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Arctic Christmas: A Very Cool Pop-Up Book

12/23/2016
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In the Arctic, all the animals are getting ready for Christmas. There are some drifting friends on their way for a Christmas visit and a cup of hot tundra tea. So everybody helps decorating the place and is getting ready just on time to welcome the visiting penguins with a tree-trimming party and a show of stars and Northern Lights to enjoy together.

Arctic Christmas is a new publication by Jumping Jack Press and one of the latest pop-up titles engineered by Yevgeniya Yeretskaya. We love the work of Yevgeniya! She created a lot of Holiday pop-up titles and is known for her surprising and original way of working with pop-ups. We already reviewed and captured two of our favorites: Snowflakes and The Snow Queen. Both books are beautiful winter themed pop-up books by Yevgeniya that she not only engineered but also illustrated.

Arctic Christmas is a very lovely and adorable Christmas pop-up book for kids but also for an adult, it’s hard to resist all that cuteness. The story is in rhyme and combined with the illustrations, this book is a jolly and cheerful Christmas pop-up that every kid will love. It contains seven solid pop-up spreads and some of them have pull tabs for animation and interaction between the reader and the characters. Arctic Christmas definitely is a very cool pop-up book!


Yevgeniya Yeretskaya about Arctic Christmas

We’ve asked Yevgeniya how she and her team came up with the idea to create Arctic Christmas and if she could tell us more about the process  of creating this pop-up book with her team.

Yevgeniya Yeretskaya: 
The idea to make the Arctic Christmas book came about because of a panoramic greeting card, designed for the holiday season at Up With Paper. All of us on the Up With Paper team liked this card very much and agreed that we would like to create a holiday story around all these sweet animals in an Arctic setting as they’re getting ready for Christmas. Of course, penguins live nowhere near the Arctic, which is why it was decided that they would be coming up from Antarctica to visit their friends up North!

Pippa Curnick, the illustrator who created the original art for the card, was asked whether she would like to work on another book with us. To our delight she agreed! This is Pippa’s third book title with Jumping Jack Press – a publishing division of Up With Paper. Her previous illustrated titles with us include The Mitten and Santa’s Tree, which is the 2016 Silver Medal Winner for Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Book Arts/Pop-Up/Cut-Out!!

Next, we reached out to Janet Lawler, an author of children’s books we have also worked with before. We thought that her writing style would be perfect for this title, as it was for Santa’s Tree the year before. She agreed as well and put together a story in verse, adding really great details that would later be translated into artwork. It was such a pleasure to be working with her again!

Once her work was done, I took Janet’s text, broke it up into sections and sketched/storyboarded the book. As I did this, I also noted ideas for the mechanics and their elements, for paper layering and adding details to illustrations, all which would be included on each spread, along with placement of the text.

After the storyboards were approved, I sent those sketches to Pippa to turn into finished artwork. Illustrating for pop-ups can be tricky, because the art gets taken apart and then put together again in a thee-dimensional configuration. It is like breaking and putting “Humpty-Dumpty” together again, and again, and again! Since I had worked with Pippa on the two previous titles, she understood what I needed as far as “layering” of art, painting different animals, objects and backgrounds separately, and adding extra details where requested: for instance, the Hares! They serve tea on spread #4 and their bodies were painted separately from their arms because they were parts of moving push-pull mechanics.

“Designing and putting together pop-up books makes me really happy!”

Yevgeniya Yeretskaya

At this point I was conceptualizing and art-directing, but I was not yet selected as the paper engineer for this book. When the first illustrations came in, our VP/Creative Director Monika Brandrup asked if I would like to engineer it. I said: “Of course!” and then did a little dance, because designing and putting together pop-up books makes me really happy!!

Engineering after that was pretty seamless because all of the parts were already painted to my specifications. I had everything needed to play with the mechanics and bring the story into a multi-dimensional realm! It was just a matter of time and focus–and also giving unfinished spreads to all the kids I knew to see if the paper mechanics would survive the handling.

I am so happy you think that Arctic Christmas is a wonderful book! I certainly enjoyed working on it! Seeing how it has evolved from the greeting card that it was based on, with fun verse and subtle humor in it’s content, and with sweet little added details in the illustrations, has been the most interesting part of this project. Every one of us put our own spin on what we thought this book should be like, and I think by almost alchemical process, it transformed into something very different, but wonderfully so!

Order at Amazon: Arctic Christmas: A Very Cool Pop-Up Book

Paper Engineering by Yevgeniya Yeretskaya

Story by Janet Lawler
Illustrated by Pippa Curnick
Published by Jumping Jack Press


Winter and Christmas Pop-up books by Yevgeniya Yeretskaya

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