The Little Mermaid

( 2 )

Overview

A beloved under-the-sea tale is now a pop-up masterpiece, from expert craftsman Robert Sabuda.

Come along on a magical journey under the sea in this stunning pop-up adaptation of the beloved fairy tale “The Little Mermaid,” expertly crafted by renowned paper engineer Robert Sabuda. Amazing three-dimensional paper structures pop off each page, bringing this classic underwater adventure to life. This visually stunning tale of adventure, true love, and sacrifice is sure to become a...

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Overview

A beloved under-the-sea tale is now a pop-up masterpiece, from expert craftsman Robert Sabuda.

Come along on a magical journey under the sea in this stunning pop-up adaptation of the beloved fairy tale “The Little Mermaid,” expertly crafted by renowned paper engineer Robert Sabuda. Amazing three-dimensional paper structures pop off each page, bringing this classic underwater adventure to life. This visually stunning tale of adventure, true love, and sacrifice is sure to become a favorite in any story-lover’s library.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
Robert Sabuda's superb pop-up pages in The Little Mermaid look like set designs for a drama in two kingdoms: one below the waves and the other above…Sabuda's enthusiasm and ingenuity in illustrating the story are daunting.
Publishers Weekly
★ 09/02/2013
Sabuda continues his series of pop-up adaptations of classic stories (including Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan) with a gorgeously rendered version of this Andersen tale, which hews to the original source material—don’t look for Flounder or for a terribly happy ending. Like the previous books, there’s a stained-glass quality to the illustrations and pop-ups, which are characteristically intricate and distinguished by a remarkable sense of movement: the prince’s ship extends out toward readers in one scene, storm clouds gathering behind it, while in one of the book’s many mini-booklets, the mermaids move back and forth as they beg her to return to the water rather than risk her life. Ages 6–up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
At nearly thirty dollars, this book may seem too expensive an item for your youngster. You may feel the urge to find something less costly. Resist. Sabuda's take on this classic tale is a masterpiece of visual splendor. Intricately detailed pop-ups stand a good twelve to eighteen inches high off the page. Each spread includes not only one main pop up scene but also smaller subsections with additional pop-up features. Be prepared to be amazed at the number of pop-up elements and the details that they reveal. Read this book along with a child who may be overly eager to go page to page, or entrust it to the care of a responsible solo reader who will not rush in closing each spread. The colors are glorious; the characters are expressive. This latest addition to Sabuda's series of pop-up classics is a feast for the eyes and the imagination; other titles include Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Creative children will be inspired to set about making their own pop-up scenes, and they will rejoice to find some direction on Sabuda's web site (www.robertsabuda.com). This fantastic rendition of a well-known tale is not to be missed. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
★ 12/01/2013
Gr 1–4—Illustrations and pop-ups that sparkle with shimmering light and graceful motion characterize the latest title adapted by a master bookmaker. Much abridged and gently updated, the text closely follows the original, often echoing Andersen's phrasings and similes while streamlining events to create an eloquent yet accessible retelling. The little mermaid's heartfelt longing for her human prince, her quiet courage, and her selfless sacrifice at story's end are poignantly depicted in both words and images. Outlined with heavy black lines that lend a stained-glass effect, the artwork is spectacular. Glowing green and coral hues emblazon a multitiered sculpture of the sea king's realm festooned with plants that seem to tremble in an invisible current. The prince's storm-tossed ship is presented with the bow jabbing out toward readers, 3-D masts and ropes askew, and roiling blue-black ocean waves curling all around; the sea witch's abode, "built from the bones of shipwrecked sailors," towers tall and menacing. The stately pacing of narrative and artwork allows children to linger over the pages and explore the depths of the tale's emotional complexity.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-25
In his latest stunner, Sabuda pairs a version of the tale that is less abridged than most retellings to paper-engineered effects that, as usual, raise the bar of the physically possible. His trademark set-piece centerpieces start with the sea king's coral castle—rearing up more than 14 inches in an intricately interwoven construct—and end with a high-ceilinged, multilayer wedding stage. Around these, the tale plays out largely on side flaps and inset booklets that themselves feature multiple layers and many small but no less brilliantly designed pop-ups. In scenes both above and below the ocean surface, rich colors blend and flow in tonal sweeps that echo the artist's linework for elegance as well as the courageous mermaid's intense inner emotions. Carrying the tale up to her hard-earned transformation to a spirit of the air, Sabuda has preserved the original's events and much of its imagery in his rendition while dispensing with Andersen's wordier flights of description and, thankfully, the heavily moralistic concluding passage. As with all of Sabuda's pop-up creations, the spreads should be teased open rather than pulled to minimize the chance of tearing. The rewards are well worth taking such care. A magnificent counter to the Disney pap. (Pop-up/fairy tale. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416960805
  • Publisher: Little Simon
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 12
  • Sales rank: 92,054
  • Age range: 6 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Sabuda

Robert Sabuda is one of the most innovative and inventive children's book creators and is known worldwide for his amazing pop-up paper engineering. His books include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, The Winter's Tale, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, to name but afew, have garnered numerous awards and have made the New York Times bestseller lists on many occasions. He lives in New York City.

