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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book lives up to the standard that Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda have set with first rate pop-up engineering. Every page has a central pop-up that is beautiful and interesting. Each page is further embellished with a minimum of two corner pull-outs that are also pop-ups in themselves with history as to the folklore of fairies. From this perspective, it is top notch.

The area where I was a little disappointed was in the history of the fairies themselves. It starts out interesting enough explaining that fairies appear in the legends of every continent. But it tends to focus on the darker aspects of the folklore. I've never researched the history of fairies, but I prefer to think of them as benevolent beings. Most of the stories focused on their pranks and the misfortune they can bring. The final corner pullout talked about the English girls who supposedly played with fairies and set up a camera to catch them on film. It was a well publicized case because it was later exposed as a hoax. They had used cuts out from an old children's catalog. The girls admitted their prank but claimed that one photograph was authentic.

I loved the artwork and pop-ups, but the actual text made me feel creepy sometimes, and in the end, sort of sad. While I will show it to my children, I will use my own words to describe the fairy world. If you're really into pop-up books, this is worth adding to your collection, but if your true interest is the lighter side of fairies, I prefer the pop-up book How to Find Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Mr. Reinhart is a genius, no doubt about it. In this book there are dimensional fairies peeking from foliage, brownies hiding in corners, and trolls waiting to create trouble for passers-by. Some figures "magically" transform from one thing to another, just as we might imagine them to do in fairy tales. I give it only four stars because the engineering falls just a little short of the "wow" factor, and the text is somewhat depressing. Nonetheless, this and the Limited Edition version will certainly remain in my collection to be enjoyed for years to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 1, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book is beautiful. Not only do you have the larger pop-ups that spring to life when you turn the page, but there are also several mini pop-up pages within a page. The artistry is beautiful, and the pop-ups can be viewed from different angles to see different parts of the picture (unlike traditional pop-ups that are designed to be viewed from one reading angle only).

I disagree with Amazon and/or the publisher (not sure who is to blame for this) about the appropriate age/grade range. It's listed on the product page as for ages 4-8 and grades 1-6. It's definitely NOT for preschoolers. The mini pop-ups are too hard for little hands to open, plus it's too delicate. Additionally, the text is more appropriate for elementary or older kids. I actually think this would be best as a gift for a pre-teen, teenager, and young-at-heart adult who loves fairies. I purchased my copy for someone in her 60s who I know will love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Encyclopedia Mythologica: Fairies and Magical Creatures by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda is a popup book like no other. This magical book captures audiences young and old just by simply opening it.

This superb popup book includes the origins of fairies, the many different types of fairies, the fairy realm, elves and gnomes, mermaids, unicorns, phoenixes, griffons, and much more! The information to go with the beautiful illustrations is a truly perfect fit for learning about the many different kinds of fairies and the lore that leaves us fascinated by them.

This is one of the rare diamonds of a book I've come across in a long time. It is an astonishingly stunning book visually and full of fairy information fully researched. It is to me, the perfect fairy book for all ages.

It is so beautiful though, I would personally not let young children too close to it. They like to grab at things too much and would ruin it. It would be best to read to them with the child (not grabbing at it) and able to look at it in all its glory while being read to. It is a very special book, and if treated properly, it would become a very special book for the child as they grow up as well.

I've loved fairies for as long as I can remember. They are simply magical to me, and I've read everything I could on them for as long as I've been able to read. Finding information on fairies was however, not such an easy task as a child. Sure, there were fairy tales and the most known fairy of all, Tinkerbell. I was rather smart even at a young age though and wanted to know more. Our school librarian just explained they didn't have anything else available. There was no internet then (or amazing books like this), so googling was out of the question too.

I highly recommend this book for all those who love fairies. It is also a perfect book for someone you know who does, or a child in the family who would love this book as well.

If you are interested in Fairies and Magical Creatures, check out the publisher's webpage for it. Under the other resources listed for it is a video which shows the popup pages of the book and the other hidden surprises in the pages. Warning: this will make you want the book even more.

* Thank you to the publisher of Fairies and Magical Creatures, Candlewick Press for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I always loved pop-up books as a child - and still do as a 72 year old. They do much to stimulate the imagination: better than books merely with pictures and much, much better than TV or movies (which leave little for a child to imagine on his/her own). Although pop-ups tend to be fragile this one seems a little sturdier that usual. I bought this book as a birthday present for a little girl who will be four in July. She not only believes in fairies but thinks she is one herself! I can't wait to see the surprise and delight on her face when she opens this. I know her mother will supervise her enjoyment of the book until she is old enough to be less destructive with it.

Furthermore, the price of this book (with the discount) can't be beat. Also the packaging was done very well. Besides the robust mailing package it came in it was wrapped in a clear covering that is like a pouch that can be opened for examination and resealed for presentation.
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on November 16, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This incredibly intricate pop-up book brings back the fun I had creating my own jumbo fantasy pop-ups while amazing me with it's folding out pop-ups that are truly a feat of paper construction! Besides marveling at the the beautiful colour rendoring and fold out figures( how did they get Titanias wings to spin around like that!?) I'm also impressed with the knowledge of myth and folklore! Some reviewers express dissaproval of the scarrey dark fairies, the mischief that leprachans and the dangers that some of mythical figures of magic were described as doing. But I don't find that depressing and the author mentions the light fun of the little people as well. Brian Froud's FAERIES books are along the same lines as this book and as someone who has books on greek myths and Norse myths, both for children and adults, the authors are sharing their knowledge of these world myths with these artistic pop-ups! Remember, this is called an encyclopedia mythologica! And ages ago people saw these myths as explanations of the unknown world around them! Since I make my own hand drawn animation with fantasy characters I appreciate the creativity and variety of this pop-up book ! Today's world has both dark and light and so does the fairy world of myth and legend! All this was the inspiration for J.R.R.Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT stories after all! I would not recommend this book for little kids simply because the pop-ups are so intricate! It's good there are corner tabs to stick the smallpages back into to keep the mini pop-ups from being damaged. One has to carefully close the book so as not to damage the folded figures! I like the pop-ups I made years ago but again I say WOW!! I got my copy for $15.00 from Bookseller USA. It might be a good idea to get a copy for your adultself in case the kids damage the other copy!
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Format: Hardcover
Open this latest confection from the undisputed masters of the 3-D pop-up book and prepare to be enchanted. A marvel of exquisite illustration and paper-engineering, FAIRIES and MAGICAL CREATURES is the premiere book in the authors' dazzling new series, ENCYCLOPEDIA MYTHOLOGICA.

