Vintage Movable Review: Six Brave Explorers

I am a huge fan of Kees Moerbeek.  This Dutch designer has made dozens of books over the years and his newest title, Aesop’s Fables releases in October.  But today, we are looking at one of my favorite pop-up books he created with his wife Carla Dijs.  Six Brave Explorers was produced by Intervisual for Price Stern Sloan in 1988.  It was printed and bound at Carvajal in Columbia.  I was once told that during the design of this book, Kees and Carla were told that the book was too expensive so they had to cut some corners.  And cut they did.  This six-spread book has a unique triangular format that sliced their paper usage nearly in half.  What a creative idea!

The format of this counting book is based off the “Ten Little Indians” children rhyme and Kees is not afraid to interject a little death and colonialism in the pages.  The simple central pop-ups stand tall over the main characters and an easy flow is established throughout the book.  This book was such a success that two other titles: Four Courageous Climbers and Oh, No Santa soon followed.  Let’s hope that many more books spring from the mind of Kees Moerbeek.


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