A Tiger In My Garden by ARNO

I’ve always been delighted by pop-up books, and I’ve thought about trying to make one myself, but I’ve never done more than a very simple pop-up card.  Lucky for me, the French artist and illustrator Arno has created a do-it-yourself pop-up book, complete with pre-cut shapes and easy to follow instructions.


A Tiger in My Garden is a colorful and imaginative book that folds out like an accordion into 5 “unplanted” gardens.  You get to cultivate them, adding the plants and the sculpture then you can wander with a mysterious, mustachioed tiger through them.

Inspired by the late artist Derek Jarman’s unique garden on the coast of Kent, England, Arno has provided the graphics to create a French, Japanese, Arabian, tropical, and one dreamlike garden.



The book opens with a poem on the dedication page:

“Is it possible, in this city, without a soul

— where from the back of their buses

the bored tourists gaze—

is it possible, to find a place for a stroll?

I do admit, last Saturday,

I happened by chance to find my way

into, into into an extraordinary garden.

–Charles Trent, An Extraordinary Garden, 1957

A Tiger in My Garden is a visual love poem to gardens.


This book is for children ages 7 and up, but I really think it’s a book for the family.  It’s a little too complicated for just a 7 year old child.  It helps to have minds of all ages working together in the gardens


It would be a great project for a family night, or an activity with grandparents.


What a lovely way to spend winter evenings when gardens are resting and nights are long.


Working one a week, you can make a long term project that finally finishes off with a beautiful pop-up book.

At the end, you may just have all the tools you need to create your very own pop-up designs.

A Tiger In My Garden is published Prestel, who prints excellent art and children’s books.

If you like pop-ups, check out these reviews, too:

Small World of Paper Toys

Old Tales, New Views



Butterflies and Robots

Thanks for reading my blog.  Do you have a favorite pop-up book?



A Carnival Book

I love it when I find a book that pushes the book form in a new direction.  I love pop-up, accordion, lift-the-flap, die cut and all manner of interactive books.  I also love books that introduce different cultures.  Visit the Bhil Carnival by Subhash Amaliyar and Gita Wolf satisfy both loves and is a pure delight.    My pictures do it no justice, but you can get an idea of how much fun it is.
The book opens to a folded page.

We’re in invited in.
When I read it to one of my 6 year old foster grandkids, she was amazed that so much story and so many illustrations could be found in the one fold out page.  It sparked conversation about when she went to a fair and helped her remember all the fun she had.  We also talked about the many ways stories can be presented.
This fold out ferris wheel pops out when you lift the top part of the page.
The distinct nature of the illustrations are bright and inviting.  Everyone is lit up like a carnival ride.
The exuberant art by Subhash Amaliyar is created in the style of the Bhil people of central India.  The Bhils live on the edge of the forest and work hard at farming, fishing, and gathering firewood.  The Bhagoria carnival takes place in July.  It’s a time to celebrate, connect with friends and family from other villages, and have fun.  Two children, Neela and Peela, are at the fair on their own for the first time.  Everything tempts them, they buy balloons, ice cream, and ride the ferris wheel. 
Tara Books has always been a stellar book publisher, introducing the world to the traditional art of India.  Many of their books use handmade papers, traditional printing techniques and hand sewn bindings. 
This book combines the features of a map, a pop-up and a secret story book, with the text in a little book in the corner of the fold-out adventure. 

You can read more about Tara books on a post I wrote on them here.  Their books are like art galleries that fit on the bookshelf.  You can visit their website here
This book is a delight in every way both for children and adults, for anyone who celebrates life, stories, and books.  Join the fun!