THE SENSATIONAL SAMBURGER by David Pelham, Dutton, 1995. This is a pop up book in the shape of a hamburger with a different spread for the bun, the cheese, the lettuce, the patty and so forth. In the Samburger there’s a different yucky bug or slimy snail jumping out of every layer. This book and other Pelham titles can be pricey in good condition. He has produced numerous other works in a similar vein; they include a box of chocolate with many evil critters embedded in the caramel, or slugs in the pizza pie pepperoni. Because they are made to delight the sensibilities of the very young they often have been roughly handled and it is not easy to find them in pristine condition.
Another David Pelham title with the sought after WOW factor is UNIVERSE, a three dimensional study by Heather Couper and David Pelham, Random House 1985. The book depicts scientific theories as envisioned with paper engineering. It is a large volume that gets even larger when it pops. It has six spreads devoted to the big bang, galaxies, star birth, the solar system, star death and the end of the universe. The art is sensational, the engineering divine and designed to look even better if viewed with a strong light behind it. Because this book also has many little side movables, some of them with strings or other little gizmos, be sure to check that everything is present and actually works.
Pop up books by artists is a popular sub-category of the field. One of the most ingenious of this type is THE DWINDLING PARTY by Edward Gorey, Random House 1982. This is a gothic yet funny adventure of a Victorian family whose members each meet a different disastrous fate. It’s one of Gorey’s most creative works and I’ve seen it sold as low as $13 and as high as several hundred dollars. It is a book that has gone through multiple printings, so for top value it’s important that everything works and the number line begins with 1.
A pop up with exceptional paper engineering is FLIGHT: Great Planes of the Century from the Wright Brothers to the Concorde, Viking 1985, with design by Keith Moseley and paper engineering by David Rosendale and Rodger Smith. This is a large book with vivid depictions of great moments in aviation done in pop-ups. It’s notable for an unusual point of view. For example, it shows a WWI dog fight between two planes as seen from above. There is also a spread showing the Concorde, that great French plane, ready for vertical take off rising almost 11 inches off the page. Some nice copies are listed at nominal prices.
Unless you have deep pockets you’re probably not acquiring any original issue Ernest Nister work any time soon. However, good quality modern facsimile editions abound and they can be very inexpensive. One good example is ANIMAL TALES: A reproduction from an antique book by Ernest Nister, Collins, NY 1980. A good copy showing many endearing 3-D scenes from the farm yard of days gone by costs only a few dollars. Often the shipping is more expensive than the book.