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Posted April 18, 2001
Children really adore pop-up books, especially those with little windows to open, wheels to turn to change the image, and levers to push and pull. The maximum fascination seems to come from ages 2-4, and this book is a cornucopia of pop-up fun for such a child. If your children are like mine, they will spend many hours happily interacting with the materials in this book. Each time, they will want to manipulate each item at least once! The story is the weak part of this book. I graded the book down to reflect this weakness, although I thought the book's design and use of pop-ups are terrific. To put all of those pop-ups together, the scenes had to change a lot. The book opens (pun intended) with Hilda Hippo reading her letter from Lowly Worm to find that she's been invited to his birthday party. To go to the party, she takes a bus to the train station. On the train, she has a fine meal. The train arrives at the dock where she boards an ocean liner. After she debarks, she drives in a Hippomobile at an airport. There, she gets a ride in Rudolf von Flugel's private plane. The last page describes what happens when Rudolf and she arrive at the party. The travel process doesn't make much sense, so you'll just have to encourage your child to laugh at the silliness and enjoy it. The story only progresses on pages 1, 11, and 12. Here's how the book is designed. Each time you open a page, you are looking at a giant pop-up scene that fills half the area (and blocks out the back, which you cannot see). The pop-ups are all over the page, so there are many different items. In addition, windows and other items to manipulate are everywhere, with some on the pop-ups and some not. After you have read all of the pop-ups facing one way, you turn the book upside down (from your original perspective) and read it going the other way. In the end, Lowly Worm says, 'Why, this is the best birthday ever.' I suspect that you and your child will be saying that this is the best pop-up book ever. Such a large and complicated pop-up book is undoubtedly going to get heavy use. Some parts will be torn and rendered unusable. You should plan to reinforce any parts you see starting to wear as soon as that happens. These are cardboard items, so Super Glue and transparent tape work well. If you think your child may want to have a fairly pristine copy to treasure for future generations, you could buy more than one and store one of them away for when your child is physically easier on books. If your child likes this book, I also suggest getting other interactive books for your child. My four children all went through many copies of Pat the Bunny as their starting point for 'touch and see' books. Another good activity to use with your child is to play plenty of peek-a-boo starting before age one. Pop-up books are all about peek-a-boo, and allow you to continue the wonderful fun! Have a ball! Donald Mitchell, co-author of the Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.