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America the Beautiful: A Pop-up Book Hardcover – October 19, 2004

124 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Every Robert Sabuda pop-up is a marvel, but America the Beautiful is singularly remarkable for its inspired interpretation of the classic American anthem. Each page presents a magnificent pop-up featuring a line from the first (and best known) verse of "America the Beautiful." Sabuda has included the song in its entirety, featuring mini pop-ups, in a small booklet on the final page. Beginning with the Golden Gate Bridge, and ending with a spectacularly regal Statue of Liberty, Sabuda's America the Beautiful is a lovely keepsake that also serves as a patriotic primer for teaching young ones about America. --Daphne Durham's The Significant Seven
Master paper engineer Robert Sabuda answers the seven questions we ask every author.

Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?

A: Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. I specifically remember feeling as if I'd become a grown-up reader because many of the pages did not have pictures.

Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?

A: The Stand by Stephen King
Madonna's Greatest Hits
Strangers with Candy: Season One

Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?

A: That I'd be finishing a book project on time.

Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.

A: I live in New York City, so anyplace that's quiet.

Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?

A: "Robert Sabuda--Bookmaker."

Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

A: Benjamin Franklin

Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be?

A: Invisibility

From School Library Journal

K Up–New and astonishing feats of paper engineering lurk within the bulging covers of Sabuda's latest creation. Here, taking the first verse of our other national anthem as his text, he flies viewers from the Golden Gate Bridge, over waves of grain beneath a spinning windmill, past Mount Rushmore, Mesa Verde, a Mississippi river boat, and the National Capitol, to Lady Liberty–then, within a small inset booklet, pairs the Twin Towers, a swinging Liberty Bell, and other American symbols to the rest of the stanzas. Aside from the aforementioned bridge, plus an occasional foil highlight, the pop-up effects are an undecorated white that gleams like those "alabaster cities" against the generally solid color fields on which they are set. The very last line, which contains a reference to America's "whiter jubilee," has an odd ring to it these days, and some of the pop-ups are so complexly folded that they'll rip if their spreads aren't opened carefully: still, each opening will elicit gasps, and the poem's soaring imagery has never been better served.–John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Classic Collectible Pop-Up
  • Hardcover: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Little Simon; 1st edition (October 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689847440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689847448
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 57 people found the following review helpful By CK on October 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Robert Sabuda has made me a pop-up book collector. These are not books, these are miniature architectural masterpieces and Robert Sabuda is the Lenonardo of this art. He is an artist certainly but he is just as good of an engineer to construct these amazements.

The first popup of the Golden Gate bridge uses a see-through plastic material which is something new in popup books, but why not, it works! Although I must say this book is a bit over the top in complexity. Each new Sabuda book is such an extravganza that I worry that he will exhaust his bag of paper tricks. So I wish him a long life so he can keep producing these books one per every year.

Ocassionaly the printing quality is not quite there (I bought 3) but I don't mind, all is forgiven. Just love this book. Magnificent.

Looking for a gift for a Democrat or a Republican in your life? This is the book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M on May 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Robert Sabuda rocks the pop-up world once again with this grand and noble entry. Set to the lyric poem "America the Beautiful", the plain white pop-ups stand starkly against the backgrounds, the landmarks so well-known and loved by most Americans that they need no more illustration than an outline. WE know the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty. Just as we don't need the musical accompaniment to the song to hear it in our heads as we read, we need no artistic concept of purple mountains majesties or sea to shining sea. Fill in the blanks yourself, that's what the white silhouettes ask us to do; for one man's fruited plains may not resemble another's. Sabuda allows our mind's eye to envision our own personal ideas of America. Stunning, so beautiful I'll be purchasing a copy for my daughter's 2nd grade teacher as a gift.

If nothing else moves you, the minibook with the silhouettes of Columbia, the Liberty Bell & the Twin Towers will bring tears to your eyes. Some memories are so overwhelming, they cannot be represented by a single image but must be suggested by a mere whisper of an outline.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
WOW! Sabuda does it again. I don't know how these books are mass produced. Amazing detail down to Abe Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, and the spinning wheels on the boat. Incredible.

Only complaint is the everything is whitepaper, except the backgrounds. Would have liked to have seen color on the pop-ups like his other books.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I thought that this book was really great. Even if the pop ups were white they were so well built and with such great detail without even having color. Like the ferry boat on the Mississippi River that accually moves! Robert Subuda is so creative, it is amazing that someone could make pop ups so well. This was a great book and I recommend it to people 8 and up, because older children and adults would be the only ones to really appreciate that type of art. Overall this was my favorite book and should have won the Caldecott award!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By art and book lover on December 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I, too, disagree vehemently with the first reviewer in that the choice of white for the pop-ups with wrong for this book. Given that there is so much detail in each pop-up rendition, the choice of color would have been far too distracting. There was no "skimping" here - just good, artistic choice.

This is NOT a book for children under 10, unless they view this with an adult. Small curious hands will damage the pieces. Do not purchase this for a small child; purchase this for that child's parent!
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68 of 85 people found the following review helpful By WIAPilot VINE VOICE on November 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First, let me say that I am a HUGE fan of Robert Sabuda's. I love his Oz book and Alice in Wonderland book and King Tut book and other books. I have virtually all of them. I ordered this one expecting something wonderful.

If it was not Robert Sabuda and I didn't know what he is capable of producing, I would not have been so disappointed. But I was shocked that Sabuda would choose to skimp in this manner.

This could have been an absolutely BRILLIANT book. The cover is really neat and has touches of gold. But ALL of the fold-out art is just stark WHITE. There is NO color AT ALL except for the background. The result is FLAT and every page cries out for Sabuda's wonderful color schemes and production.

I do not know if this was done to cut cost, but his publisher should rethink this. I do not normally give bad reviews, and I am sorry but I will be returning this book - WHICH I NEVER DO!! I cannot "BARE" (bear) to look at it knowing what Sabuda is capable of and compare this last effort that missed the mark SO much.

I truly and sincerely hope that his publishers will redo this book in color even if it means jacking the price up. I will be the FIRST in line for such a book because the pop-ups are as usual very unique and intricate.

I know that I am not the only person by far who was HUGELY disappointed in this book. PLEASE redo this book with your brilliant colors.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ProperGander News (Dr. Emil Shuffhausen) on October 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There are pop-up books and then there are pop-up books by Robert Sabuda, who is not only the master of the genre, but who transcends it. What a thrill it is to open the newest of his books to find that he has once again produced a wonderful work of art. It's fun and whimsical...delicate and poignant...simple, yet amazingly intricate. Every page is a revelation, and each subsequent viewing brings new discovery. Here's a book about America that all Americans can love.
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