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From the Bookshelf, by Chris Culp

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

Librarian Chris Culp celebrates pop-up books and the joy they create for readers. This post is part of 805 Lit + Art’s “My Home Library” blog series that features writers and artists enjoying their home libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic. 805 is proudly published by the Manatee County Public Library System, and we hope this series will help people show off their home libraries, find comfort in books, and feel a connection to the library during this difficult time.

Pop-up book Visit to a Haunted House by Dean Walley and Arlene Noel
A Visit to a Haunted House: Hallmark Children’s Editions, written by Dean Walley and illustrated by Arlene Noel

Like most book lovers, I have many collections on my shelves: reference books, picture books, gothic, art, history, antique, and more. But one of my favorite collections has to be my pop-up books. I was always fascinated by them. How the illustrators create these intricate pages that spring into 3-D works is nothing short of magic. I love to share them with children and watch their faces fill with wonder.

Pop-up book The Tunnel Calamity by Edward Gorey
The Tunnel Calamity, by Edward Gorey

One of my favorites has to be a pop-up book by Edward Gorey. The book opens into a long accordion foldout with a peephole that takes the reader down a long hallway through many rooms.

Pop-up book Trail: Paper Poetry Pop-Up, by David Pelham
Trail: Paper Poetry Pop-Up, by David Pelham

One illustrator, David Pelham whose pop-up book is all in white, lets the dimensional works of art speak for themselves. He called his work “Paper Poetry.” Each book is a small journey into imagination.

Pop-up book Mommy? written by Arthur Yorinks and illustrated by Maurice Sendak and Matthew Reinhart
Mommy? written by Arthur Yorinks and illustrated by Maurice Sendak and Matthew Reinhart

Pop-up book The Eye of the Pharaoh: Iain Smyth
The Eye of the Pharaoh, by Iain Smyth

Christine Culp is going on her 11th year with Manatee County Libraries. Her passion is working with youth, developing programs, inspiring imagination, and instilling a love of reading. She has worn many hats on her journey to librarianship, including a designer for Hallmark Cards, a free lance illustrator and sculptor, an art teacher, a storyteller, and a mom.

Florida is her third home base, having been raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., then working and raising a family in Kansas City. Both spots are still dear to her heart. "Mr. Rogers was a big inspiration to me growing up. If I can bring smiles to the face of a child, I have done my best."


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