The Raven: A Pop-Up Book is a dark and sinister, but beautiful pop-up title created by designer and paper engineer David Pelham. David Pelham, know from Trail: Paper Poetry Pop-Up, has done a great job creating pop-ups from the stunning illustrations of Christopher Wormell. It seems to be a more basic pop-up book but that’s not the case. The complex animation of pop-up’s and the clean style of engineering contributes in a modest way to the story and illustrations.
Amazon link: The Raven: A Pop-Up Book
The Raven is a poem about love, loss and madness written by Edgar Allan Poe. It’s beloved and known for its stylized use of language and mysterious atmosphere. It tells the story a mournful man who’s slowly falling into madness because of the dead of his love Lenore. Hurt by the loss of Lenore he has locked himself up in a mansion. It seems like he’s losing his mind when he starts to see the raven. The raven only speaks in one word as an answer for every question: “Nevermore”. The Raven poem goes deep, is dark and has all the ingredients of a classic folk story with a Gothic flavor.
It seems to us that David Pelham engineered this pop-up book with great respect for both the story and artwork. In this book, all three segments are balanced and in proportion. The variation of used techniques and the effect of paper animation make this book a pop-up premium. Nowadays, when most pop-up books are stuffed with mini pop-up’s in pop-up spreads, you’ll almost forget how beautiful clean engineering can be. And that’s exactly what The Raven proves. The way pop-up’s merge with the backgrounds is almost seamless. Every spread is solid and pop’s in-and-out perfectly. The final page, that displays the mansion surrounded by waves, is spectacular and already one of our favorite pop-up spreads we’ve ever seen. Hidden behind the artwork, the story literally unfolds when you lift and read the flaps.
Christopher Wormell’s illustrations are breathtaking! His classic technique of etching and engraving fits this 1845 poem perfectly. The deep black shadows and almost symmetric compositions create a surreal atmosphere. It’s not just the graphic style of crosshatchings that makes this book unique and gothic, but also the use of light, which creates extra depth to the pop-up’s is magnificent. Apart from the fact that this pop-up version of The Raven is unique, this must be the most beautiful illustrated version of this story ever made.
It will be no surprise that The Raven is no pop-up book for younger children. We think it’s a bit to dark for that. As an adult, you’ll enjoy The Raven even more. It brings the story to life in a way you’ve never seen before. Or should we say “nevermore”?
Special thanks to Abrams Books!
Order The Raven: A Pop-Up Book at Amazon: The Raven: A Pop-Up Book
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Book design by David Pelham
Illustrated by Christopher Wormell
Published by Abrams Books