I have this little sister, Lola. She is small and very funny. Sometimes Mom and Dad ask me to. . . Thus begins each book (and episode) of Charlie and Lola, entertaining siblings with active imaginations, and it's a good thing, too, as little Lola has a strong will and a picky appetite. Clever (and extremely patient) Charlie comes up with all sorts of ideas to get her to eat in Charlie and Lola's I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, the hilarious pop-up version of Lauren Child's Kate Greenaway Medal-winning book. Tomatoes aren't the only things Lola refuses to eat, and in one spread her eyes roll around in her head as the uneaten items on her plate change. More nixed items show up on pull-down menus on the adjacent page. There are lots of flaps to tug this way and that as readers play with Lola's food. Try this with your own discriminating eater.
Peek in My Pocket is another great book for tiny ones. With paper-engineering by David A. Carter (who also created this year's 600 Black Spots, the latest in his design museum-worthy series) and simple text by Sarah Weeks, young readers are introduced to shapes, colors and textures presented by well-dressed animals.
In The Pompeii Pop-up subtle, but effective pop-ups by David Hawcock (The Ancient Egypt Pop-up Book) tell the story of the famous Roman city. Written by textbook author Peter Riley with Dr. Thorston Opper, curator of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum, the book covers more than what happened on that August day in AD 79. The authors also present a detailed view of life in the ancient world, explaining currency, religion, water management and home life. Pop-ups include a sailing vessel, a Roman bath and an erupting Mount Vesuvius; there is also a little booklet on Herculaneum and a wearable gladiator mask.
The classics are ripe for pop-up interpretation and Sam Ita jumps in with Moby-Dick, A Pop-up Book. Spectacular spreads in this graphic novel meets pop-up put the reader into Herman Melville's story: watching the Pequod sail out of harbor and later standing among the rowdy sailors on deck. For pure spectacle, though, nothing matches the moment when Capt. Ahab and his crew meet the legendary white whale. Ita sticks with water for the next book in this series, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, coming next spring.