Review: Magic Books & Paper Toys

18 Jan 2009

Here's one more reason it's great to have a mom who reads your blog. Remember this post, in which I got all excited about Esther K. Smith's new book? Well, a few days after posting that, my parents were handing me a wrapped package! So now I get to share this new book with you!

Magic Books & Paper Toys is, again, way cleverer than the publisher's photos will have you believe. Let me try to explain: above is the front cover...

Flip the book upside down and look at the back cover. See the difference? So the "Magic Books" section and the "Paper Toys" section are oriented upside down to each other, and they meet in the center spread:

I love, love, love that this book has fun with the book form!

And again with the amazing typography....

Just to give you some sort of overview, the Magic Books side covers several interesting versions of pop-ups, flip books, and unique folds. The Paper Toys side contains toys that reveal things, toys that flex, and toys that snap.

There are so many cool projects in here! This one amazes me - it's a variant on the accordion book, but those photos? Wowee.

This one's called the Exquisite Corpse Flap Book. It's based on a children's drawing game developed by the Surrealists. That is the level of fascinating coolness to be found in this book.

I'm super-excited to know how to make these magic wallets at long last.

Okay, who remembers these? Interestingly, the author began asking around to find out their origin, and discovered that many, many countries have some variation on this paper children's toy - as a fortune-telling game, or a story-telling game, or (as I remember it) as a "cootie catcher."

A snake book!

Seriously, this one is an amazing inspiration book for paper-geeks, or people with creative kids, or card and book-makers. Just like its predecessor, a wonderful creative tool that will inspire tons of interesting projects.

Thank you, Mom!

Comments

I bought both these books pretty much immediately upon reading your first review. I'm a printmaker and bookmaker, and have been looking for some books like these for years — the perfect combination of personality, inspiration and technical details.

I sat down and made my first hexaflexagon the other day — so much fun! Thanks so much for the recommendations!


You are so welcome!


I actually have a "magic wallet" though mine is looking rather sad these days because it is so old. It is made from fabric and ribbons and has been a favorite for many years.


As a paper addict, this just makes me hungry. I love all these different ways to use and look at paper. Love the upside/down, but also all the flaps, doors, popouts. I'll have to put this on my list.


Cootie catchers? Oh yea -- I was so there making those. We'd put boy's names in the center (Fav Number, Fav Color, Boy You're Going to Marry -- quaint and old school weren't we?).

I bought a Klutz Press book for our daughter years ago just to be able to make these.


Cootie catchers? Oh yea -- I was so there making those. We'd put boy's names in the center (Fav Number, Fav Color, Boy You're Going to Marry -- quaint and old school weren't we?).

I bought a Klutz Press book for our daughter years ago just to be able to make these.


You are so welcome!


I actually have a "magic wallet" though mine is looking rather sad these days because it is so old. It is made from fabric and ribbons and has been a favorite for many years.


As a paper addict, this just makes me hungry. I love all these different ways to use and look at paper. Love the upside/down, but also all the flaps, doors, popouts. I'll have to put this on my list.


I bought both these books pretty much immediately upon reading your first review. I'm a printmaker and bookmaker, and have been looking for some books like these for years — the perfect combination of personality, inspiration and technical details.

I sat down and made my first hexaflexagon the other day — so much fun! Thanks so much for the recommendations!