My books from Powell's finally came! Squeeeeee!
Before I get down to the business of eating
the new Anne Carson book, Nox, with some salt & a garnish of pesto, I thought I'd take a minute to write about this book, which I got for my daughter. Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda are pretty much THE pop-up masters these days, and probably the best pop-up authors ever.
I feel like my head is officially coming to a point saying this, but it's true.
Reinhart & Sabuda's books are incredible, both as engineered objects and as research & writing. Maybe this makes them sound boring, but their books are cool and, more importantly, beautiful. My daughter got to the the page with unicorn, and stopped and sat down on the floor. She stared quietly. Quothe she: I very, very, very, very loooove this unicorn. Boring is books like Pixie Hollow Pop-up, which does deliver in the sparkly fairies department, and the doggerel poetry category, and the lame Disney co-option of disturbing Victorian children's literature column, but are dumbly uninteresting.
This book touches on a lot of fairy history and lore, from changelings to garden fairies, gremlins, goblins & Shakespeare's Dream, the Feejee mermaid and the Cottingley fairy hoax
, and a few magical creatures from non-Western folklores. Pop-up books are not cheap, because they have to be hand-glued, even now, but if you're going to invest in any, Reinhart & Sabuda's are the ones to pay money for.
Which brings me to my last thing: I have handed this book to my girl, and I really hope she doesn't rip it to shreds, but it could happen. I think it's probably more important to let her page through it at night when I've put her to bed and she should be asleep, the way she does, than it is to preserve the book itself. I had a pop-up edition of Alice in Wonderland as a kid, and I messed it up a bit, but I swear that book is like a Velveteen Rabbit in my mind. It has become real and gone hippity-hopping through my psyche in a way it never could if my folks kept it on a shelf out of reach.