December 10, 2017


I'm so glad I saw Kelli Anderson's This Book Is a Planetarium: And Other Extraordinary Pop-Up Contraptions when I did! I'm adding it to my list of best books of the year (coming soon!) because it's one of the most creative books I've ever had the pleasuring of reading and experiencing.

Readers open this book to find different experiences on each spread, from an infinite calendar to a speaker to a musical instrument that needs strumming. Each experience shows not only how these feats of engineering work, but also how paper can make a book, well, more than just a "book." The engineering of this book takes the idea of "pop-up" to a whole new level. Each spread is interactive and either provides or encourages the use of extra tools to participate with the experience. For example, readers need to bring a cell phone in order to light up the planetarium, which requires that users turn on the flashlight on their phones and place it underneath the pop-up in order to cast constellations onto the ceiling. Or the instrument page, which provides a guitar pick for readers to pick up and strum the strings that have been sewn into the book like a guitar. This book walks the finest of lines between being a book to read and an event to experience.

This Book Is a Planetarium: And Other Extraordinary Pop-Up Contraptions published from Chronicle Books in October. It's quite the perfect holiday gift!

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