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Pop-up books for kids

We've rounded up eight new creations that make the perfect gift.

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Dragons and Monsters

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Dragons and Monsters

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Dragons and Monsters

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Dragons and Monsters

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Guess How Much I Love You

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Guess How Much I Love You

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Guess How Much I Love You

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Guess How Much I Love You

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Chanukah Lights

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Chanukah Lights

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Chanukah Lights

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Puff the Magic Dragon

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Puff the Magic Dragon

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Amazing Pop-Up Trucks

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Amazing Pop-Up Trucks

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Amazing Trucks

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Christmas at the Mouse House

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Christmas at the Mouse House

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Christmas in the Mouse House

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Under the Hood

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Under the Hood

  • Photograph: Lauren Foy

    Under the Hood

Photograph: Lauren Foy

Dragons and Monsters

When it comes time to giving gifts to kids, books always get the shaft: You're already making sure your child has great reading material year-round. But parents can't help wanting to share their lit love, even during the holidays, which is why pop-up books are the ideal solution. Part toy, part book, these lively creations underscore just how entertaining reading can be.

Dragons & Monsters by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda (Candlewick, $30; ages 5 and up)
With a bit of care on the part of its owner, this mythical creature--exploring treasure can last many years. Younger kids will love the amazing 3-D creations—there are way more than it appears at first glance—while their somewhat older counterparts sate their curiosity with the fascinating stories behind them.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram, paper engineering by Corina Fletcher (Candlewick Press, $30; ages 3 and up)
Illustrator Anita Jeram's watercolor-esque images are surprisingly well-suited to the 3-D format. Pull-tabs lend the parent-fave tale, about Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare's love competition, a welcome interactivity that's likely to endear it to little ones, too.

Chanukah Lights by Michael J. Rosen and Robert Sabuda (Candlewick Press, $35; ages 5 and up)
Truly a labor of love, Lights explores the meaning of each day of Hanukkah with beautiful and amazingly intricate 3-D creations, such as a sailing vessel or old-world shtetl, accompanied by simple text ("...in the holds of ships, refugees long for peace like the sight of land") that adds a kid-friendly, holiday-appropriate layer of meaning.                         

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin, $30; ages 4 and up)
The wondrous tale about the adventures of a great kid named Charlie Bucket needs no extra gimmicks to be one of the awesomest stories ever told. But since the paper engineering is done with Quentin Blake's original illustrations, the story retains its charm while becoming even more appealing to the emerging reader.

Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton, illustrated by Eric Puybaret and Bruce Foster (Sterling Children's Books, $27; ages 3 and up)
This book's a must for lovers of the song—which in our opinion is just about any kid who's heard it. Its text is simply the lyrics of the song, and it comes with a four-track CD (a duet and an instrumental version, plus two other tunes). We've seen one pop-up spread, and its art, by Eric Puybaret, is terrific.

Amazing Pop-Up Trucks by Robert Crowther (Candlewick Press, $18; ages 3 and up)
At about age 2, at least half the world's population is fascinated with all things transportation, and especially those with wheels. Each turn of the page reveals a new vehicle for kids to explore, from a cement mixer to a truck train, as their parents read the accompanying backstory.

Christmas in the Mouse House by Maggie Kneen (Templar Books, $15; ages 3 to 6)
The simple tale, about a mouse family whose decorations go missing as they prepare for Christmas, enlists the help of young readers to find the ornaments around the house, hidden behind cupboard doors and other moving parts. It's also a quiet reminder that holiday fun doesn't always have to be about gifts.

Under the Hood (Candlewick Press, $15; ages 3 and up)
The very idea of introducing little kids to the concept of an object's mechanics can seem daunting. Those who want to try, though, will do well by this humorous book, about a bear mechanic who's got troubles only curious kids can solve—with a little help from its strategically placed flaps.

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