Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Dragon & the Knight: A Pop-up Misadventure by Robert Sabuda

The Dragon & the Knight: A Pop-up Misadventure by Robert Sabuda was released this week. Don't bother to read what I have to say, just go buy it now. That's what I do whenever I see a new book released by either Sabuda or his partner Matthew Reinhart (whose proposed Sleeping Beauty has been MIA for a few years now, but oh well).

In other words, Sabuda and Reinhart are autobuys for me. I love pop-up books and they are two masters in the field. I preordered The Dragon & the Knight: A Pop-up Misadventure much earlier this year and didn't even really look at the vague description available then. Didn't much care. Just knew I wanted it. So when the book arrived on my doorstep this week, imagine my surprise to see that it actually belonged on SurLaLune when I looked at its pages.

Book description:

All of your favorite fairy tale characters come together in this original pop-up masterpiece, from expert craftsman Robert Sabuda.

In this brand-new pop-up adventure, a Dragon and a Knight race through a fairy tale treasury, visiting the worlds of all of your favorite stories—from Rapunzel to Aladdin, to Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs, and more! With characters who literally pop right off the pages, this tour de force will have readers young and old speeding through the book to see just how this chase will end!

Robert Sabuda has created a unique pop-up experience, bringing readers into a story via a 3-D journey. It’s a true masterpiece from the master!

I don't even remember fairy tales being mentioned in the description when I ordered it. Several are found within, but not really to enjoy for reading, but for viewing. Essentially, a dragon and knight race through the fairy tale book with unexpected and increasingly messy results that mean fun for us the reader/viewer. And while the pop-ups in his books are always enjoyable for all ages, this book actually has very little readable text, so it reads well with little ones, too, unlike some of the other pop-up fairy tale offerings available. The pop-ups are surprising but there is an extra twist ending, too, which will delight readers. And make you wonder about your assumptions at times.

Since this is technically a fractured fairy tales book, a knowledge of fairy tales will help for young readers but even a basic familiarity with Disney versions of the tales will suffice. And it's fun to have Aladdin represented in a book like this, too, where it seldom is. Its illustration is most reminiscent of Disney, actually as you can see in the image I am sharing here.

There are also spreads for Rapunzel and Snow White, not pictured here, which were two of my favorites as well as the final pages which cannot be revealed here to avoid ruining the twist ending.

Overall, a great gift book for the holidays for young or old. Young children will enjoy but it's fragile so they will need supervision. It's also stunning how low priced the book is for the level of paper engineering required to produce it. I am trying to decide who on my holiday and birthday lists will enjoy it most.

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