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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our house, in the middle of the street. Our house, was our castle and our keep.
I have a highly developed scientific method in place that allows me to determine whether or not a children's picture book title is going to be popular or not. Here is what I do:

1. I leave the book on top of my desk at work.
2. I wait.
3. If the book remains untouched, unexamined, and unattended for a day then it may be fine and dandy but it doesn't...
Published on March 11, 2009 by E. R. Bird

versus
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected
I bought this book for my 5-year-old son.
The letters are too small to read for young boys.
The pop-up is not three-dimentional.
He just read it once and left it behind.
Published on April 2, 2010 by RYOSUKE KUSANO


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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our house, in the middle of the street. Our house, was our castle and our keep., March 11, 2009
This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
I have a highly developed scientific method in place that allows me to determine whether or not a children's picture book title is going to be popular or not. Here is what I do:

1. I leave the book on top of my desk at work.
2. I wait.
3. If the book remains untouched, unexamined, and unattended for a day then it may be fine and dandy but it doesn't have that instantaneous oomph. If, however, I find my co-workers and library clerks picking it up and cooing over it for long periods of time, THAT, my friend, is a book worth watching.

Option #3 was certainly the case the other day when I received a batch of books from Candlewick Press and I placed this book, Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions on top of the pile. Within minutes everyone in the joint found it extraordinary. From its tiny hidden details to its fabulous fascinating facts, a novelty book this may be, but it's also going to win over a whole host of different kinds of readers. The only question left in my mind is where the heck we're going to catalog this thing.

Turn the book in your hands. Hold it so that the spine is at the top and that when you open it you reveal the first scene properly. Immediately you are plunged into a fully stocked and operating kitchen. Every object has a tiny fact attached to it explaining when it was invented or at least conjured up. Multiple tiny flaps reveal even more facts and surprises. Lift up the rug and not only will you see a wad of chewing gum stuck to the floor but you'll also learn when gum was invented and how it was first marketed as "Blibber-Blubber Bubble Gum". Opening each door and lifting each flap the reader makes their way through other rooms in the house. And even if you look under something or behind it, you're sure to see your curiosity rewarded with more facts, more secrets, and more objects. Finally, after walking through a living room, bathroom, bedroom, and garage, you come to a listing of "Some Inventions That Changed the Way We Live". Chronologically you can learn about inventions aiding in Food, Heat and Light, Plumbing, and Communication through each important historical era. Exhausting and intensive doesn't quite do it justice.

Generally the bane of every children's librarian's life is the pop-up book. If you have made the appropriate sacrifices to the picture book gods then maybe, just maybe, a pop-up book will circulate five times unscathed. Under normal circumstances, however, even the heartiest Maisy title will fall victim to the too strong jabs and pulls of the tiniest little tot. This Pop-Up House of Inventions could cut one of two ways. It may end up horribly mangled right from the start with its delicate little pullout DVD drawer, its tiny washing machine, and its multiple miniscule flaps. I like to believe, however, that the pop-ups found here are so small and the text so mature that it will only be of interest to children ages seven and up. That isn't to say that the occasional rug and cupboard door won't get accidentally ripped off from time to time, but maybe the older children will be so awed by the book's design that they'll treat it like the delicate little masterpiece it is. Or am I just dreaming at this point?

I will note that while Crowther may include a fact or two that people will find contention with (though I did not locate any personally), he's also not afraid to mention the most controversial claims from time to time. In the garage ("the word garage comes from the French garer, meaning `to park or to shelter'.") you will see a baseball glove and mitt sitting on top of a barbecue grill. Says the fact, "The invention of modern baseball is often attributed to Abner Doubleday in 1839, but many dispute the accuracy of this claim." Darn right they do. No other facts that I could locate contained such a caveat, but it's nice to think that Mr. Crowther was paying attention all the same.

Because this book has an original publication date of 2000 (it was previously distributed by Walker Books) I was a bit worried that all the facts found here would be out of date. Not so. Clearly the book has been updated to meet with changing times. So while you will find such rote info as "First kaleidoscope, 1817" you will also learn about the "First MP3 player, 1998". Or even more fascinating "Ed Sutt invented the hurricane and earthquake-resistant nail in 2006. It is thought to make houses twice as strong!" Clearly there are parts of this book that have been updated since the title's original publication. Even the backmatter of "Some Inventions That Changed the Way We Live" includes facts about heating and lighting as well as communication that are 21st century-based (they've invented self-cleaning windows now?).

Now my husband was not pleased that this book was so clearly too scale. He said that he wished that there was less blank space in it and that the words were larger. It's true that the words are tiny, where they appear. Not having a lot of space to work with, they often have to cram under workbenches, beneath magazines, or behind locked safes. This won't be a problem for sharp-eyed youth, but if they'd like an older person to aid them in some of the reading, it may well prove a challenge to older eyes. I was more disappointed in the lack of documentation. Not having any source notes leaves the reader with all kinds of questions. At one point you lift up a corner of wallpaper and find the fact "The earliest known wallpaper had a black and white floral design, 1509, U.K." A black and white floral design appears under this corner, but there's no way of knowing if it is the same pattern or not.

