Dragons and Monsters Pop-Up (Encyclopedia Mythologica Series)


In a breathtaking grand finale, the world’s mythical pop-up masters unleash monsters and dragons that have prowled countrysides and imaginations for centuries.

Lurking behind this intriguing cover, a Kraken grapples with a ship on the high seas; dragons from Eastern and Western traditions spring to life; and a Medusa, snake-hair twisting and hissing, turns the reader to stone. Deeper inside, an ancient, decrepit vampire rises from his coffin; a lycanthrope is caught in the light...

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In a breathtaking grand finale, the world’s mythical pop-up masters unleash monsters and dragons that have prowled countrysides and imaginations for centuries.

Lurking behind this intriguing cover, a Kraken grapples with a ship on the high seas; dragons from Eastern and Western traditions spring to life; and a Medusa, snake-hair twisting and hissing, turns the reader to stone. Deeper inside, an ancient, decrepit vampire rises from his coffin; a lycanthrope is caught in the light of the full moon and transforms; and Bigfoot hides behind a tree, ducking his human pursuer. Master paper engineers Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda unfold the legends and lore of cultures around the world to reveal these stunning creatures and many more. Pop-up fans and fantasy lovers will be equally enthralled by the dynamic creatures depicted in this astonishing volume, the climax of the Encyclopedia Mythologica trilogy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The pop-up book veterans continue to push the envelope in this addition to the Encyclopedia Mythologica series, with infamous figures like Medusa (who seems to roar as her serpentine locks unfurl) joining more general creatures such as dragons, sea monsters, and vampires. Minibooks and sidebars profile less recognizable monsters—the golem, sharklike "taniwha," and "wendigo," known to Algonquian tribes. Standout scenes include a Chinese dragon with an unfolding crepe paper body and a vampire whose coffin lid lifts as he awakens. Once again, Reinhart and Sabuda have created an offering distinguished by clever details, superb execution, and a sense of wonder. Ages 5–up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up—In this pop-up stunner, Reinhart and Sabuda take on "ultimate villains" famed for "hungrily prowling the landscapes of yore, hoarding treasure and frightening the helpless." Six spectacular paper-engineered spreads introduce petrifying denizens of the classical Greco-Roman world (the Minotaur and Cerberus among others), "Terrible Serpents of the West" (famed wyverns and worms), majestic dragons of the Far East, dangerous deep-sea dwellers, vampires and their night-stalking compatriots, and ever-elusive "Modern-Age Monsters" that continue to "evade the prying scopes and sensors of scientific analysis" (the chupacabra, Sasquatch, etc.). Each chapter features a dramatic 3-D centerpéiece (Medusa brandishing sharp fangs and snarling viper locks; an elegant dragon with a spiraling, ruby-red, crepe-paper body; or a clasped-by-kraken sailing ship) surrounded by several foldout booklets presenting more information and pop-up effects. From the "fire-belching Chimera" to the "Himalayan Hulk" (the yeti), fearsome fiends from many different countries and cultures are highlighted, along with enticing tidbits from myths and legends that will encourage youngsters to explore further. In addition to showing readers that fear-invokers are as old as civilization itself, the well-written text makes interesting connections between monsters and aspects of modern-day life and culture, such as the ancient role of the dragon and tiger in kung fu, or the French water-spitting dragon that inspired architectural gargoyles. Another winner in a delightful series that combines solid content, handsome artwork, and a wow-inspiring presentation.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
A spectacular climax to the authors' Encyclopedia Mythologica, offering a world-spanning gallery of ancient and modern monsters portrayed in thrilling 3-D. From the first opening, in which Medusa's reptilian coiffure and toothy, masklike visage explode from the page, to the savagely grimacing yeti (a.k.a. "Himalayan Hulk") rearing massively up in the finale, this cast of creatures will jolt even the most jaded monsterphiles. Using bright-red crepe paper for the Chinese dragon and a mottled, vibrant color scheme overall, Reinhart and Sabuda concoct some of the most complicated and ingenious pop-ups ever. There are six big headliners and, in two or three inset booklets per spread, smaller but no less melodramatic figures. These include a malign Sphinx that menaces Orpheus then transforms into Giza's inscrutable stone monument, a dark-skinned George of Cappadocia spearing a dragon in a scene done in stained-glass-window style, a creepy zombie emerging from a grave and other nightmare fodder, from the Australian Bunyip to an Algonquian "Leech of Doom." Appropriately red-blooded anecdotes and commentary ("Monsters dominate the world's legends, hungrily prowling the landscapes of yore") beneath lurid headers supply the cultural and historical background. Fragile, as ever from these two artists (open and close slowly for best results), but another tour de force of paper engineering. (Pop-up folklore. 7-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763631734
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Series: Encyclopedia Mythologica Series
  • Pages: 12
  • Sales rank: 149,077
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.72 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 2.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Reinhart

Matthew Reinhart is the co-creator of the Encyclopedia Prehistorica and Encyclopedia Mythologica series. He has also created many other award-winning pop-up books, including Mommy? by Maurice Sendak and Arthur Yorinks and Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy. He lives in New York City.