Robert Sabuda is one of the most innovative and inventive children's book creators and is known worldwide for his amazing pop-up paper engineering. His books include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, The Winter's Tale, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, to name but afew, have garnered numerous awards and have made the New York Times bestseller lists on many occasions. He lives in New York City.

Biography

Pop-up books are true oddities of children's publishing. They are charmingly quaint and old-fashioned, yet eternally popular. They've been around for ages, but precious few creative souls set out to become pop-up artists. This, however, is not the case with Robert Sabuda, who seems to have been born to make pop-up books.

Sabuda made his first step toward becoming one of the most ingenious pop-up artists in contemporary publishing as a very young child. He grew up in a household where books were held in the highest regard and reading was always encouraged. He has fond memories of being read to by his mother when he was a little boy. Sabuda's first encounter with a pop-up book occurred in a dentist office. Anxious about his appointment, young Robert's mother read a pop-up book with him to take his mind off the dentist's chair. He was instantly hooked.

Sabuda's background as a gifted artist also played a key role in his future career. As a kid, he was fortunate enough to be encouraged in his artistic pursuits by his teachers and his parents, his father being a mason and carpenter. He inherited from his dad a lifelong fascination with construction and avidly studied the pop-up books he received as gifts to find out what made them work. Imaginative and curious, he even made his own pop-ups out of discarded manila envelopes his mom brought home from her office.

This childhood hobby would prove invaluable, as an older Sabuda set out on a career in children's books. He got his start as a journeyman illustrator working with such writers as Eugene Bradley Coco (The Fiddler's Son; Wishing Well) and Jay Patrick Lewis (Earth Verses and Water Rhymes). He even worked on adaptations of Walt Whitman classics geared toward young readers.

Sabuda's first solo effort was Saint Valentine (1992), a retelling of the ancient tale of a humble Roman physician who brings about a miracle. The focal point of this charmingly simple story is Sabuda's illustrations, a series of intricate, exquisite mosaics made of marbleized and hand-painted paper that simulate the look of early Christian art. Proof of a craftsmanship rarely seen in children's books, Saint Valentine and its sequel, Tutankhamen's Gift, revealed the illustrator's uncanny talent for creating unconventional art.

In 1994, Sabuda discovered his niche with The Christmas Alphabet, a seasonal delight filled with eye-catching pop-ups and crafted with an elegance as appealing to adults as to children. The Christmas Alphabet was the first in a long line of remarkable paper-engineered wonders covering a wide range of subject matter. He would adapt famous tales (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), tackle contemporary issues (the Help the Animals series), and tell completely original stories (Winter's Tale).

Some of Sabuda's finest work has been done in collaboration with his partner and good friend Matthew Reinhart. Between them, these two pop-up geniuses have produced stunning work, including two wonderful science-oriented series, the Young Naturalist's Pop-up Handbook and the Encyclopedia Prehistorica. And although each has become increasingly involved in independent projects, they continue to influence each other in subtle and dramatic ways.

In explaining the attraction of the pop-up genre to today's technologically savvy kids, Sabuda says,. "I think [kids] are drawn to pop-up books because so much in their world today to them seems like magic, electronically," Sabuda told Barnes & Noble.com. "So, when they see one of my pop-ups books and they open it, they're amazed that it's occurring just by turning the page... that there's no electronics or bells or whistles to make that happen. I know that just from a creative part, they love seeing that magic occur."

Good To Know

As a boy, Sabuda took tap lessons at a local dance school, where he also furthered his artistic abilities by designing backdrops.

Shortly after graduating from Pratt Institute in New York City, Sabuda made ends meet by designing boxes for women's underwear.

Sabuda's first work in children's publishing was as an illustrator of coloring books, which books based on such popular movie characters as the very non-kid-friendly Rambo.

Sabuda shared some fun facts about himself in our interview:

"My first job was as a hardware stock boy and I LOVED it. To this day, when someone says 'Home Depot,' I start salivating like Pavlov's dog."

"I'm inspired to create the work that I do because I really don't know how to do anything else. Besides it's a bit of a curse, too. I always have so many ideas that I feel like I'll never get to them all."

"I don't know how to drive a car and have no desire to learn."

"My partner (author/illustrator) Matthew Reinhart and I just got an 1830's farmhouse in up state New York. Having it renovated has been a great project. It's like working on a huge pop-up that you can live in."

"To unwind, I do yoga, but my practice is pretty average. But I can do a headstand, away from the wall, which for me is a really big deal!"

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 8, 1965
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pinckney, Michigan
    1. Education:
      B.F.A., Pratt Institute, 1987
    2. Website:

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