The Odyssey: A Pop-Up Book

Overview

Experience literature's greatest epic as never before! This phenomenal new graphic novel retelling of Homer's classic epic is the creation of multitalented artist Sam Ita, author of the bestselling pop-up versions of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Moby-Dick; and Frankenstein. Ita's amazing art and papercraft transport readers right to the heart of Odysseus's decade-long adventure, from a gatefold that brings you inside the mythical Trojan Horse to the movable oars on Odysseus's boat and a pull-tab in the Circe ...
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Overview

Experience literature's greatest epic as never before! This phenomenal new graphic novel retelling of Homer's classic epic is the creation of multitalented artist Sam Ita, author of the bestselling pop-up versions of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Moby-Dick; and Frankenstein. Ita's amazing art and papercraft transport readers right to the heart of Odysseus's decade-long adventure, from a gatefold that brings you inside the mythical Trojan Horse to the movable oars on Odysseus's boat and a pull-tab in the Circe sequence that magically transforms a man into a pig.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his latest pop-up interpretation of a work of classic literature, Ita brings comic book–style storytelling, nimble pop-up engineering, and a droll modern sensibility to Odysseus’s epic journey. Interactive components re-enact key moments: a sharpened stick hurls into Polyphemus’s eye (his speech bubble flips from “zzzzz” to “ouch!”), and in another spread, Odysseus’s ship (with oars that row) is flanked by gatefolds that reveal parrotlike sirens on the left and the serpentine Scylla on the right. The contemporary dialogue creates many humorous moments: meeting his final challenge (explaining his 20-year absence to Penelope), Odysseus grovels, “Well, sweetheart, it’s an awfully long story.” Ita’s retelling pays tribute to Homer’s tale, while creating a wholly original distillation. Agent: Adams Literary. Ages 8–up. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Eleanor Heldrich
This oversize (9" by 11" by 1 ?") book presents the classic story of the return of Odysseus after the fall of Troy as a graphic pop-up novel, accomplished in five double-page spreads that include flaps, pull-tabs, pop-ups with pull-tabs, and a spread with two large pages opening outward into four side-by-side pages with both pull tabs and pop-ups. The page illustrating the city of Troy on fire includes a pop-up of the Trojan horse with a pull-tab on one side to reveal people hidden inside. Another spread, opening out to 11" by 36", enables four pages to be open at the same time. One of the outer pages has a pop-up of a man wrestling a large sheep on the left side; and a pull-tab that, when pulled, makes a man turn into a large pig. One movable feature is worked by pulling down a comic book row which, in turn pulls down a woman in green robes who pulls a string that opens a purple curtain to reveal more of the story. As a whole, the book is more comic book than classic tale. Reviewer: Eleanor Heldrich
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—Ita combines graphic-novel-style storytelling with dazzling pop-up effects to create a gripping and accessible version of this classic tale. From the Trojan Horse to Odysseus's victorious homecoming, well-known moments of this arduous journey are presented on dynamic spreads that often fold out (or down) to reveal additional pages equally jam-packed with action and vivid images. The adventures are succinctly conveyed through comic-book panels punctuated by paper-engineering wonders that propel the plot forward while providing visual pizzazz. For example, readers unveil the workings of Odysseus's plan to escape from Polyphemus by pulling a tab (and watching a sharpened log poke the Cyclops in the eye—"Ouch" is right) and deploying a pop-up sheep (the hero is concealed beneath). Another cleverly designed pull tab transforms a man into a pig at Circe's command. A dramatic foldout spread depicts Odysseus's ship at sea (the three-dimensional vessel has movable oars) besieged by frightening feathered Sirens on one side and a wrathful serpent-headed Scylla on the other. Though the action is fittingly epic and unfolds with much gore and glory, Ita updates the tale with informal, often humorous dialogue and well-timed comic moments (asked where he's been for the last 20 years, the hero tells Penelope, "Well, sweetheart, it's an awfully long story"). All in all, a well-executed and audience-grabbing rendition.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
A highlight-reel version of Odysseus' journey home, framed as a graphic novel and plastered with fantastically dramatic pop-ups and other special effects. Opening with Penelope working on a tapestry that transforms into an entirely different scene with the drop of a step-flap, the tale plunges on into the many escapes of Odysseus and his crew: from Polyphemus, from Circe, the Sirens and (after visiting the land of the dead) from Scylla and Charybdis. Then it's on to Ithaca for a slaughter of suitors with a bow strung with real string, peace at last after Zeus rears up to get everyone's attention with a foil thunderbolt and a final clinch between Odysseus and Penelope as their connubial bed levitates to reveal the deep tree roots beneath. Ita (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 2008) tells the tale in balloons of colloquial dialogue ("Where have you been for the last twenty years?" "Well, sweetheart, it's an awfully long story"). Well-defined sequential panels give way to larger scenes of Polyphemus getting it in the eye with a sharpened log, of a ship with oars that row frantically with pulls of a tab, of Circe turning a man into a pig in a particularly masterful bit of paper engineering and other climactic moments. As transitions range from quick to nonexistent and the order in which gatefolds should be lifted isn't always evident, some familiarity with the original is recommended--but even newbies will be riveted by this nonstop, high-energy retelling. Homer himself would be agog. (Pop-up classic. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402758676
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Pages: 8
  • Sales rank: 381,534
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Ita studied graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. He apprenticed for five years with Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart on bestselling pop-up titles including America the Beautiful and Encyclopedia Prehistorica, and on Christmas cards for the Museum of Modern Art. His many creations for Sterling include Christmas Tree In-a-Box and Van Gogh's Sunflowers In-a-Box. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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