Winter's Tale: An Original Pop-up Journey

( 12 )


A winter wonderland in glittering 3D!

Winter's Tale is Robert Sabuda's most spectacular original pop-up story yet. The simple, elegant text is illustrated with breathtaking artwork and extraordinary paper engineering. Stunning visual effects of foil, glitter, and a twinkling surprise further capture the magic of winter. This is a must-have for everyone's bookshelf.

Also check out the Winter's Tale...

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A winter wonderland in glittering 3D!

Winter's Tale is Robert Sabuda's most spectacular original pop-up story yet. The simple, elegant text is illustrated with breathtaking artwork and extraordinary paper engineering. Stunning visual effects of foil, glitter, and a twinkling surprise further capture the magic of winter. This is a must-have for everyone's bookshelf.

Also check out the Winter's Tale Limited Edition!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Iridescent glitter suggests powdery snowfall in this seasonal book by Sabuda, whose Christmas pop-ups and America the Beautiful reflect a partiality to frosty whites and steely silvers. In the first of six spreads about a wintry forest, a 3D owl bursts from the pages and a gatefold lifts to reveal mice nesting safely in a hollow tree. A second spread features two foxes in a cave fringed with icicles, and the "snow shivers off a nearby bush," another pop-up detail that lifts to show a rabbit bounding away. In a third spread, clear plastic torrents slip down a vertical, mirrored waterfall as the pages open and close; a bear splashes and fish leap ("breakfast escapes in a flash"). At the conclusion, the winter itself says, "We spend all our days in a world dressed in white, but when the earth turns to green I must go.... I'll return for a visit next year." The closing spread encircles a simple cabin in an archway of pop-up pines; a pull-out tab sets holiday lights blinking in the cabin's transparent roof, a surprise reminiscent of the chirping in Eric Carle's The Very Quiet Cricket. Despite the elaborate cut-and-folded paper, Sabuda never overcrowds his spreads, and he sticks to an earthy yet pristine palette including icy white, metallic silver, browns and evergreens. His deftly engineered book celebrates nature, and readers will wow to impressive pop-ups of deer, beavers and a moose. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
You have to wonder how Robert Sabuda can keep topping himself, but he never fails to bring out the WOW! In a Winter's Tale, the creatures that inhabit a cold forest literally spring to life as you open up the pages—an owl flies into view, wolves show off their white winter coats and the poor old bear misses catching his fish dinner in a scene of shimmering silver and white. In the meadow, there is a family of deer and on this page, as with others, there is an additional pop-up tucked in the spread. The right hand fold out reveals a family of squirrels in a tree. Moving on through the winter scenes, there is a magnificent moose, and other creatures, but the tour de force is the final spread. In case you miss it, there is a battery that should be activated to really give the full effect on that last pop-up. I am sure that other book lovers will delight in the surprise as much as I did.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Done mostly in sparkly whites, shiny silvers, and icy pastel hues, Sabuda's dazzling pop-ups upstage the simple text in a tale that highlights the wonders of a winter landscape. The paper constructions are indicative of the artist's usual high standard: an owl soars off the pages; a cave lifts and opens to show the foxes concealed within; and a waterfall cascades into a rushing river, where a bear darts forward to catch the fish that dance above the water's surface. The final 3-D scene shows all of the creatures posed within a forest of evergreens and bare trees, while a snowman standing in front of a lonely house reveals himself as the story's narrator, and promises to "return for a visit next year." All of the animals-whether deer, squirrels, or a moose-are sculpted out of flat white paper, making them look elegant against the more colorful woodsy backdrops. While the artwork is stunning, there is not much plot here and the pop-ups are delicate, making the book more of a confection for browsing or winter displays than a story for reading.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
One is hard-pressed to find appropriate superlatives for this wonderful new offering. This is Winter's tale; it is spoken in the first person in crystalline language: "the snow shivers off a nearby bush," as a rabbit leaps out, or "The water explodes in a fresh burst of silver / as breakfast escapes in a flash," when an old bear startles the fish. For Sabuda, it almost goes without saying that the paper engineering is breathtaking. In each spread, a central image pops up-a great owl in the snow, a family of deer-and in a side fold a smaller story takes place-squirrels in the trees, beavers in the stream. Not only are white, browns, greens and blues used to great effect, but silver foil, both plain and dappled, and iridescent glitter make the pages dance. "When the earth turns to green," Winter must go, but promises to return next year. The last opening finds all the characters-including Winter himself, a snowman with the carrot nose the rabbit brought him and the hat and scarf he waved at the moose-in a panorama of snowy trees and a glittering rooftop. (Pop-up book. All ages)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689853630
  • Publisher: Little Simon
  • Publication date: 9/27/2005
  • Pages: 12
  • Sales rank: 68,959
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 8.30 (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.


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 & "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:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2010

    Another Great Sabuda Book

    A wonderful book true to the Robert Sabuda style. The cutouts are amazing
    and the way they fit into the book is also amazing. I have it on my coffee table and enjoy looking at it over the winter months. I always
    marvel at it when I look at it no matter how many times I have read it.
    There is a surprise at the end of who the character is that is narrating
    the story along with another surprise true to the Sabuda style. A real
    collectors item. I just love his books

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2015

    Best pop up book ever!

    i loved this magical book as a grandmother and knew it was a perfect gift for my granddaughter to help her appreciate the beauty of nature in winter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Very intricate, beautiful

    The author has outdone himself with the story and it's illustrations. By far the best popup work!

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    Great for kids and adults

    Robert Sabuda always has amazing books and this one is no exception. The pictures always pop out perfectly and this one has an added bonus at the end. Perfect for a Christmas gift for kids or kids at heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2005

    Instant Holiday Classic!

    My children won't let me put this book down. The pop-ups are great (and not cheap looking like most), and the story is outstanding. Would make great gift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2005

    So great for the holidays!

    What they've done with the paper on this book (the popups) is amazing and will certainly entertain your kids. Whether you see an owl, a fawn, or whatever is central to the story, you really see it--like you were there watching the story unfold. Just a very clever idea that is nicely timed for the holidays. I found that it is applicable to all ages, and enjoyed it myself.

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    Posted November 3, 2008

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    Posted November 10, 2008

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