I picked up 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: A Pop-Up Book yesterday after being poleaxed by it in a bookstore window. Paper engineer Sam Ita has created a magnificent, giggle-inducing, gorgeous adaptation of the classic Jules Verne tale, retelling the story with a series of gigantic, page-bursting pop-up effects that push the limits of paper technology. The story is retold using charming Tin Tin-esque comics-panels, and there's just enough verbiage there to glue together the vast and hypnotic paper-effects.
At 8 months, my daughter Poesy has just started to turn pages on books, and she was completely mesmerised by this one, slowly turning the page, then closing it, then opening it again, visibly delighted by the clever ways that the paper unfolded — and unfolded — and unfolded. Each scene has lots of little easter eggs and secondary scenes in it too, little grace notes that turn this from a merely great book to a world-class piece of paper-fetish.