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Stack Overflow: 12 Books to Flip, Slide, Twirl, and Pull!

When it comes to kids, sometimes it can be hard for books to compete with digital devices: there may be a lot of bells and whistles (sometimes literally), but iPad apps offer a degree of interactivity that regular board books don’t. Today’s stack, however, is all about interactivity: each book has clever flaps, switches, dials, and overlays for kids to fiddle with!

Farm Animals by Xavier Deneux

This board book uses bold black, white, and orange illustrations to depict various farm animals. Each page has a slider that switches between a silhouette and the animal with a few more details:

There are just 10 animals in this chunky little book, but they’re all pretty adorable, and the slider effect is pretty nifty!

PlayTabs Baby Animals by Stéphanie Babin, illustrated by Thierry Bedouet

This book is all about baby animals, from what various babies are called to how their parents take care of them. The edges of the pages include large tabs that either slide up and down or pull out and push in. Each of the 5 tabs controls images on both sides of the page, so you get double use from them!

Here’s a penguin chick hiding under its parent’s belly.

PlayTabs Body by Stéphanie Babin, illustrated by Ilaria Falorsi

Similar to the PlayTabs book above, this book explores the human body: how to take care of it, what your senses are, what sorts of feelings you might have. The PlayTabs books are larger than typical board books, but the sturdy tabs are a good size for little hands, and the text is fairly simple and short (though with a lot of little facts on each page).

The image above shows how one tab can change three images on the page.

Feelings by Alice Le Hénand, illustrated by Thierry Bedouet

This book about feelings shows various animal kids with their parents experiencing different emotions: sadness, fear, excitement, and anger. Each page has a pull tab that illustrates how the parent guides the child in that situation.

(Caution: you may find that the kids in this book are much easier to redirect than your own.)

Zoe and Zack: Colors by Jacques Duquennoy

I’m not entirely sure which one is Zoe and which one is Zack, but these two friends—a chameleon and a zebra—paint pictures together using some clever acetate overlays. Each scene shows the chameleon on the left and the zebra on the right, with some shapes on a clear acetate page in the center.

When you flip the clear page, the shapes merge and become an image. It’s fun to guess what the image will be once it’s assembled.

Who Lives Where? by Stéphanie Babin, illustrated by Kiko

This book about animals and their homes has six different regions, from pets in a house to animals on the savanna to creatures in the sea. Each spread has one page showing all the animals in a single scene, and another page with six windows showing the various animals. Slide the animal to the left to see where it lives.

In the image above, you can see the left side with the entire farm, and then the right side with the chicken and goose showing their homes.

Touch and Explore: Construction by Stéphanie Babin, illustrated by Benjamin Bécue

This book about how buildings are constructed doesn’t include a lot of flaps and dials. Instead, it has a lot of fun textures: rough asphalt, rubber cones, sticky concrete, and even some netting for scaffolding.

For kids who like learning how things are put together, it has some great, brief explanations. And for kids who just like to touch things, there are some awesome things to feel.

Hide-and-Sleep by Lizi Boyd

In this tall board book, various animals are playing hide-and-seek before bed. Several of the pages are cut so that you can turn the top section or the bottom section, and there’s an animal hiding behind one section that is revealed when the page is flipped.

A leaf becomes a wing, or maybe a tail—kids can try to guess which animal is hiding, and what’s peeking across the divide.

My Magical Mermaid by Yujin Shin

This brief board book doesn’t have a lot of story to it, but it’s just a celebration of mermaid friends creating a band and putting on a show. Each page has some dials or flaps or tabs to turn, pull, and wiggle, with cute little underwater creatures joining in the fun.

Seasons by Philip Giordano

This large board book has two dials on each page: the top one cycles through four different things like creatures and plants; the bottom one cycles through four different colors. Each combination of item and color is hidden somewhere on the page, so you just dial up the combination you want to look for, and then try to spot it.

Can you find the yellow fir tree? How about the red squirrel? Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

There are five scenes to search!

All About Cars by Géraldine Krasinski, illustrated by Olivier Latyk

This book is exactly what the title promises: a look at cars: different types of cars, how they’re made and how you buy one, what happens when they break down, where they go. Throughout the book are lots of things to interact with: flaps to open, dials to turn that change images, and a lot of pieces that move along tracks.