For all that it's fun. Fun fun fun, no doubt, debate, or question. Whether you're learning about how Thomas Crapper tested the modern cistern by flushing down apples or you're revealing the naked man in the shower (don't worry, he covers himself appropriately), this book's a joy to read. Kids who go through it multiple times will even find that there are multiple tiny mice hiding both under the flaps and in the regular illustrations on every single page (even in the backmatter!). I don't tend to keep a lot of the books I get for review, preferring instead to donate them to my library. But in this particular case the library's going to have to find its own darn copy. Because when it comes to the Pop-Up House of Inventions this book isn't leaving my sight. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars book review, February 21, 2011
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This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
This is a fun book full of information about all kinds of around the house. There aren't a lot of true pop-up it's mostly flip that you lift to reveal the text. it's still fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Household stuff defined!, May 3, 2009
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This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
This is an awesome pop up book. My 10 year old grandaughter was very
happy to read about why we have some of the things we have in our houses
and who and when they were invented. The adults present when I gave it to her were surprised at what THEY didn't know!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful fun, January 16, 2010
By 
C. G. King (Horse Country, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
My grandchildren, 6 and 9, love this book. The nine-year-old is as fascinated with the interesting facts as the six-year-old is with all those tiny windows, doors, cabinets, loose floor tiles, shower curtains, to name but a few of the things that can be opened to reveal fun things. Her favorite is the cookie sheet that slides out of the oven. My favorite is the tiny pop-up book on the floor, or is it the wine cellar or the clothes in the closet--oh, I can't decide.

Each page is a pop-up room in the house filled with all the appropriate things plus dozens of hidden treasures, facts and moveable parts. This is the new favorite 'toy' at Gramma's house. Highly recommended for all ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peculiar, April 15, 2009
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This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful pop-up book for a 5 yr. old, which I wanted, but the writings are in very small print and interesting only for an adult. This seemed strange to me. Maybe it was intended that way. I would have thought the words would have been for an 8 or 9 yr. old who could enjoy both the pop-up house and the words.
The book arrived in good time and in fine shape.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very informative book and also fun to look at, December 29, 2009
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This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my grandsons ages 4 and 6. The book is divided into pages with pop ups of every room in your home and the things that are usually found in that room, including the garage. The rooms each take up 2 thick board pages, and the info for each item is written next to that item. There are also lift up flaps that when opened give you even more info. Each room makes for a warm and cozy reading experience and the facts are unfamiliar which make them that more interesting. They are written so that a child from the age of 4 and up can understand them easily. The woring is simple without being babyish and to the point. My 6 year old grandson became very interested in some of the information regarding certain items he sees everyday and takes for granted. The book encouraged him to investigate other avenues of information for a particular item and he found out even more details relating to the item. He used his computer to look up more information about those items. Both boys were very interested in learning about appliances, electronic devices, simple things that are part of everyone's life and things that they use outside the home. The illustrations are well done and when viewing one of the pages, for example a 2 page spread of a kitchen it was almost like I was standing in the middle of the illustration. This is a great way to encourage youngsters to research these facts and find out more about the ordinary everyday objects that people are exposed to on a daily basis. This book makes children think, do some investigating on their own and ask question all of which to me are very significant factors and should be a part of a childs early learning experiences. How else does one learn about all the wonderful things that make our life a little easier and more enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a hoot!, May 4, 2009
By 
Jamahv (Washington State) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
Three days hasn't been enough for me to see everything there is to see in this book. Fascinating! I accidentally got two of these and was going to send one back. Then I realized that it would be a great housewarming gift, or a fun gift for an adult's birthday. So someone will be given a fun and interesting book as a present.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for ALL ages!, January 28, 2012
This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
We have the older version of this book, published in 2000, but what an awesome pop-up book. My two and a half year old son LOVES it and has to look through it an average of 10 times a day, seriously.
It's true that all the trivia is above my little one's head right now but he could care less. He's fascinated with the pop-up rooms and all the little flaps. His favorite thing is when someone new walks in our house, he makes them sit right down and plops in their lap so he can show them his new book. As he gets older we will start incorporating the trivia into it but he loves looking in the refrigerator and freezer, opening the wardrobe, seeing the man behind the shower curtain (don't worry, it's censored) and everything else.
There are only three drawbacks to this book for little ones:
1.) They will want to read it so often that you will find yourself dreaming about the darn thing.
2.) Like any pop-up book this is delicate so if you have kids under 6 reading through it, make sure to be there with them the whole time and to put it up on a high shelf when not being read. We discovered this the hard way when our son accidentally kept tearing stuff.
3.) As an adult you will get wrapped up in all the fun trivia while your little one gets impatient to move on to the next page.

Thank you Robert Crowther for a great book. We already ordered a couple of his other ones.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What fun!, November 20, 2012
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This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
I ordered this book as a Lightning Deal. I intend to give it to my 8 year old for Christmas. It is so cool!! Each page has a different room of a typical house. They each pop up, and are quite intricate, with moving parts. It is chock full of information about things that we now take for granted, but have all been invented in relatively recent history.

I foresee this being a book that will provide hours of enjoyment, and is full of little gems that we will continue to discover over time. My husband and I enjoyed looking over it today when it came, and I can't wait to spend more time looking at it with my daughter.

I think it's appropriate for older children and adults. Definitely not something for kids younger than 8-10 years old. Any younger, and they probably wouldn't appreciate it or be able to handle the many smaller, moving parts of the pop-ups to keep from tearing or breaking them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than just a popup book!, August 11, 2012
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This review is from: Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home (Hardcover)
This book is great for children or adults.

I love pop-up books. But what I love even more is when the pop-ups are more than just engaging artwork...but actually help convey the thoughts that the book is meant to convey. This book is very entertaining, educational, and fun. It's a great way to get children interested in inventions (and history), and to help them appreciate all the little things around the house. Very interactive.
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Robert Crowther's Pop-Up House of Inventions: Hundreds of Fabulous Facts About Your Home
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