Peter Pan by Robert Sabuda

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Peter Pan by Robert Sabuda

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A book of spectacular pop-ups to accompany the story of Peter Pan will delight any child although the book is unlikely to stand rough handling. It will be a must-have for collectors of paper engineering.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 12 Date: October 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
ISBN: 978-1847383747

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Robert Sabuda, renowned for his paper engineering, has retold the story of Peter Pan in this book of spectacular pop-ups which will delight any child and many a collector of paper engineering.

I'm not going to comment on the story of Peter Pan – J M Barrie's original has stood the test of time and is one of the true classics and any retelling of the story is likely to suffer by comparison. Here the essence of the story is given and it's tailored to fit the pop-ups, which are the point of the book.

And the pop-ups are spectacular. Open the book at the first page and the city of London wreathed in clouds unfolds beneath you. You can see Tower Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral and out of the clouds emerge the figures of Peter Pan, Wendy and Mrs. Darling. The artwork is bold, going for impact rather than detail but there's plenty to look at and to discuss. That's not all though – in addition to the main pop-up there's another as the first page of text folds out to continue the story and we have a pop-up of Nana, the Newfoundland dog and Peter himself. A further two pages fold out, each continuing the story and each with their own pop-ups folding elegantly out of the pages – and all that before we've moved on from the first main page!

This arrangement with slight variations is continued throughout the book with a wealth of pop-ups. I was particularly impressed when Peter emerged from one page, almost running towards me and Tinkerbell floated off to the side of the book. The quality of the pop-ups is excellent, with only the pirate ship on the back page needing a little help to come fully into position.

The book is robust but it's not a book which will stand any rough handling. Pages fold open and reveal the structure and then neatly fold back together again, but they are complex and a piece of card pulled even slightly out of place can cause damage or even stop the page folding back correctly. It's necessary to fold each page (and sub-page) back carefully before proceeding to the next and the child with whom I read the story was slightly impatient to find out what happened next before I'd finished the housekeeping! Practice on my part would doubtless improve this – well, that was my listener's view.

Any child would be delighted by this book, but I suspect that it's likely to be one of those books which Mummy keeps hold of if it's not to be damaged. It would work well in a group situation but I think many collectors will find that this is a book they can't miss.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For children, we were impressed by Journey to the Moon by Lucio and Meera Santoro. Collectors of paper engineering really shouldn't miss Abc 3d by Marion Bataille. You might also appreciate Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Carolyn Leigh and Amy June Bates.

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Buy Peter Pan by Robert Sabuda at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Peter Pan by Robert Sabuda at


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