Today we are looking at some very rare Italian pop-up activity books. Ever since I was given “Cappuccetto Russo” and “I Tre Porcellini” I have been curious about this series of handmade DIY pop-up books. So I went to the source, the Bologna-based paper engineer, Massimo Missiroli. He was kind enough to provide some background on these books which he started in 1997.
The titles include:
Red Riding Hood (1997) illustrated by Zampiga Milena
Three Little Pigs (1998) illustrated by Silvia Bartoletti
Hansel & Gretel
Each title has different dimensions and comprise of a number of black and white printed sheets that are sealed in a plastic bag. A rough translation of the promotional material is as follows:
“POP-UP stripe is a new series of cards in which we intend to show operational techniques for the construction of mini-books that will have classic fairy tales as their subject. Build each pop-up book which consists of five pages on a single folded strip of paper.”
Massimo came up with the idea while leading pop-up workshops with children. He decided to start his own small publishing company. Then he created and assembled the packets and sold the Pop-up Stripes via mail orders. Around 2002, the Italian publisher Quercetti bought the concept and released new versions of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs and Pinocchio. At that time, Massimo published a wonderful pop-up version of Pinocchio for Emme Edizioni. (We will see more of this title next week.)
I have yet to see any of the Quercetti versions in the flesh so if any of you readers know if they are readily available or have more information please leave a comment. Now, I go back to my collector’s dilemma – open my Pop-up Stripe and take pleasure in making my own model or keep it in it’s original condition to share with future book lovers.