Book Review – Practical Pop-Ups & Paper Engineering

Title: Practical Pop-Ups & Paper Engineering: A step-by-step course in the art of creative card-making

Written by: Trish Phillips and Ann Montanaro

Published by: Lorenz Books

practical pop ups

This book is not necessarily a children’s book but is all about a craft I associate with children’s books and would make a great art and craft teacher resource. My first experience of pop-up books was when I was teaching. My favourites were The Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky and The Wide Mouth Frog by Keith Faulkner and Jonathan Lambert.

With over 100 techniques and projects, in 1000 photographs to choose from, Practical Pop-Ups & Paper Engineering will inspire all ages to have a go at their own paper engineering projects. It is one of the best and most comprehensive paper-engineering books I have ever seen.

Practical Pop-Ups & Paper Engineering outlines the history of paper engineering from volvelles, which were pages of a book that had two or more round paper discs that rotated on a spindle secured to the page at the centre of the circle, to pop-ups that were used to entertain and celebrate. The book is full of fascinating facts, like pop-ups were not invented until the 19th century and how anatomical fold-up flap drawings were used in the 16th century to illustrate human anatomy as physically performing dissections was banned.

There is a chapter explaining what a paper engineer is and the materials, tools and techniques they use. Including making templates, cutting tips and troubleshooting. But the main feature of this book is the fact it provides step-by-step instructions for the beginner as well as intermediate and more advanced projects.

inside of pop-up book

Some of the beginner designs could be used in the primary classroom to make novelty cards celebrating special holidays and Mother’s Day. Or for the older age range they may inspire some ingenious craft and GCSE art work.

If like me, you decide to try any of these designs I wold be interested to know. You can leave a message here on my blog, or contact me through my website:

You can find out more about Trish Phillips on her website: or follow her on Twitter @trish_again 

To find out more about Ann Montanaro you can visit:

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