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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Popville, designed by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud. Roaring Brook, HB Fenn. 2010. $21.99 ages 5 and up

"In the beginning, there may only be a single building at the end of a road: a barn, perhaps, or a church with a bell tower, visible from far away.
Can you see it?"

Pop-up books are a tough purchase for libraries and classrooms, but they hold so much appeal for children. This book is remarkable in design as it shows the development of a city which begins with one building at the end of a road and surrounded by trees. Each turn of the page adds details and growth. Needed buildings such as a school are added, as well as people and roads while trees are removed and greenspace falls by the wayside. Soon, more vehicles are evident and a rail line and additional roads that move cars in alternate directions. The final spread adds two fold-out sections that extend the city, adding industrial buildings and electrical wires, variety in buildings and churches, a park and even more widespread growth.

As the paper engineering ends, the authors leave us with a slight story of growth, change and some questions that encourage a second look, so that readers might find the many structures that make this new city what it is. They encourage their readers to think about their own city and how it might grow.

Kids love pop-ups and I think they would find this fascinating. Pair it with Peter Kent's City Across Time (May 20) for an in-depth study.

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