Robert Sabuda is the co-creator of the Encyclopedia Prehistorica and Encyclopedia Mythologica books. He is also the creator of many other best-selling pop-up books, including America the Beautiful, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He lives in New York City.


Matthew Reinhart, in his own words:

I was born to Gary and Judith Reinhart in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in September of 1971. My dad soon joined the Navy as a jet fighter pilot, so we moved around a lot when I was young. Florida, Texas, Illinois, California, Virginia, South Carolina -- all over! Dad wanted to be more than a pilot (which was pretty amazing itself) so he went to dental school and studied to be an oral surgeon. Mom and I followed along, and soon we were joined by my little sister, Erin. Often times, Dad's training took him to places we couldn't always follow (even on aircraft carriers), so Mom took care of us. My childhood was filled with good times -- I don't think it could have been much better. Actually, I've never really felt like it ever ended!

Art was always a tremendously huge part of my life. Drawing pictures and making crafts were my favorite activities in school and out. I drew whenever and where ever I could! My school notebooks often had more drawings than notes. I loved animals (and still do) so I drew them everywhere. Dinosaurs, like I think about every kid on the planet, were my favorite and I could rattle off the name of every single one before I could add or subtract. As I got older, I was captivated by the movie Star Wars. The richness of the universe George Lucas created on the screen fueled my young imagination. Creatures, monsters, spaceships, and action heroes filled my many sketchbooks growing up.

Like most high school graduates, I wasn't completely focused on a career. I didn't know there were cool jobs like paper engineer (that's a pop-up designer, in case you didn't know) or that I could make a living being a children's book illustrator. Like most doctors' children, I was convinced to study biology to prepare for medical school. College was great, but I wasn't really happy. Medicine was not my calling. I'd always taken art classes along with my biology courses, so I had built up a bit of a portfolio. I moved to New York after college, and met Robert Sabuda, paper engineer extraordinaire, doing some volunteer work. His book, Christmas Alphabet had just come out, and he told me he had studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I was inspired -- so, with the blessing and support of my understanding parents, I enrolled as an industrial design (specifically toy design) student the following year.

Pratt was fantastic, though my initial dreams of being a toy designer soon transformed into paper engineer with the help of Mr. Sabuda. I really got into pop-ups after working with Robert on books like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, ABC Disney and Movable Mother Goose. My first big break in the pop-up world was The Pop Up Book Of Phobias, which was my first solo paper engineered book. Since then, I've gradually began to illustrate and paper engineer my own titles or occasionally co-author with Robert. So here I am!

Biography courtesy of the author's official web site.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Sabuda:

"My first job at the tender age of 16 was at a frozen yogurt shop called This Can't Be Yogurt, or TCBY. Wow, did I get chubby working there! We ate so much of the yogurt (which at the time wasn't fat-or-sugar-free) and the toppings like candy and hot fudge, too. It was a fun first job, though I remember the owner of the store was kind of rough on us and would sit in his car and watch us from the parking lot for hours.

"I am a devoted Transformers fan from the very beginning, back in 1984. Until all are one (only die-hard Trans-fans know what that means!), I must have hundreds if not a thousand different Autobots and Decepticons that I've collected over the years, from the original ‘80s Transformers to Beast Wars: Transformers to the current series -- which is awesome, by the way -- Transformers: Cybertron. They were actually one of the main reasons why I wanted to become a toy designer when I was younger, and I almost got a job at Hasbro working on them in the late ‘90s. Thank goodness I didn't take it! The way I figure it, pop-ups are kind of like paper Transformers. I'd love to do a Transformers pop-up book one day. You listening, Hasbro?"

"As a kid, I hated sweaters. I used to dread getting sweaters at Christmas time -- since I would have to wear it for whichever relative had given it to me. I thought they were too ‘stitchy,' or itchy. My skin must have been super sensitive back then. Thankfully, I've gotten over it."

"I am an exercise freak -- my day is not complete without an early morning trip to the gym. I run, lift weights, jump rope, bike ride and pretty much anything else to get my blood pumping!"

"I don't like tomatoes unless they've been chopped into unrecognizable pieces."

"I do like jumbo shrimp, double tall soy mochas from Starbucks, and Krispy Kreme glazed crème-filled doughnuts -- a whole lot."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1971
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    1. Education:
      B.S. in Biological Sciences, Clemson University, 1994; Graduate Degree in Industrial Design, Pratt Institute, 1998
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2013

    My nephew got this book for Christmas (he'd just turned 6 years

    My nephew got this book for Christmas (he'd just turned 6 years old). He LOVES this book. The pop-up monsters immediately caught his attention and made him love it, and now months later he still pulls this book out time and again to show me the monsters and tell me about a new one that he's read about or saw on tv in some show. Today he was showing me the little paragraph about the Mothman and wanted to know more and had me googling it for him. The simple brevity of the writing is perfect for his age, the pictures really pull him in, and best of all, it encourages him to want to know more about them! He's totally hooked on mythology now. Medusa is his favorite! He's a pretty good reader. He's now 6.5 years old and has started reading Goosebumps stories (not too fast, but he's reading them on his own). I'm currently looking for a bigger book of Greek mythology (specifically monsters/creatures) for him. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

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