A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book

Image of A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book
Release Date: 
November 10, 2010
Little, Brown & Company
Reviewed by: 

Who knew that the timeless Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, could be so beautifully re-imagined in such a fresh, exuberant way?

In this gorgeous pop-up book, artist Charles Fischer and paper engineer Bruce Foster have created a 3-D offering that is worthy of its price, collectible, and savory beyond the breathtaking 3-D art. The first spread opens with a beautiful rendering of an olde English town. Cleverly incorporated into the art and paper engineering are the title and the credits. The first storybooklet (of six included) is a 28-page look at the life and times of Charles Dickens. It is well-written, fascinating, and gorgeously illustrated, giving it a realistically old-timey feel.

The second spread of six opens to a scene of Scrooge being haunted by the three spirits. The engineering is such that there are ghosts that move, spirits that appear wailing from behind an acetate window, plus flying books and chains galore. The 28-page storybooklet here, “Marley’s Ghost,” features a creepy changing picture on its own front cover—a classy touch.

The third spread features the Ghost of Christmas Past, with a gatefold that further increases the landscape of the art. A cleverly engineered, page-motion-activated mechanic breathes life into a pajama-clad Scrooge, giving the scene a deliciously eerie feel. The storybooklet here continues the story from the previous one and is entitled, “The First of the Three Spirits.”

I don’t want to give away the entire book here, so I will simply tease you with this tidbit: There are three more storybooklets, a serious grim reaper moment that jumps right out at the reader, and . . . a happy ending.

My only concern (and most complexly paper engineered pop-up books share this issue) is that if you don’t close the spread just right, you might crush one of the edges of the pop-ups. As well, the storybooklets will fall out if the book is upended in any way.

But these are minor quibbles with what is overall, the most richly developed version of A Christmas Carol in 3-D since Disney came out with the movie!

Buy it. Save it. Bring it out during the Christmas festivities and show it off on the mantlepiece. Then settle in around the fireplace with the kidlets at your feet and take the time to read these storybooks aloud. Besides enjoying a new classic, you will have created a delightfully spooky new holiday ritual that everyone in the family can revel in.