Thursday, June 13, 2013

America's National Parks: A Pop-Up Book

 Let's all be honest.  How many pitches do we receive each week asking that we read and review a book?  Dozens at least, right?  I can't even manage to read the books I have, so I have become immune to these pitches, and will barely scan the e-mails.  But when I saw the e-mail talking about THIS book, I stopped in my tracks.

I saw the words "National Parks" and "Pop-Up Book" and "proceeds".  That hooked me.

First of all, my family loves the National Parks.  We've not been to all of them, but we DO make a point to visit them whenever possible.  In my lifetime I've been to Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Saguaro, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Mammoth Cave, Smokey Mountains and Everglades.  I think the best family vacation we ever had was a few years ago when we went to Grand Canyon and Yosemite.  Each park is unique and so exquisitely preserved and cared for.  We find it awesome that we have such treasures right here in our own country.

And what about a pop-up book?  Who doesn't love them?  We have a small collection of them from when my kids were small.  I think I enjoy them as much or more than they do.  My favorite is the Wizard of Oz!

But the best part of this deal is that the proceeds from the sale of every one of these books goes towards the National Parks Conservation Association.  That makes my heart warm and fuzzy.

In a project that took over three years, this book features 18 of the most popular parks, with stunning pop-up pages for six of them (The Everglades, The Great Smokey Mountains, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Yosemite).  Like they say in the introduction, "just like a visit to a national park, when you turn the pages of a pop-up book, you're never quite sure what awaits around the bend".

All of the artwork is in a 1930's retro style, similar to old promotional posters for the parks, designed by the award-winning illustrator Dave Ember.

To the left here is the page for Yellowstone, the world's first National Park.  The first thing you notice when you open the page is how Old Faithful explodes upwards, almost into your face.  Then you notice the walkway through the hot springs, and various forms of wildlife.  In the right corner, as in all the other pages, there is a small booklet about the park, and on the left, there is a small mini pop-up of gray wolves chasing a Pronghorn Antelope and a photo of the Old Faithful Inn.

In the display for The Grand Canyon, I was overwhelmed by the layers and depth of the canyons, and all that orange.  There is a small mini pop-up of a couple rafting through the canyon, and there is a slide that you pull down to see the layers and ages of the limestone...almost 2 billion years worth.


Probably the nearest and dearest to my heart is the Everglades.  The page is full of things to look at...canoers, a chomping alligator, manatees, a snake in a cypress tree, a panther peeking through the grass.

This is the perfect book for young children to learn about places they might want to visit, or about a destination for a summer vacation.  But I was delighted with it, even as an adult.  That is the beauty of a well-designed pop-up can look at them over and over again, and see something new each time.

You can order this book at the official website   They have two hand-assembled editions...the regular is $34.95 (of which $8 is donated to the NPCA) and the Deluxe Limited Edition is $105 (of which $80 is donated to the NPCA.  Only 1,200 copies of the Limited Edition are being produced, each are numbered and autographed by the paper engineer, illustrator and author, and is enclosed in a black cloth slipcase. 


rhapsodyinbooks said...

OMG this is gorgeous! All three of those words would have appealed to me as well!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

How have I not heard of this book?!! Must find!!! Thanks for letting us know about it. We've visited several - my dad made sure of it and then my husband and I made sure our kids experienced a few.

Beth F said...

I have been to many national parks too -- it's so important that we support them! This book looks amazing!

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

This book looks AMAZING!

bermudaonion said...

That book is stunning! I see the paper engineering is by Bruce Foster - I'm a huge fan of his work! I've got to get my hands on this book!

Beth Hoffman said...

Wow!!! This book is stunning. I need to buy it ... What a wonderful gift to give.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Oh my gosh, this is just awesome! The huz and I have been to soo many National Parks and hope to hit most of them eventually. What a gerat way to get kids excited about a trip before you go!

Iliana said...

Those are so nice! I don't think I appreciated pop-up books as much until I started bookbinding. That's when you start seeing the beauty of books not just for the content but the structure!

Heidenkind said...

This looks pretty cool. Everyone loves pop-up books!

Anonymous said...

I love the pages that you've shown. Very cool. I must find it.

Julie P. said...

I should have accepted that pitch! UGH! Gorgeous!