Archive for October, 2009

Arima Exhibit

Friday, October 30th, 2009


I recently received some great photos from a pop-up exhibition that occurred a few months ago in Japan.  They were sent from the good people at Arima Toy Musuem [Note: website is in Japanese.]  The show included over 450 works including Lothar Megendorfer, Ernest Nister, Vojtech Kubasta and Robert Sabuda.  Many of these titles came from the collection of Mr. Hisashi Tate Emi Nishida Akio Omachi, who is also the director of the Arima Toy Museum.

The exhibit ran from July 18th to August 9th at the Kitanoda Festival (Sakai City Hall East House of Culture) and was organized by the Sakai City Cultural Hall East and Mainichi in cooperation with Arima Toy Museum and additional sponsorship by the Movable Book Society.


Besides the excellent displays of numerous noteworthy pop-up books, they also held a pop-up workshop where children could create their own pop-up masterpieces.  Hopefully the next generation of Japanese paper engineers were inspired by classic books on display, maybe learned a technique or two at the workshop and will create some amazing pop-ups in the future.

And if I ever find myself in Japan I hope to make it to the Toy Museum to wander the three floors of toys, automata and train sets.  Very cool!


Paper Toys from Korea

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Last month, I announced my initiation into the world of paper toys when two of my models were included in Papercuts.  Around that time I received a cool gift from my sister that she brought back from a quick trip to Korea.


According to the information on the back of the postcard:

“guan jian shou was two generals endangering the world but were intimidated by Dizang Wang’s Buddhism and Dizang Wang’s guards.  These two observed good and evil in the world and in turn they prolong good people’s life and shorten bad people’s life.”

These little guys came from the Answer Ideas Studio, which is based out of Taiwan.

The Studio has developed dozens of paper toys ranging from figures to everyday objects with varying degrees of difficulty.  Each model is cut from a single card and does not require any glue, and constructing my tiny guards took little more than an hour.

Now as they guard my messy table I catch myself glancing over at them and hoping they are prolonging my life.  If I stay good I may have more time to make a few more paper models.


One Fat Frog

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

A few weeks ago I had a chance to meet famous book creator/funny man, Mo Willems.  I literally cornered him at a signing and asked about his latest book.  After developing successful picture book series involving pigeons, piggies and pachyderms, Mo has set his sights on the humble frog.  Not just any frog but a frog SO big she can’t fit inside the book.


Mo teamed up with Bruce Foster to create the first ever “Pop Out” book.  Big Frog Can’t Fit In was released this week by Hyperion and I was fortunate enough to get a copy for myself.  The nine-inch by nine inch book comes in a tall resealable bag with an additional orange box that protects the dangling froggie toes from getting smashed on the bookshelf.  The six spreads feature oversized pop-ups and playful pull tabs designed out of sturdy heavyweight paper.  (This book has the potential to stand up to some very curious little hands.)  I am also very impressed with how the positive storyline is integrated with the pop-ups.  You can tell Mo and Bruce really had fun making this book.

In fact when I asked Bruce about his experience with the book and the collaboration he had this to say. “Mo was great to work with. Very funny guy.  When they called me with his idea I had to slap my head like in the V-8 commercials, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!!’ Ha.”


One of my favorite details of the book involves Big Frog flashing a gold tooth as she shrinks on the page.  It’s the little things like this that make the book worthy of reading over and over at bedtime. (or playtime, or anytime!)


Now that the pop-out book is out Mo and Bruce are had at work in a variety of different projects.  Keep an eye on Mo’s blog to get a taste of what’s to come out of his studio. As for Bruce Foster, well he is the most prolific paper engineer I have ever met. This month FOUR new titles he paper engineered are coming out: Big Frog Can’t Fit In, The Sound of Music, Angels and the Sports Illustrated Kid’s Wow! The Pop Up Book of Sports.  I’m looking forward to seeing them all!