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.
It’s beautifully put together. It opens up from the landscape side and has the feel of a stage.
The left page serves as a backdrop for the pop-ups on the right page. It’s got a little bit of a narrative.
I love that the child showing us toys is a girl and she likes firetruck, boats, and doll carriages alike.
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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