In this collectors interview, we meet Massimo Missiroli from Italy. He started collecting pop-up books back in 1978 and now owns an impressive collection of classic pop-up titles that has been seen by over 70.000 people. Massimo, who is also an expert in the education of the image, worked for many years as an advisor for school projects and councils. Massimo started with designing pop-up books in 1991 and created his first published book in 1997 “Iciest day ever”, illustrated by Richard Scarry. He also created pop-up books for Schreiber Verlag (German) the pop-up editions of Struwwelpeter and Max und Moritz. In June 2001, he was awarded, for his paper-engineering work, with the prestigious Andersen Prize assigned by the homonymous magazine. And another highlight worth mentioning, Massimo’s Pinocchio pop-up was nominated for the 2004 Meggendorfer prize.
BPUB – What’s the first pop-up book you bought?
MM – I bought my first book 42 years ago. It was the reprint of The Children’s Tableaux, A Novel Color Book for children by Ernest Nister. The reproduction was printed by Intervisual book Inc. and the Italian title was I gatti di Gattolica. After a few years I also bought the original from 1895 but I have always been fond of my first book. Without buying that pop-up book, I would never have started collecting.
BPUB – Who are your favorite pop-up book authors or paper engineers?
MM – My favorite author is definitely Vojtech Kubasta. I like all his books, from the small books with numbers to the theater tales. In particular, the panascope series that I also have in multiple copies and in various editions. For those who find it interesting, I photographed them in stereoscopic and it’s possible to see them on my website in three dimensions with red and blue glasses.
“I photographed them in stereoscopic and it’s possible to see them on my website”
BPUB – What are your favorite books in your collection and why?
MM – In addition to Kubasta’s work, I also like the French series of Lucos and Bookano and also, of course, Lothar Meggendorfer’s movable books.
BPUB – How many books are there in your collection?
MM – I stopped counting them when I reached 4,000. Now I think I am approaching 5,000 pop-up books. In the last few months alone, I have received over 200 responses on eBay and purchased just as many on Amazon.
BPUB – What book is missing or will be the first one you’ll order next?
MM – I would like to buy a scenic book because it is missing from my collection. I have about thirty Father Tuck, Nister and Meggendorfer pop-ups but a scenic is missing so I’m waiting for the right time to buy Lothar Meggendorfer’s “Internationaler circus“.
BPUB – If you could choose a subject for a new pop-up book by your favorite author, what would it be?
MM – I like the surprise of seeing new titles. Paper engineers are very creative and always know how to make new things to amaze collectors.
BPUB – Is there anything else you would like to share with other pop-up book fans?
MM – My collection has become a traveling exhibition since 2017 and has also been staged in the United Arab Emirates and at the Shanghai Book Fair. (Visit the popupshow.net page to find out more…) In two years, the exhibition has been seen by more than 70,000 visitors which I have fascinated with a selection of my most interesting pop-ups.
BPUB – Thank you Massimo, for sharing your pop-up book collection with us!
Massimo engineered this beautiful pop-up page
that was included in the 40-anniversary photo book by Kenzo
WANTED: Pop-up book fans and collectors
Do you have a pop-up book collection you would like to share with other fans? Do you have special items like a signed book or special edition? Let us know and send us a picture and answer the questions below and maybe, you’ll find your collection on this page!
How it works
Send us a high resolution (landscape crop) picture of you and your pop-up book collection and a short introduction of yourself. Don’t forget to include the answers to the questions from our Fan interview. You can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org