Mummy? pop up book by Maurice Sendak
This book is head and shoulders about all the other pop up books I have (and there are a few). Firstly because it’s the only one to feature Sendak’s art, which is gorgeous as always, and secondly because the paper engineering has to be seen to be believed.
The story centers on a boy looking for his mummy who enters the house of Dr Frankenstein. As he moves through each room he encounters a different character from classic horror stories: The Vampire, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy, The Werewolf and, finally, finds his ‘mummy’ in the Bride of Frankenstein.
At each monster he enquires, ‘Mummy?’, before proceeding to disable them in different ways, seemingly indifferent to their attempts to frighten him. This is where the ingenious paper engineering comes in, the figures don’t merely pop up, they animate at the same time as each page is opened. The Werewolf actually transforms as he extends out of the book, Frankenstein’s monster is one of the biggest pop ups I’ve seen and the boy deals with his assailants happen as you open a flap on the right side of each page.
Again Sendak sends a clear message to the children who read his books: you don’t need to be afraid of these monsters, they are easy to trick or get rid of. I don’t want to spoil it ALL for you by telling you how he does it but it all ends well and there is so much detail in each page that it bares re-reading. The whole scenario was dreamt up by Arthur Yorinks, paper engineered by Matthew Reinhart and released by Scholastic in 2006 where it won several awards including the New York Times‘ Best Illustrated book award. See the gallery below for some shots, with not too many spoilers.