Robert Sabuda and Mathew Reinhart Make a Great Pop-Up Book Team

Amazing Pop-Up Books

When I was a child I loved pop-up books. Then again, what kid didn't? Pop-up books have been around for a while. When my boys were born we got them a few. One was a Mother Goose book with some simple flaps and pull tabs just like the ones I had as a child. The most it did was have a paper mouse go up the side of a clock. They were great at the time, but I had no idea what these books were missing.

In 2005 The Encylcopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs was released and my wife got it for the boys. She was all excited to have found it and I didn't know what the big deal was. My wife had heard it was great and figured the kids would enjoy it. When I opened that book for the first time with my boys we were completely amazed. The pop-ups were so much more detailed than any I had ever seen before. It was like someone had made giant origami sculptures that expanded with each turn of the page and put them inside the book. So many parts would move when opening the pages in order to form paper sculptures. The quality of the book was extremely impressive.

We have since bought lots of their pop-up books. Whenever friends and relatives come over they are quickly drawn to these books as soon as they enter the kids' room. Everyone just wants to open them up. It is really cool to open and close them to see the details that went into the different mechanisms to form the pop-ups.

Robert Sabuda

About Robert Sabuda

Robert was born in Pinckney Michigan, but currently lives in New York. He went to the Pratt Institute to help develop his talent. Robert had an internship at Dial Books for Young Readers. He worked as a package designer for a while. He graduated in 1987. In 1988 he illustrated The Fiddler's Son and The Wishing Well for Green Tiger Press. In 1992 Robert was both illustrator and author for Saint Valentine. In the late 90's Robert went back to Pratt in order to teach classes on pop-up book creation. He had learned it through trial and error making messes of paper in his room as a child. Robert typically sketches his books with scissors over 8 months. Then his team of 1000's will put the book together by hand.

Robert has received three Meggendorfer Prizes for his books. The Meggendorfer Prize goes to the best pop-up book and is decided by The Movable Book Society.

  • The Christmas Alphabet 1996
  • Cookie Count 2002
  • The Commemroive Wizard of Oz 2002

Mathew Reinhart

About Mathew Reinhart

Mathew was born in Cedar Rapid's Iowa. But his father became a jet fighter pilot so his family moved around a lot. As a kid he was always drawing and making crafts. His father later became an oral surgeon. Mathew followed his fathers footsteps and went to Clemenson University to prepare for medical school. After graduating he took a year offand moved to New York. In New York he met Robert. Robert conviced Mathew to follow his dream. So Mathew attended Pratt for industrial design and majored in toy design. Mathew helped Robert with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and a few others. His first pop-up book on his own was the Pop-Up Book of Phobias. He also made the New York Times best seller Star Wars: The Pop-up Guide to the Galaxy.

Have you seen any of these great pop-up books? 20 comments

Debbie Cook profile image

Debbie Cook 7 years ago from USA

Who can resist a pop up book? It seems that no matter how many times you look at the pop up pages you find something new.


NYLady profile image

NYLady 7 years ago from White Plains, NY

These look fabulous. I love pop-up books. Wish my kids were young again!


tonyab profile image

tonyab 7 years ago from Oregon, U.S.

Jim - what a great hub! I love popup books and so does my son. I'll make a point of getting one of these!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Nice job, Jim. Never considered it, actually. Exposure to a popup book was a rare event when I was growing up and I guess with my own kids- 16, 19 and 21- I started with Good Night Moon moved to Junie B Jones and Hank the Cow Dog and Wrinkle in Time then Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings... I never drifted from the reading alouds. I will have to ask their impressions of popups- if they even remember having them! Good topic for dinner conversation- thanks.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Great hub. I remember thinking there was always something "magical" about a pop-up book.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I used to love my pop-up books and this reminded me that I had once had a number of them as a child. Nice Hub :)


jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma Author

Thanks for all of the great comments everyone. I'm glad you all enjoyed pop-up books as much as my kids and I have. Sabuda and Reinhart really are paper engineers and make great works of art. Most adults that come by always pick them up and tell me how impressed they are. A lot of adults seem to collect their books too so Nylady, you shouldn't worry about getting one for herself. One would probably go great on a coffee table.

I agree Constant, it seems very magical that they can fit so much in a single book. It is so much more than just pictures like regular books. I always anticipate what will happen when I turn the page and I'm amazed watching the 3D sculptures unfold before my very eyes.


nat014 profile image

nat014 7 years ago from United Kingdom

Thanks for the great info. Pop up books are always good. Also used to love them and my kids really enjoyed them. Really add something to the story.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

I'm a big fan of the pop up books for kids. I can buy them at a Christmas tree shop for $1.00. I buy a bunch and love to give them out to kids at Christmas. I loved these books when I was a kid.


jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma Author

The Christmas Tree Shop is great. They have all kinds of great things. A used book store just opened in the next town over from me. We went with the kids and they picked out 6 books and cd for less than $10. I saw a few pop-up books, but they had a ton of other books.


ESAHS 7 years ago

"Now this hub is food for thought!"

"Very  interesting due too the fact I like books and enjoy writing also!"

"Two thumbs up!"

CEO E.S.A.H.S. Association 


DarleneMarie 7 years ago

Very interesting history on Robert Sabuda history and pop-up books...I remember really enjoying pop-up books as a child. I think it is a great encouragement for children to begin reading.


Scottie JD profile image

Scottie JD 7 years ago

Nice article Jim. It has been awhile since I ventured into the land of chidren's books, what a nice trip down memory lane.


Great Caruso profile image

Great Caruso 7 years ago from USA

I still like pop-up books, and my boy with just 9 months LOVES them!!


jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma Author

My boys have a great time looking at pop-up books. We usually get them a new one every Christmas.


Lisa Nance profile image

Lisa Nance 7 years ago from North Carolina Mountains

My grandson loves pop-up books and I love reading them to him. Thanks for the suggestions of these wonderful books! Great hub!!


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

Pop-up books are simple and great teaching tool, nicely done Jim.


jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma Author

Thanks cgull8m for the encouraging words. The first pop-up books actually were teaching tools for helping with astrology and anatomy. This was way before kids were even allowed to touch them.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

I love pop-up books! They do have some really amazing ones these days.

Happy Father's Day, jim!


jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma Author

Thanks k@ri, enjoy your pop-up books. Today they really are works of art and great engineering.

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