Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Review : Beauty & The Beast by Robert Sabuda

In my childhood pop-up books were a novelity and always something that caught my eye and there were always a lot of oohs and ahhs over them. I've always been fascinated by the workmanship that goes into them. Connor feels the same way about them and almost dances with joy anytime we get the opportunity to review one. He just cannot top himself from looking at them even if I put them on a top shelf he usually finds a way to get them down and will spend tons of time just checking out each page and each little hidden detail. Though up till now I really thought I knew what to expect out of a pop-up book but recently I've been really been blown away by some of the newer ones coming out on the market.

Beauty & The Beast by Robert Sabuda is the familiar story we all grew up with of Beauty & The Beast but the pop-up version that is part of the series of pop-up books released by Simon and Schuster is by far one of the most beautiful, most detailed, pop-up books we have ever had the pleasure of reading. Right away with the front cover you notice the dark colors and dark lines of the illustrations. The entire book is illustrated in a way that reminds you of a stained glass piece even more so the colors lend to the story which after all is kind of spooky at first seeing as the princess ends up in a castle with a scary beast! What is really amazing about the book however is the detail to the pop-ups and how the book itself is read.

Each page is a little bit of a puzzle. You open the page and you are greeted with a large center pop up that is detailed in every aspect, you actually have to turn the book each way to see the entire picture. As well each page offers folding pages that open all of which are adorned with their own small pop-ups in the folds. Some pages even offer special surprises like the folded hallways on the very front page that act almost like mini kaleidoscopes as you have to look through the keyholes to see the entire scene. I've read the book at least a dozen times, and every time I am greeted with a new little detail that I missed the time before. Unlike most pop-ups it also has a rich story line and you get the full story along with the great pictures. Though by far the real gem of this book is the amazing graphics, they tell the story all on their own

One thing I will note though is how potentially fragile this book is. It's not a book that I will allow Connor, who is coming four in a two months, to play or look at by himself. Though well built it would be very easy to rip one of the pop-ups or folded story pages out of the book all together if you do not handle it with care. Unless it is a gift for older children I recommend storing it out of the way of small hands and bringing it down to read together when you can supervise it being handled. Priced at $29.99 it is well worth every penny in pictures alone. It would also make a beautiful and remembered gift!

You can purchase your own copy of Beauty & The Beast : A Pop-up Book of the Classic Fairy Tale on Amazon right now!

Disclosure: We were given a copy of Beauty & The Beast : A Pop-up Book of the Classic Fairy Tale free of charge, we were not compensated for this post in any other way. My opinions and comments on items we review are always my own and are never influenced by sponsors.


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