This book is cardstock rather than a board book, so may not be suitable for kids who are still in the book-chewing stage.

Super Mazes in Space! by Loïc Méhée

And, finally, one for older kids: if you’ve got a kid who loves mazes, this book presents ten challenges that aren’t your usual mazes. There are mazes with flaps that need to be flipped to the right combination to solve the maze, dials that turn to create new paths, and even a maze that unfolds as you travel through it, becoming larger and larger. There’s some really impressive cardboard engineering in this book, plus a funny story about a supervillain, Reducto, who is shrinking galaxies and vacuuming them up.

This maze includes spinning concentric rings of asteroids. Image: Jonathan H. Liu

My Current Stack

I read a couple of comic books this week: Nathan Hale’s Apocalypse Taco (just out this week!), which is a bizarre story about a late-night taco run that sends three kids into a nightmarish version of their world, and the first two volumes of Alexander Utkin’s Gamayun Tales, which are inspired by Russian folklore. I’m also continuing to make my way through the Showtime at the Apollo graphic novel, as well as the sci-fi Creation Machine, both mentioned in previous columns.

Disclosure: I received review copies of the books covered in this column.

When it comes to kids, sometimes it can be hard for books to compete with digital devices: there may be a lot of bells and whistles (sometimes literally), but iPad apps offer a degree of interactivity that regular board books don't. Today's stack, however, is all about interactivity: each

Pop Up & Pull Tab Books

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“Easily the most innovative alpabet book of the year, if not the decade. Beyond clever.”–The Washington Post

Prepare to be amazed. From the lenticular cover that changes with the angle of your hands all the way to the Z, ABC3D is as much a work of art as it is a pop-up book. Each of the 26 three-dimensional letters move and change before your eyes. C turns into D with a snap. M stands at attention. X becomes Y with a flick of the wrist. And then there’s U. Boldly conceived and brilliantly executed with a striking black, red, and white palette, this is a book that readers and art lovers of all ages will treasure for years to come.

ABC3D is a 2009 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.

A spill. A smear. A smudge. A tear. When you think you have made a mistake, think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful!

A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing–not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator.

An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”–each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

The creators of the New York Times best-selling Encyclopedia Prehistorica series offer a mythic look at the mysteries of the past with an entire pantheon of remarkable pop-ups.

For all of recorded history, humans have sought to understand Earth’s mysteries in the realm of the divine — and aspired to conduct themselves as heroes. Only gods, of course, could push the sun across the sky,forge entire continents, and impel mountains to touch the clouds. In this stunning volume, the incomparable team of Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda take us to Ra-Atum’s land in Ancient Egypt; above the Grecian clouds to Zeus’s Mount Olympus; up to Norse god Odin’s frozen north; to the Far East, where the Jade Emperor sits in the heavens; into the wilds of Oceania, where Pele’s volcanic rage simmers below the earth; and to many more lands and times, all rich with sacred myths and legends.

Eye-Popping Fun for Toddlers!

Eight ingenious pull tabs, seven pettable textures, and an astonishing fold-out finale deliver interactive surprises on every page as a cast of irresistible critters use their heads to demonstrate opposites, actions, and more!

It’s time for Maisy to go to bed, but there’s a lot to do first! Luckily, with the flip of a flap or the pull of a tab, little readers can help their favorite mouse every step of the way on her journey toward dreamland. First, she needs to throw back a bedtime beverage and go to the potty (complete with flushing action). Then she’s ready to wash her hands, brush her teeth, put on pajamas, read a story, and finally say good night, toy panda in paw. Even reluctant sleepers will look forward to bedtime when they can share a cozy ritual with Maisy, and the mini size of this colorful bedtime board book is perfect for tiny hands.

Tonight Maisy and her friends are playing in a band! Pull the tabs to see Maisy play drums (rat-a-tat-tat), Charlie play bass (tum-te-tum! tum-te-tum! ), and Tallulah tickle the ivories (plinkety-plonk). Sound words fill this joyful, exuberant read-aloud, giving little listeners a taste of onomatopoeia as more friends rehearse their root-a-toots and tings. The excitement builds up to a final pop-up stage show starring Maisy and all of her pals.

