I loved pop-up books when I was a kid: Loved the illusions of the pictures transformed through flipped panels or pulled tabs; loved that initial moment of surprise when a folded dragon or a spaceship leaped off the page.
A book as intricately engineered as Matthew Reinhart’s Star Wars: A Galactic Pop-Up Adventure would have blown my mind.
Reinhart’s sequel to 2007′s Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy focuses on the events, locations and characters of the prequels’ Anakin/Obi-Wan story arc. It contains five fold-out scenes, each with a large central display and at least four additional fold-out panels, several of which are nested within one another: This is a book that really invites patient exploration.
What this also means, though, is that the complex structures within its pages demand a fair amount of care while closing flaps and turning pages. Limb extensions or lightsabers, for instance, can get caught on other bits of scenery and wind up getting bent the wrong way. I sought feedback from two of my nephews, and the five-year-old loved the pictures, but had trouble refolding some of the scenes without help.
And with a cover price of $37.99, this is a book parents are going to want to take care of, which could prove tricky.
My seven-year-old nephew, whose exposure to Star Wars so far has been strictly through the Clone Wars cartoon and the Lego video games, loved everything about this book, and his dad – my brother – called it “perfect” for him. They found the text accompanying each fold-out appropriately challenging enough for a grade-schooler and meaty enough for read-aloud-by-dad time. Here’s a sample from the “Battle Beasts” fold-out:
Gladatorial blood sports remain the most popular pastime on Geonosis, especially combat involving exotic predators. Lashed to stone pillars at the center of the great Petranaki arena, three Republic interlopers – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Senator Padme Amidala – faced execution by three uniquely savage monsters: the frenzied nexu, the crimson-horned reek, and the fast-moving acklay.
My brother noted that between the amount of text provided and the time it takes to discover what each two-page spread has hidden within, each section has enough entertainment to serve as a short bedtime read on its own. And since the text isn’t so much a linear story as a depiction of plot elements and characters, it lends itself easily to breaking the book up into shorter reads.
Star Wars: A Galactic Pop-Up Adventure will be released October 16. GeekDad was provided with a copy for this review.