Halloween is still a few weeks away but this week I have a spooky treat for you from Laurence King publishers. Following her 2016 pop-up book, Midnight Creatures, paper engineer Helen Friel is back with Midnight Monsters. Subtitled “A Pop-up Shadow Search,” Midnight Monsters is a pop-up book with shadowy beings hidden within its pages. Grab some friends, a torch, perhaps a van and let’s see if we can catch ourselves an old fairground caretaker.
What is Midnight Monsters?
It’s a pop-up book with a difference. Each page has a spooky setting such as “The Wild Woods,” “Creepy Caves,” or, my favorite, “Haunted Castle.” Each page has a large and intricate 3D backdrop, with a 2D foreground on which are silhouetted several ghosts or beasties that might reasonably live in the area described. These include standard fairytale fare such as werewolf, goblin, or vampire and others that are a little more unusual; Dingonek, Grootslang. and Krampus. Each monster has a short paragraph of descriptive text that gives a little of their mythological history
There are five double pages altogether with each page having 4 or 5 creatures, giving between 20-25 monsters to find.
Why read Midnight Monsters?
To be honest, Midnight Monsters is not a book for when you want something to read. It’s a work of art, to be looked at and savored. You’ll want this book for its heady heights of cardboard engineering. This is a luxury item and as such its absolutely gorgeous.
The paper constructions are multilayered and the way the creatures are hidden within its leaves is ingenious. Paper has rarely looked this good.
The book is particularly effective in the dark, throwing up a shadow onto a wall via some bright-light. You can even move your torch from side to side or up and down for some entertaining wobbly effects. Midnight Monsters is a great book for Halloween; it should spark off some spooky stories. The book is a brilliant jumping off point for researching the tales and legends that belong to its creepy denizens. I can see this book becoming part of family legend too, like a favorite Christmas decoration. Come late October, out comes Midnight Monsters and we each recall and find our favorite beastie and maybe tell a story or two about old man Smithers.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to write this review.