Ahoy, me hearties! Hoist the sails and put out to sea with Maisy and her pirate crew. Join the favorite mouse and her friends as they follow a treasure map, sail alongside dolphins, and practice sword fighting. Removable play pieces depicting all the characters in their buccaneer garb make the exciting pop-up pirate ship perfect for interactive imaginative play. A handy pocket stores all the play pieces when the voyage ends.

In this interactive First Science Book, Maisy shows how wonderful weather can be.

Watch long-extinct creatures spring to life in a striking first pop-up book for budding paleontologists. Showcased are fifteen dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles, from Ankylosaurus to Velociraptor, each one accompanied by its name and pronunciation. At once simple and sophisticated, Owen Davey’s striking pop-ups, with their geometric patterns of spiky scales, dramatic splotches, and dotted feathers, are sure to mesmerize dinosaur aficionados of all ages.

See the smash hit family movie – now own the book that features in the film!

This spectacular limited edition collector’s item contains six stunning illustrated pop-up scenes that have been taken directly from the smash hit family movie and lovingly recreated for Paddington fans.

Now you too can be transported, just like Paddington and Aunt Lucy, into a glorious paper-engineered world and visit iconic London sights including St. Pauls, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.

A touching celebration of London, family and, ultimately, of belonging.

Free book plate autographed by Alice Provensen with purchase.

The Caldecott Award-winning Provensens have combined artistry and insight to create a unique and beautiful pop-up. Full color.

Sam’s sister wants a very special sandwich, so he does his best to oblige. Lettuce, cheese, tomato, salami, and so much more. Just unfold each layer to see what surprise he has slipped underneath–if you haven’t already figured it out from the hints in the rhyming text! Served up as a sandwich-shaped book with a gruesome guessing game on every spread, Sam’s Sandwich is a delectable gift for little terrors.

This gorgeously illustrated, full-color classic celebrates a time before email by depicting amusing correspondence between fairy tale and Mother Goose characters. What could possibly be in a letter from Goldilocks to the Three Bears? Who would write to the Wicked Witch? Open this book, take out the letters, and discover what favorite characters would write to each other–and reimagine best-loved tales together.

Robert Sabuda has created a resplendent pop-up version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original publication. This glorious edition is told in a shorter version of L. Frank Baum’s original text, with artwork in the style of W. W. Denslow. With sparkling touches of colored foil and Emerald City eyeglasses, this classic tale is certain to find an honored place on the family bookshelf.

Robert Sabuda has created a resplendent pop-up version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original publication. This glorious edition is told in a shorter version of L. Frank Baum’s original text, with artwork in the style of W. W. Denslow. With sparkling touches of colored foil and Emerald City eyeglasses, this classic tale is certain to find an honored place on the family bookshelf.

Defying every expectation of what a book can be, this pop-up extravaganza transforms into six fully functional tools. Artist Kelli Anderson contributes enlightening text alongside each pop-up, explaining the scientific principles at play in her constructions and creating an interactive experience that’s as educational as it is extraordinary. Inspiring awe that lasts long after the initial pop, This Book Is a Planetarium leaves readers of all ages with a renewed appreciation for the way things work–and for the enduring magic of books.

This Book is a Planetarium is an interactive book for adults and kids that turns into:

  • A working planetarium book projecting constellations on the ceilings and walls
  • A musical instrument with strings to strum
  • A geometric drawing generator
  • An infinite calendar
  • A message decoder
  • A speaker that amplifies sound If you’ve enjoyed Matthew Reinhart’s A Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes and Robert Sabuda’s Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up, then you’ll love This Book is a Planetarium.

    This collection of cool popup fun makes for the perfect roommate gifts for girls and guys and falls under the following book categories:

  • Adult Popup Books
  • Pop Up Science Books
  • Paper Toys Books

    The mission of
    The Eric Carle Museum
    of Picture Book Art,
    a non-profit organization
    in Amherst, MA,
    is to inspire a love of
    art and reading
    through picture books.

    The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art 125 West Bay Road Amherst, MA 01002 (413) 559-6300

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