Popville: popup book cleverly and delightfully illustrates the growth of a town

By Cory Doctorow


Popville is a sweet, slender little pop-up book that illustrates the growth of a town from a single farmhouse to a thriving city in a series of stylized scenes that build, one upon the next, through a window cut out of the center of the page, so that each development literally overlays the ones beneath. My toddler has fallen in love with the book and its additive scenes, and the grownups I've shown it to finds it equally fascinating. The cutaway in the book's center is a genuinely clever bit of business that creates a sense of time's passage, and the climax (with a pair of foldouts on the sides of the pages) is filled with little gracenotes, like the bits of string that form the electric cables.

Click through below for some pix of my copy in action.

Popville

Published 9:20 am Tue, Aug 3, 2010

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About the Author

I write books. My latest are: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a nonfiction book about the arts and the Internet called Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

11 Responses to “Popville: popup book cleverly and delightfully illustrates the growth of a town”

  1. dme3ha says:

    beautiful. my 3 yrs-old son would go crazy all over it…with his hotwheels, wrecking every bit of it. love it..

  2. Brainspore says:

    my 3 yrs-old son would go crazy all over it…with his hotwheels, wrecking every bit of it.

    That just adds to the realism! How many nice cities have been ruined by automobile traffic?

  3. jeligula says:

    There needs to be an expansion pack wherein the County Commissioners claim Eminent Domain on the central farm, take it from the owners for pennies on the dollar and turn it into a strip mall.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was just going to say, those older buildings would be totally demolished to make way for something new and ugly in most municipalities…

  4. Atvaark says:

    Take the book outside on a sunny day, grab a magnifying glass, and you’re ready to simulate Sim City 2K’s microwave plant beam alignment disaster!

  5. ncarp says:

    And we owe it all to Mike Mulligan whose steam shovel is now entombed beneath the town hall…

  6. Ruadhan says:

    This reminds me of Crumb’s “Short History of America”.

    http://www.crumbproducts.com/files/A-SHORT-HISTORY-OF-AMERICA-.jpg

  7. dr says:

    Is it available yet for the Kindle?

  8. b3rt says:

    I can’t wait till I take my friends iguana and re-inact Godzilla.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ncarp: Of course the Virginia Lee burton book that I’m reminded of is The Little House

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