See Queen Titania rise from her Midsummer Night's Dream on glimmering wings. Turn the page and a gorgeous golden castle appears as a jewel set in a crown of clouds for the Norse Alfheim. Further on, winged horses prance round a noble unicorn, its single horn aswirl in serpentine gilt. Lastly unfolds a frothy rapture of the deep, with Poseidon and his Ocean Queen riding a cherub-bedecked clamshell chariot drawn by purple sea steeds.

Each page displays a jumbo centerfold sculpture flanked by smaller pockets with many surprises secreted within--and tricks. Envelopes open, then open yet again, fanning out to reveal...a bewitching maiden offering fairy cake and wine, who slowly morphs into a grinning old hag proffering a bowl of weeds (never eat the fairy food)!

So beware the uncanny glamours, for all here is not sweetness and light. Tread carefully for you will encounter imps and changelings, pixies who steal farmers' horses and throw stones at passersby, and other tricksters, as well as fairy rings where time outside stands still and a curious youth might emerge old and wizened. But the mischief is all good fun, and won't be too frightening for younger readers.

A fascinating educational tour through the world-wide Fairy Realm, this amazing book is a cornucopia of mythological lore. Not only will readers recognize the familiar elves, gnomes, leprechauns, hippogriphs, hobgoblins (and ubiquitous flower fairies), but new delights pop out from every nook and cranny. Meet the Welsh pilliwiggins that ride tamed bumblebees, and a cikavac bird from Serbia who grants wishes to only the stinkiest of petitioners (one must carry an egg in each armpit and not bathe for forty days and nights). There is the nightmare-devouring baku of China; the Inuit Kul, a seal-like creature friendly to fishermen lost in dangerous Arctic waters; and reed-thin chicken-riding kalikantzaroi of Greece and Albania, who terrorize farmers (a popular impish pastime, it appears). From mermaids to manatees, P.T. Barnum and the English Cottingly fairy hoaxes, as well as a mini-biography of Cinderella creator Charles Perrault, new treasures will emerge with each peek.

The text is factual but never dull, and works in perfect counterpoint to the eye-popping visual art.

A tour-de-force. A stunner. Should be required reading for Muggles everywhere (even a fairy could learn a thing or two). The publisher recommends this book for five and up. (The "ups" will need to supervise younger children, as the paper sculptures are intricate and could be damaged by eager little fingers.) This new series is sure to be an instant classic. And, best of all, the question is finally answered: do fairies really exist?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Despite the sad-looking fairy on the front cover, FAIRIES AND MAGICAL CREATURES by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda is lovely to look at and great fun to read. The first installment in the Encyclopedia Mythologica series, it is a colorful and imaginative pop-up book that goes beyond the simple unfolding of paper.

Reinhart and Sabuda's text is simple and straightforward, though far from dull. They explore the myths of fairies and magical creatures from all around the world. Most of us are familiar with the "Fay" of European folktales, and they are just the starting point for the authors, who bring us the Pegasus of ancient Greece, the Chinese baku, the Inuit Kul and the aquatic Mami Wata of South Africa.

Though this is a children's book, there is nothing silly about it. On the first page we learn how the tale of the fairy queen Titania inspired Shakespeare and how in 1695 a French courtier named Charles Perrault became the father of the fairy tale when he began to write stories for children.

From the familiar figures of goblins, hobgoblins, elves and gnomes to the less familiar but equally interesting Middle Eastern karkadan, Brazilian Yemanja and the Serbian cikavac, readers will be enchanted. From mythological (hamadryads and sylphs) to folkloric (brownies and sprites) to infamous hoaxes (P.T. Barnum and the Cottingley cousins), this book packs in tons of information in less than 20 pages.

FAIRIES AND MAGICAL CREATURES is treasure-filled with a big pop-up on each page surrounded by more little pop-ups, flaps and even flaps within flaps. Some of the pop-ups move as the pages are turned to give readers a sense of action and transformation, a perfect complement to the book's theme. It feels hefty and has quality paper and gorgeous illustrations, sure to invoke a sense of wonder and amazement in readers of all ages. The construction is complicated but doesn't distract from the stories Reinhart and Sabuda are trying to tell. Instead, the whole of this book seems as magical as the creatures it describes.

While a bit feminine in appearance and perhaps in theme, this is not strictly a little girl's book. In it are fierce and mischievous figures sure to capture the imagination of children (and adults) with all kinds of interests.

--- Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book for my 4 year old daughter who wanted a book like the Megabeasts book that her big brother has.
Some of the information in this book is over her head but she still loves all of the little pockets and pictures!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully crafted book that will enchant children and awe adults. Great addition to a keepsake book collection.
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