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 Some interesting selections for you to browse:

 Books with Fairies 


Alice in Wonderland Books


  Louis Wain illustrations [cats!]

   Chromolithograph illustrations


 Books featuring dogs

 Ernest Nister books


Some collectible pop-up book groups:

The Bookano Series:

Bookano books were a very prevalent name in UK pop-up books  during the 1930's and 40's. Published by Strand, the man behind Bookanos was S. Louis Giraud. Giraud's association with this type of book had started in 1929 when he edited the first Daily Express Children's Annual for Lane Publications. He produced five of these annuals, all with 'self erecting models' and then he established Strand Publications in 1934 and this was the start of the 'Bookano'. 

Whilst we associate Bookanos [a word apparently created by Giraud by the merging of 'book' and 'Meccano'] with pop-ups the term 'pop-up' was first used in relation to the Blue Ribbon books in the U.S. in the 1930's. In the UK they were referred to as 'self errecting models' in the Daily Express annuals and then during the Bookano period they were referred to as 'Living Models'.

The quality of Bookanos is not great - the text is printed on thick soft paper and the living models are constructed in thinner and often quite flimsy paper. The model designs can be a bit formulaic, with similar mechanisms reproduced across books with different subject matter. Never-the-less they were extremely popular and represent an important step in the history of children's movable books.

According to the the University of Virginia website: 'In order to put together all of his Bookano models, Giraud hired out the job on a piecework basis. Using a large yellow van with a Bookano pop-up on the roof, he had the cut sheets delivered to people's homes and then picked up after they were assembled. A central group, working close to Giraud and including his daughter, checked these models before they were pasted into the pages of the printed and bound books.'

Several types of Bookano books were published, as follows:

'Bookano Stories' was published as an annual, taking up where the Daily Express Annual left off with the first one going out in 1934. It continued as an Annual for 17 years with the last one being published in 1950.

 In addition to the Annuals a series of five books called 'Old Rhymes & New Stories' was published, with the first being in c. 1936/7. It was claimed by the publishers at the time that this series contained their 'cleverest' living models.


 Other 'one off' titles included The ABC Book, The 1,2,3 Book, Adventure & Building, The Story of Jesus [which was published in three parts and as a composite], Hans Andersen's Fairy Stories, Bookano Zoo and Animal Life in Fact, Fancy and Fun.


Vojtech Kubašta

An architect by profession, Vojtech Kubašta brought a decidedly contemporary "pop" sensibility to his innovative paper engineering. Published in Prague by state-run Artia and marketed by the London firm Bancroft and Company, Kubašta's works leap from the page with their imaginative and vivid illustrations. The paper engineering, fresh and crisp, infuses these pop-up scenes with an exuberance born of Kubašta's lively imagination.

Taking the standards of children's literature as his point of departure, Kubašta gave familiar themes a bright new treatment. Moko and Koko breathe fresh life into the overused jungle setting, as they peek out from a now lavish and adventure-filled world. These books contain only one three-dimensional scene, a format that allows the interior pages to be printed and assembled conventionally and economically while saving the dramatic impact for the final pop-up.

Kubašta also explored new themes. He invented the characters Tip and Top, joined by their trusty dog Tap in certain volumes, to teach children about ships, cars, airplanes, and even outer space. In the Tip and Top series, every page pops open with striking shapes and forms. Only Kubasta's superior designing skills could make these complicated constructions appear so seamless.


n.b. Thanks to the University of Virginia Small Special Collections Library for their kind permission to re-print extracts from their 'Pop Goes the Page' exhibition.


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