Beautiful Oops

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltsberg

Do you have a minute and 21 seconds? Watch this and experience the book for yourself:


A torn piece of paper…

Is just the beginning!

This book is a perfect design display of texture. Each page, each oops is rich and bold and begs to be touched. The distinction between the matte page and raised art is so blurry, that I handed this over to a friend and she looked at her fingers after touching the page, just to make absolutely sure that the ink didn’t rub off onto her fingers. It was such fun to watch!

If you don’t giggle when you interact with this book, check your pulse. Or your cabinet, as someone may have replaced your Corn Flakes with Grump Cakes.

Plus, who doesn’t need some validation that it’s ok to make a mistake?! Just don’t sic your boss on me if something goes terribly wrong. He might not be as amused. {Tell him to check his Corn Flakes and run.}


Oh, Popville. Could you be any more charming? Grin-inducing, awe-inspiring, or just plain adorable?

{Actually, it’s kinda a pet peeve of mine when people write ‘Dear So and So’ letters to So and So, complain about something, and then sign it ‘xo’ and cutesy, and just… no thanks. So maybe I shouldn’t have started like that. But I am distracted by the sheer delight of Popville, so lay off, ok?! -xo}

Did you miss Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book Almanac post the other day? She’s brilliant, and if you haven’t spent time at her site, go on. I’ll wait.

She highlighted Robert Sabuda’s pop-up book Winter Tale as an homage to the creator of pop-up books, Lothar Meggendorfer. Stunning. So because it’s Picture Book Month, and I’d like to think I can include myself in cahoots with Anita Silvey and say ‘Great minds think alike,’ I give you a pop-up. Popville.

The red roofed house in the center of the bare white land is the main character. With each page turn, a tiny, then busy, then bustling city emerges around it. The full green trees become roads and light poles. A lone road becomes a grid for various modes of transportation. There’s a slight sense of sadness in experiencing this book and realizing that this type of development occurs on real wide open spaces that we know and love. But conversely, community develops. People are working, building, planning, and most importantly, growing together.


Just as people, goods, and services are the building blocks of community, shapes are the building blocks of design. So then, how fitting that Popville is crafted from primary shapes? Green circles become trees, white circles and rectangles create windows, squares and rectangles construct buildings and homes, and yellow triangles rest as rooftops. Popville is engineered in such a way that each spread reveals additions to the prior page, so the rectangle die cut grows progressively larger. This physical negative space also reflects the actual long skinny rectangular shape of the book itself.

Repetitive, simple, pleasing shapes…revealed ingeniously. Fascinating, tactile, and refreshingly stylish.

{Dear Popville, you rule. It’s been fun. Sincerely, Carter}

{Check out a virtual ‘reading’ of Popville here¬†and a bit more about Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud here.}

Or take Popville for a spin yourself. I dare you to not smile.