Charming Pop-Up Toy Book

Toys these days are so flashy and multi-faceted, I sometimes despair that children aren’t getting a chance to exercise their imaginations enough.  Children’s imaginations, however, are more resilient than I give them credit for.  I see they still can create whole worlds with boxes and paper.  However, I’m old enough to long for simpler times, simpler toys.  And I think it’s important to help spark their imaginations as much as possible.

Which is one reason I was delighted to find the book The Small World of Paper Toys, by Gerard Lo Monaco.  It’s a charming pop-up that captures the magic of toys that are powered by imagination.

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It’s beautifully put together.  It opens up from the landscape side and has the feel of a stage.

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The stage is set.

The left page serves as a backdrop for the pop-ups on the right page.  It’s got a little bit of a narrative.

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Fire!  Let’s put out the fire!  Nee-nah, the siren wails.  The brave fire fighters dive in.  Quick the big ladder is being deployed.

I love that the child showing us toys is a girl and she likes firetruck, boats, and doll carriages alike.

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ZZZ…My fireman is tired.  He’s earned his rest in the little cradle next to my doll.
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Tuff, tuff, tuff! What noise the motor makes!  Aboard my eight-speed tractor, I drive Stendhal the big sow to the pigsty.

 

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1, 2, 3, go: it’s a race!  Dog number 1 is the favorite, but the little black one turns out to be a real bullet.

There’s even a movable part where you help lumberjacks saw wood.  And a big mess in the child’s bedroom at the end of the day.

I’ve had such fun conversations after reading this with children about the toys I grew up with and the toys my mother saved from when she was a child.

This book is charming in every way and leads to a sense of nostalgia in the greatest sense of the word.  It’s a great gift to share with a child.   It’s beautifully designed with lots of clean white space so the colors pop.  Mine has been read by several eager children under five and it’s still in great shape.  I expect it to last for years.   It’s published by Little Gestalten, a company that publishes unique books from all over the world.

Here’s a video of the original French Version of the book, posted by the author/artist:

Gérard Lo Monaco is originally from Argentina, and now lives in France.  He was involved in the creation of a circus, a puppet-making company, and a wooden-horse merry-go-round—all of which toured throughout France.   He’s designed album covers and posters and has been awarded a prestigious prize from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris.

Thanks for reading my blog.  My favorite toy when I was under five was little pink pig I swaddled like a baby doll.  What was yours?

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