Last Updated on August 3, 2023 by bethrmartin
From the intricate paper engineering of Robert Sabuda to the abstract interactive design of 600 Black Spots, pop up books have captivated and delighted readers across generations. The fantastic 3D construction is an art form in its own right, and these books are endlessly enjoyable to children and adults alike.
As a designer, I love collecting art books, and my pop-ups are some of my absolute favorites. They are endlessly cheerful, and whenever I’m stuck in a design rut, they always find a way to jolt me out of it. A few years ago, I even designed a pop up themed window display for Hermès!
Pop up books are a great way to introduce kids to reading or as an engaging form of play. These books make a wonderful gift for many occasions, whether you are shopping for a child’s birthday or a housewarming present.
So whether you are searching for the perfect gift for your little one or you are just a child at heart, these fantastic pop up books sure to wow!
Some Things To Consider About Pop Up Books
There are so many fun pop-up book options that you will not want to stop once you start collecting. The choices are seemingly endless, from cute tales for toddlers to interactive stories that will dazzle.
Modern pop up books include interactive elements such as word searches or puzzles as well as fun activities, making them perfect for inspiring creativity in kids of all ages. If you’re looking for classics, you will be thrilled that many of your favorite tales come alive in pop-up book form.
If you purchase a pop up book for a child, you must consider how your little one will interact with the book. Some pop ups books are constructed elaborately, which means they are pretty delicate. The listed age range is usually for children who can handle the book carefully, but a younger child might still enjoy the book if supervised while they explore.
For each book below, I’ve included the suggested reading age. No matter what kind of book you choose, rest assured that your gift will provide hours of learning and entertainment.
What Are The Best Pop Up Books Of This Year?
Here are my favorite pop up books for your collection:
- 600 Black Spots
- Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- Shells: A Pop-Up Book of Wonder
- Hermès Pop Up
- Flora: A Botanical Pop-up Book
- Hokusai Pop-Ups
- Believe: A Pop-Up Book of Possibilities
- The Wide Mouthed Frog
- The Elements of Pop Up
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As you open the front cover of this beautiful book, you will be surprised with delight! This entertaining modernist art book is as perfect for little kids as for the most discerning art lover in your life.
Mondrian-inspired primary colors and Memphis-style shapes will take you on a journey that will mesmerize you as you search for all 600 black spots. The craftsmanship is excellent, and some of the most simply constructed pop ups have a way of also being the most magical.
The cool metallic cover on this book makes it just as beautiful closed as it is open.
Reading Age: 3-7
Your favorite dinosaur lover will be truly enamored with this thrilling and fantastically detailed pop up book. It doesn’t scrimp on educational facts, and paired with complex pop up sculptures, the dinosaurs practically jump off the pages before your eyes.
The construction is delicate, so young kids may need help folding the pop ups back into place properly. But this extra work is worth it because these pop up dinosaurs are show-stoppers.
If sharks are more your style, check out Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters. It’s just as fun as the dino version, but for deep-sea enthusiasts!
Reading Age: 3-7
Robert Sabuda is an absolute classic designer in the pop up book world, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a perfect example of his work. His amazing pop ups make-up designs, matched with beautiful illustrations, make the actions feel like they are genuinely coming to life – the twister spins, the poppies bloom, and the hot air balloon looks like it will float off the pages.
This pop up adaptation is the original telling (the slippers are silver!), and so many little details make this fun book feel extraordinary whenever you pick it up. It’s a must-have for any avid reader, no matter the age.
Reading Age: 4-10
This magical pop up world under the sea is filled with tons of ocean wonders. From hermit crabs to beautiful gardens of coral to tropical islands and even a sneaky octopus, you will feel as though you have gone on a real deep sea voyage.
The vibrant illustrations will draw you in, and the fold-out pages are full of surprises that will keep your little reader coming back for more. This wonderful book is an incredibly exciting way to introduce children to our vast and fascinating oceans while having so much fun.
Reading Age: 3+
This may look like a simple book about the ABCs, but it’s so much more. Typography enthusiasts will adore the gorgeous simplicity of the design, and kids will be thrilled to follow along with the pop-ups as they advance through the alphabet.
Each letter is bold and three-dimensional, making it a great tactile experience for young readers. The pop ups are brilliant, and you will be shocked the humble alphabet could be so amazing.
Reading Age: 2-4
If you are looking for a luxury gift without the luxury price tag, look no further than this beautiful pop up book. This interactive book brings many of the most iconic Hermès scarves designs to life with intricate paper sculptures.
Each page is a work of art with amazing details and vibrant colors, and the story is imaginative and playful. This is the perfect pop up book for fashion lovers and would make an excellent addition to any home library.
Reading Age: 13+
Go on a journey with the pollinators in this lovely book filled with gorgeous illustrations and beautiful pop ups. Little wonders are hidden under almost every leaf and petal, and readers will be delighted to discover the unique creatures that call Flora home.
Children will see the world from pollinators’ perspectives and learn about the importance of preserving biodiversity in our environment. It’s a great pop up book for children and parents alike and would make a thoughtful gift for many occasions.
Reading Age: 3+
This book is part of a designer series of pop up books, and here you will learn about the exemplary Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. His stunning work leaps off the pages as beautiful 3D pop ups.
Not to be outdone by its beauty, this book also provides a detailed look into the life and work of Hokusai, as well as his influence on art and culture today. This is an ideal way to experience classic Japanese art firsthand and appreciate its magnificence in a new dimension. It will become an instant classic for any art lover or pop-up book fan.
Reading Age: 13+
Believe has a minimal design aesthetics compared to some of the other pop up books on this list, but it still packs a big punch. The all-white pop-ups are daydream-like, and the story will encourage kids to dream big.
This inspirational message is perfect for kids and grown-ups alike. Readers will be captivated by the intricate pop-ups and learn that anything is possible if you just believe.
Reading Age: 3+
This colorful and cute book is perfect for toddlers because the pop ups are simple while still being fun. The accompanying story is a classic folk tale about a wide-mouthed frog who eats anything and everything in sight!
Kids will laugh at the silly antics of the frog, and they might even learn a valuable lesson or two along the way.
Reading Age: 2-4
If you have looked at all these incredible pop up books and felt inspired to create your own, then The Elements of Pop Up is the ultimate book to show you the way. It will teach you the basics of design, how to create pull tabs, and basic mechanics so you can make your own stories come alive.
With this book as your guide, you can create fantastic pop up books that will wow any reader. Curious kids and adults will enjoy constructing imaginative compositions, and maybe one day, your design will be on a bestseller list!
Reading Age: 8+
Pop up books are a great way to spark imagination and creativity, and the options on this list are some of the best. From classic stories to modern art, these pop up books offer something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for an educational experience or a fun diversion, something on this list will surely bring joy to your day. With so many fantastic and original options, the only issue when purchasing the best pop up book is buying only one!
These books are an incredibly thoughtful idea for a present. So whether you are searching for a child’s birthday or need a great gift for an artist of any age, consider a pop up book about their favorite topic.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. I hope you have enjoyed the list of great pop up books and found something to add to your collection.