. These are not your typical pop-up books. They are not only intricate, beautiful, and astounding; they are also very well made and sturdy (not to say you shouldn't be careful with them) but these are the type of delicate books that aren't going to fall apart from proper use. So in the upcoming spirit of things that go bump in the night, I will share a few pages from this fantastic book... we have Wyvern, the dragon who was an exception to the norm because of his friendship with a little girl named Maud. I'm afraid his end was not a happy one.

...This page depicts a huge red eastern dragon; with its classic long sinuous body, eagle-like talons and flowing beard. You can also see how on each page along with the main illustration there are two or three smaller pop-up side bars with more information. Incredible!

...This is my favorite page from this particular book. The Kraken rising forth to drag a ship down to the depths of the ocean floor! btw- The photos I have taken DO NOT do justice to the experience of reading and pouring over these books in real life.

*I did not set this photo up* Little Wonder just jumped into the shot and I couldn't resist including it- her being a black cat and all (she shows up in a couple of the other photos as well).

Here we have Count Dracula's Transylvanian castle... the main part of this page features the count himself rising from his tomb! The perfect amount of creepiness for my youngsters.

Not only does this book boggle the mind with it's astounding pop-up's; it's also filled with a huge amount of information. A book like this is fun for people of all ages to enjoy and collect. Though there is a rule at my house that when the kids want to look they've gotta be accompanied by an adult, we want to be able to enjoy this book for many years to come.

Like I said earlier this is only one of many books constructed and written by Reinhart and/or Sabuda, and I'm sure to feature more in the future.



  1. Whoa!! That's awesome! No, never heard of these before-- do they do frills and ribbons books too, or are they strictly creepy crawly?

  2. There are many many pop-ups by them, all different kinds. This particular 'encyclopedia' series has: This book, fairies and magical creatures(more frills but also includes some sinister faries), greek gods & heros. Then theres the prehistoric series with: dinosaurs, sharks and sea monsters, prehistoric beasts. They have also made several classic stories into pop-ups including peter pan, beauty and the beast, and alice in wonderland. There are lots of others too, all I have looked through were impressive.

  3. Would have been cooler if the cat popped up out of the book. Still very cool.

  4. Hmm remember how you got me the fairy one? I love it but I think it is at mom and dads for some reason, I need to get it back stat! Also way cool present for the kiddos, sister is a good gift giver! Wow little wonder is a nutcase I like her, and I just LOVE that Chinese dragon! way cool, way way cool.


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