ABC3D: the best pop-up book in the world


I've just acquired the single most beautiful book I've ever owned.

It's called ABC3D, and it is an unbelievably witty and well-made pop-up ABC book, produced by Marion Bataille. It's one of those books that could only be a book -- there's no way this could be an ebook or a movie (though the little video above gives you an idea of the thing, it's a poor substitute) or an audiobook or whatever. This is the apotheosis of book, something you have to put between covers to really, really appreciate.

You can see the transitions in the video above. I'm especially fond of the sheet of tracing paper that turn O and P into Q and R; of the tension-bridge U, the mirror page that turns a V into a W, and the hypnotic S.

At $20, this is a serious steal. I don't care if you've got a baby or not -- if you love books as artifacts, you will love this book. Link

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  1. In fact, this is more one of those ‘adult’ toys. There’s no way that a toddler (the normal audience for an ABC book) wouldn’t rip the hell out of that if she got a chance. So unless you only have story time with the kid in a straitjacket, I’d just keep that one for the grown-ups.

    And frankly, it is beautiful enough to be an objet d’art for the over-5 set…

  2. Robert Sabuda has also done “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” as well as a number of beautiful Christmas themed books. Check them out. They are all amazing.

  3. Very nice, my entire family will love that one.

    Have you ever seen “Blue 2” ? That’s a favorite of ours. (and it’s only about $14 on amazon)

  4. love love love pop-ups. The only thing better than playing with one is making one.
    And nifty books, even abcedaria can be for an audience older than toddlers. But many 4 and 5 year olds can be taught not to rip things apart.

  5. What I love, is when I go the the amazon link, there is a box saying “Please tell the publisher: I want to see this book on Kindle.” A pop-up ebook? Huh.

  6. Can I put my vote in for Mommy? Popups plus Maurice Sendak (author of Where The Wild Things Are)! Again, a popup book my two-year-old has yet to actually see…

  7. I’ll be buying the book for my 6 year old(that’s actually a lie, it’s all for me) and in the meantime my 2 year old was loving the video. Best part is, he can’t rip it!

  8. I bet many toddlers would be excited by that book if a parent shares it with them. What a great way to introduce letters with fun and clever art. But I bet Cory totally usurped it from his daughter ;)

    If I would have had that book when I was 3 or 4, I would have seriously believed that these were the actual letters of the alphabet; as if I had been entrusted with the real, original set and all other representations of letters were borrowed copies… My mind was all the fun I needed back then.

  9. This is great. In fact, I bought 4 copies of it on my way home from work. Should make for some nice gifts!

    It was funny – the bookstore was wondering why so many people were buying this title today. I’d suggest picking up a copy while you can.

  10. As previously mentioned, its flimsy enough to not survive the average toddler looking through it.

    Of course it also has the serious drawback of being A-Z instead of A-Ö, in the process missing out on the wonders of ÁÐÉÍÓÚÝÞÆÖ.

  11. Nope, can’t see the appeal for a kid, beyond its value as a piece of art. There’s no semantic context for any of the letters, in relating them to sounds, words or images. They’re just a clever – and rather confusing – set of abstract shapes.

  12. Just reminds me of my current favourite TV series — “Pushing Daisies” One of the leads is a connoisseur of pop-up books (and knitting)

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