Butterflies and Robots: The Books of Philippe UG

I love books, which you know if you’ve read this blog at all, and I’m enchanted by the book arts.  There are so many ways of telling a story and so many ways paper can be manipulated to bring stories to life.

I’ve been collecting pop-up books for several years now.  I love the way the paper sculptures jump up from the page and give my imagination a jolt.  I use pop-ups with children who are reluctant readers and who find the lure of videos, movies and social media much more interesting than a book.  Pop-up and interactive books grab their attention and are a gateway to learning to love books.

I’ve recently become aware of the works of Philippe UG, a book artist whose work is bright and colorful and amazing.  His work is being brought to the US market by the fine art publisher Prestel.

001UG’s work is delightful.  His book In the Butterfly Garden tells the story of a caterpillar’s journey to become a butterfly.  A garden unfolds as you browse it.  It’s a perfect book for this time of year when flowers are popping up everywhere.

“It’s time for the first walk of the day and one after the other the caterpillars are heading out.”


Noah was excited about the book and wanted to read it the second after it came in the mail.
“A butterfly is born!  It nibbles on the sweet nectar of the flowers with its feelers.”


Amazing and enchanting paper sculpture.

UG’s work varies greatly from book to book.  Robots: Watch Out, Water About is a delight in an entirely different way.


The book is populated entirely by robots.  Unfortunately, one robot gets caught in the rain and must call for a doctor to help him.

“Drip drip, drip drop…Slowly rain begins to fall.  But robots don’t like water at all.”
This guy got all wet!
Luckily there’s a robot doctor to the rescue.


A look at how UG gets the fixed robot to stand up.

The children who have seen these books want to see more of UG’s work.  That’s always a good sign – if a child want to follow an artist, you know they’ve become connected to the world of books and art in a way that will last a life time.

UG’s has also made books that will inspire an interest in more complex kinds of art.  I’ll be reviewing his book Pop-Up Op-Art next week.  You can check out more of his work on his website here.

Prestel Publishing has wonderful books that introduce children to the arts and artists.  You can see their list of books for children here.

This post is a part of Children’s Book Week, May 2 – 8.  I’m posting on children’s books every day this week.  To find more great children’s books, check out the Children’s Book Week website.  They have a list of events going on all over the country, maybe one near you.  You can find links to their facebook and twitter pages there, too.

Here are links to the first three posts of the week:

Monday: The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Tuesday:  I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton

Wednesday:  Flying in Our Imagination

If you like interactive and unique books, you might want to take a look at these posts:

Old Tales, New Views

Charming Pop-Up Toy Book

I hope you find something to delight you today.  Thanks for reading my blog.








4 thoughts on “Butterflies and Robots: The Books of Philippe UG

  1. Your post, Joy, makes me want to run out and buy 3 of Phillipe Ug’sG books for my youngest cousins. Soon! Thanks for sharing such fun authors and titles!

  2. I am in awe of those who create these kinds of books, especially ones like UG’s that are so phenomenally magical and creative. Prestel is an art publisher, so this is a perfect match.

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