The Pocket Paper Engineer, Volume One

Blue pencil

The Pocket Paper Engineer
is the easiest, most concise and most fun guide I have seen on the subject of pop-up mechanisms. Carol Barton reveals the big secret to it all: even the most complex seeming structures stem from the most basic engineering. Try out the samples and see how far you can push the elements to really make them your own!
Forest H. Graham, Trill Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This is more than a "how-to-do" book–it has several examples for the readers to try out the techniques & principles. And it has pockets to store them. I think it's a great idea that extra packets of examples are provided at extra cost in case you make a mistake or don't want to use the ones already in the book. It also will give us (especially pop-up book collectors and artists) a greater appreciation and understanding of how the pop-up books are designed and created. What makes this book even more interesting and entertaining are the quotes placed on different pages relating to creative endeavors. But the bottom line is that it's a great reference guide for any future pop-up book projects!
Andrew Borloz, Westwood, New Jersey

Purple Pen

The Pocket Paper Engineer books are beautifully done and a total delight to read and work along with. I'm a complete naif when it comes to making things with my hands, but I'm getting a kick out of cutting and folding regardless of how it all comes out.
Scott Guthery, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Carol Barton's pop-up workbook is glorious! Unique and delightfully playful, her work continues the time-honored tradition of movables in books. Thousands of book artists across the world have learned the joy of making pop-ups from this master of paper engineering!
Robert Sabuda, New York City

Mechanical pencil

The Pocket Paper Engineer is a great resource. There are so few tutorial books on the market dealing with pop-up techniques, and many of those tutorials contain ONLY pictures or hand-drawn templates that do not easily translate into workable models for students to make and assemble.This book has actual working pop-ups to pull out, cut, paste, and assemble–the correct way to teach pop-up techniques. A few unique touches that make the book even more enjoyable: pocket folders to hold the completed pop-up cards, an excellent appendix with great resources, and pop-ups that are actual (mini) works of art. This book is a great collection of the basics that all paper engineers need to understand. All advanced designs are based on a thorough understanding of the basics covered in this book. Carol has done a great job of providing a large number of techniques in Volume 1. Master them, and you'll be ready when Volume 2 hits the shelves.....
Jim Kelly, Atlanta, Georgia

As I read the book, it's the visual impact of the basic formats that hold my attention. I am a "visual" person, and detailed instructions can be beyond my comprehension due to matters I cannot control. (severe dyslexia) The instructions in the book are highly valuable to me.

Mechanical pencil

What a charming, well-conceived and useful book! It is so beautifully designed and works so well for its purpose...written with such generosity of spirit. A wonderful job!
Mary Lee, Minneapolis, Minnesota

[The Pocket Paper Engineer] is a first-class book, at such a reasonable price, especially for the custom work involve in printing and binding. Nicely designed, well printed...perfect!

The Pocket Paper Engineer can provide hours of creative fun for young adults and adults, too. The possibilities for creating your own pop-up art pieces are limitless, and all you need is a piece of paper and a pair of scissors! It's easy even if you've never tried pop-up art. Each page of the book teaches a new pop-up skill and includes a detachable practice card. As you work through each page the skills begin to build on themselves. The great part is you can go at your own pace and teach yourself to create beautiful paper sculpture.
Marel Sitron, Art specialist, barcroft elementary school, Arlington, Virginia


Very solid and honest to the touch, purposeful yet with craft and art in the interior. The content is instructive but not pedantic...I declare it a winner!.
Jason Kolker, Los Angeles, California

This pop-up instruction manual is probably the best I have seen. The format makes it what it is -- a clear, concise manual with divided areas of steps so that one is not always searching back to find the right place. There's just enough information on the page for each step of the directions. The manual itself is like a work of art, from the quality of the paper to the colors used in the Appendix. Even the index is readable, clear and concise.

Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a class in pop-up engineering with Carol. I can say without equivocation that she is an excellent teacher, and was thrilled to learn that she had published a book. And what a book it is! Simple, clear, and interesting–what more could you ask? Well, how about some extra cards so you can play around some more? Take a class with Carol if you have the chance, but if you don't (or even if you do), buy this book!
Mojosmom, Chicago, Illinois

Mechanical pencil

If you want to understand how 3-dimensional pop-up structures work in paper, this is an excellent place to start. [The book] takes you through a sequence of exercises that demonstrate the basic principles. It also suggests how to apply your own creativity to these concepts. The book is handsome and cleverly designed...with pockets to store your completed exercises for future reference. It's great if you're just curious, but it provides real substance for the serious artist. But be careful; paper engineering is truly addictive.
Albert H. Brown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What a terrific, easy-to-use, wet-your-appetite book! Carol Barton is the "Queen of Pop-Ups" for sure! Known to all book artists as a leader in engineering the concepts of pop-up and moving book arts. This book takes her workshop instructions and puts them in an easy-to-follow order. A must for all of us who delight in movable structures...and a must for moms and dads who want to give their kids a creative outlet beyond crayons and markers! Carol's book not only teaches, but is a delight to the eye, with great photo examples throughout.
Carol Schwartzott, Freeville, New York


Carol Barton is a poet using sculptural paper. With a few scores and cuts, she creates page after page of entertaining, comical, and useful paper magic that is simple enough for a child to do. Her paper engineered series of books takes the most basic form and creates a unique experience for anyone interested in learning this paper sculpture medium. It is clearly the most concise and logical of any of the paper engineering teaching guides published today. Carol's book is perfect for after-school programs, libraries, homeschooling art classes, and for serious paper engineers who want to start with the basics and work from there. The book contains preprinted cards that teach by actually building. It is a wonderful addition to any paper engineering library.
Sally Blakemore, Arty Projects Studio, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Carol Barton is one of the premier book artists practicing today. In her text, The Pocket Paper Engineer, she demonstrates the ease in combining and transforming book forms into sculptural objects. The book has easy-to-follow directions and demonstrates a physical practice through its own design. This text is expansive and contains information pertinent to beginners as well as professionals.
Anita Jung

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