Spring Surprises:
Popular, Literary and Scientific Pop-up Books

Selections from the School Collection of
Children's and Young Adult Literature

Rare Book and Special Collections Library
346 Main Library Building
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, Illinois

April - May 1999

Pop-up books have long held a fascination for children and adults alike. With their movable parts and the ability to change shapes and spring surprises, these books incorporate topics ranging from animals and anatomy to transportation. This exhibit of pop-up and movable part books includes selections sure to please everyone. Whether the subject is a popular movie such as Disney's Alice in Wonderland, a showcase of new technologies, or a childhood favorite such as a Beatrix Potter story, these pop-up books cover the gamut of topics of interest to children and adults.

According to Ann Montanaro, in her Pop-up and Movable Books: A Bibliography, 1993, the first movable part books were produced as early as the 13th century and were used to illustrate philosophical and scientific theories. During the 18th century, these techniques were applied to books for children with an intent to entertain. Movable part books were long produced in Europe, but it wasn't until the 1880s that an American publisher began producing movable part books. Disney and Hallmark became involved with the publication of these popular books in the mid-twentieth century. Pop-up books continue to be produced today and remain a favorite source of entertainment for children and adults alike.

Pop-up books are now so popular that collectors seek out older versions at auctions, flea markets, and specialized conferences. A collector might focus on a particular type of pop-up book such as those published by the Hallmark company during the 1960s and 1970s. This exhibit offers a small selection of movable and pop-up books from the School Collection of children's and young adult literature and the Rare Book and Special Collections Library.

Back to introduction

Carroll, Lewis, 1832-1898.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
[Illustrated by Jenny Thorne.]
London: Macmillans Children's Books, 1980.

Harley-Davidson: A Three-Dimensional Tribute to an
American Icon.

Kansas City, Missouri: Andrews McMeel, 1998.

Lye, Keith
The earth in three dimensions world atlas.
New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1995.

Faulkner, Keith
The wide-mouthed frog: a pop-up book.
Illustrated by Jonathan Lambert.
New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1996.

Mudd-Ruth, Maria
The ultimate ocean book: a unique introduction to the world under water in fabulous, full-color pop-ups.
Illustrated by Virge Kask and Beverly E. Benner.
New York: Artists & Writers Guild Books, 1995.

Kondeatis, Christos.
Bible stories from the Old Testament in three dimensions.
New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1993.

Burdett, Alice.
Nature's savage cats.
New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1993.

Polk, Milbry.
Egyptian mummies: a pop-up book
New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1997.

Lear, Edward.
The owl and the pussycat
Nashville, Tenn.: Ideals Children's Books, 1993.

Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank).
The wizard of Oz.
New York: Random House, [1968].


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