/ Cory Doctorow / 11 am Mon, Sep 19 2016
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  • Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" - the pop-up book edition

    Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" - the pop-up book edition

    Pop-up book veterans David Pelham and Christopher Wormell have collaborated on a just-in-time-for-ween edition of Edgar Allen Poe's magnificent torch, 1845's The Raven.

    Pelham and Wormell have serious pop-up/illustrated book chops (Pelham was on the 3D Human Body team, while Wormell's back catalog is more than 100 books deep). The seven pop-up effects they've prepared for this edition are extremely beautiful, and lend themselves to being "animated" by the reader -- for example, you can flap the Raven's wings in time with the "Nevermore's" or have Edgar throw wide his chamber's door at the precise moment you say, "here I opened wide the door."

    Make no mistake: as beautiful a book as this is, you must read it aloud. I've enjoyed many readings of Poe (Christopher Walken, James Earl Jones, Christopher Lee, and, of course, Vincent Price), and I remember feeling an intense sense of recognition when I read Neil Gaiman's 2009 essay exhorting you to read Poe aloud at all times -- a thrill I felt when I read Gaiman's words again in his new essay collection.

    Poe's words are hidden on each page, nestled in fold-up/fold-down tabs that you have to open after each reveal, and as I read this to my 8-year-old daughter Poesy (it's not a coincidence that we call her "Poe" for short -- EA Poe is one of her namesakes), the double-reveal of the pop-up (not a dud among them) and the prose made for an extra bit of drama.

    If you're gearing up for Hallowe'en (and if you aren't, what are you waiting for?) and want to get your kids in the spirit of things, this is a perfect little helper -- just the visual aid that Poe's words need to come to life, rendered in a rich, dark palette and engineered with real care and love.

    The Raven [Edgar Allan Poe, Christopher Wormell and David Pelham/Harry N Abrams]

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