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Christmas Around the World: A Pop-Up Book Hardcover – October 29, 2007
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About the Author
Chuck Fischer's paintings hang in some of the finest residences in the world. His designs have been reproduced on china for Lenox and home furnishings, including wallpaper and fabrics in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. He is the author of three previous pop-up books--THE WHITE HOUSE, GREAT AMERICAN HOUSES AND GARDENS, and CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK. He lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is interactive, of course, with plenty of informative flip-back, pull-open, slide-out features. The style of illustration echoes that of the Victorian images that sometimes share space alongside. The photographs and reprints are colorful, sharp, and well-chosen.
Most of the pop ups are delightful: The British images unfurl and swirl up and out miraculously. The French boulevard--with richly stocked shop windows, a picturesque Metro stairway, kiosk, and street lamp--glistens under strands of bright star garlands. A German village and mountaintop castle in the clouds and a giant decorated evergreen, all seen from a distance, invite you in with a festive "Willkomen" sign hung between entrance gates decorated like candy canes. The final pop up is a classic: Santa and his sleigh, silver reins shining, on his way around the world! And the last surprise--a pull-out drawer with a sweet gift tucked inside that will itself hold one more gifty or goody.
A few small disappointments arise along the way: The tip of the top turret of the German castle extends past the page bottom and will be constantly bent and tattered with use and conventional storage; you may want to shelve the book on its ribboned end or upside down. The pull-out drawer contains--I assure you--only one item, instead of the bounty of materials other similar books often contain. (I telephoned to be sure my copy was not missing materials.) And finally, in the last pop up, Santa's dull boozy expression is a major flaw in an otherwise delightful Christmas treasure. (With a tiny bit of correction fluid, a fine point pen, and a steady hand we've already refocused the eyes on our Jolly Old Elf. Looks great!) I hope future reprints might correct these small errors. And please, tuck at least a couple more holiday surprises into the pull-out drawer. Santa would.
The pop-ups are terrific, among the best I've ever seen. But what makes the book complete are all the extras on each page. In fact, when I finished looking through it, I valued the book as much for its history as its art.
The first spread, about Father Christmas and Dicken's "A Christmas Carol," includes a few paragraphs about the history of each fable as well as two tiny six-page booklets. Additional spreads offer similar treatments for The Christmas Witch and pagan Rome, the Advent Calendar, Pere Noël and other French traditions, historic Russian folk tales and the true story of Saint Nicholas, and finally, the American Santa Claus.
All spreads have flaps, too; some have pull outs.
A thick cover, laminated paper stock and half-inch base help keep everything from getting damaged, but there's so much glued and folded paper stuffed in here that you'll still need to treat it all with care.
This is not really a child's book - except when fully supervised by an adult. Kids will enjoy the pictures but not fully understand all the details given about each country.
It would make a great family tradition to look and read during the Christmas season.
My only disappointment is that more countries(and pages)were not included.
It is high quality paper and worth the half-off the listing price that Amazon offers.