Whipup Blog, February 9, 2008
A brilliant book that explains in detail how to make pop-ups, starting with a short history into paper engineering and the mechanics of how to make 3-D forms come alive. The simple concept of a pop-up delights everyone, from the easiest of folds to the more complicated constructs with layered movement that pull out from the page when opened. It's a must to start at the beginning of this book, as all materials and directions are neatly explained. The language is aimed at a young audience, but this is great when introducing precise techniques needed to make pop-ups work. The design of the book, with its oversized portrait DL layout and spiral binding gives readers the feeling they are entering into a great hands-on instruction manual rather than a sit-in-bed under-the-covers kinda book. In fact, the foldouts and card pockets (which contain illustrations to cut out) make this book the kind you sit with at the craft table. Its neatly organized chapters (triangles, squares, variations, etc.) are tabbed, giving the whole book a nice feel.... It's a book designed to teach the techniques of pop-ups, and then armed with this new knowledge and skill, readers are invited to explore their imaginations.  Enjoy the adventure!

BoingBoing Web Review by Cory Doctorow, Summer 2007
I'm in love with Carol Barton's book The Pocket Paper Engineer, a step-by-step guide to designing and executing pop-up effects with paper. Most of the examples focus on grown-up uses for pop-ups--effective presentations and so on--but it's really easy to see how you could use this with kids (or friends) to make wicked-cool art. The book carefully guides you through progressively more ambitious popups in a clear and easy-to-follow style with tons of illustrations and examples. The author promises more volumes with even more advanced techniques.

Paper Creations Magazine, Spring 2007
This is one book that will appeal to just about everyone regardless of age or gender. It's a pleasure as well to use since the hard cover has a wire binding that allows the book to lie flat when open. Sturdy reinforced tabs make it easy to flip between the topics covered, including: Directions, Boxes, Triangles, Combinations and Variations, and Layers. The book is interactive and is meant to be taken apart. Sample pages are perforated along one side for easy removal, diagrams and instructions are simple to follow, and there are handy pockets provided throughout. The theories presented for each different pop-up are applicable well beyond the information offered in the book, making it a creative resource and a good value. Make sure to look at the important safety information in the Appendix, especially if you are sharing the book with children. The author has been teaching paper engineering and book arts for over two decades, and her expertise is amply demonstrated throughout.

Black mechanical pencil

Parenthesis Magazine, London, January 2007
Once upon a time I bought Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking to guide me in the art of chocolate mousse. The book has now retired to a high shelf in the kitchen. In daily cooking I revert to standard recipes, although a persuasive chef may introduce me to an exotic new ingredient. But sardines on toast are still sardines on toast, even with a dash of papaya vinegar. The elaborate concoctions in cookbooks cause some to act on their appetites, but many of us continue to entertain feasts of fantasy.

As with cookbooks, so with many other instruction manuals: they are often merely repositories of possibility. Yet Carol Barton’s chunky, ring-bound book on making pop-ups is far more stimulating. Her designs, like the best home-cooking, require no complicated ingredients, but are rich in possibility. Although ‘the shapes are easy to construct... once you learn the forms the only limit to the designs is your own imagination’.... The colourful collaged fold-out cards in The Pocket Paper Engineer display the more modest subject matter of milk bottles and scarlet beetles. Barton plays with dimensions with disarming flair, transforming a crossword puzzle into a dynamic box shape. The visual diagrams which accompany each example were honed while working across the English-Portuguese language barrier with children in Brazil, resulting in great clarity. Given the attractions of the fold-out cards it is hard to draw the line between reading this book and playing with it.

My fingers reached for an X-acto knife as I advanced from angst-free box shapes to cross-overs and the unlimited promise of the final section ‘More and More Layers.’ For purists who prefer to keep their books intact, or addicts who want to do it all over again, Barton offers the option of buying a second set of work cards (which incorporate two extra designs). Pockets within the book provide space to store the completed cards, as well as independent projects. And once these overflow, there is the promise of The Pocket Paper Engineer, Volume II, to ensure our appetites do not become dulled.

Wooden pencil, review by Jan Warren
A good book! four stars, March 16, 2006

Whether you’re 8 or 80, if kinetic art (art with motion) has always fascinated you, then you’ll enjoy creating pop-ups. Since hands-on is the best way to master any skill, you might want to invest in The Pocket Paper Engineer. The 16 three-panel project cards have easy-to-follow instructions printed right on the colorful tear-outs.The 67-page book is bound with wire-O (think heavy-duty spiral), so the book lies flat when opened. Another nice feature is the project pockets within the sections to store your completed projects....

The Pocket Paper Engineer has easy-to-locate tabs that divide its six sections: Directions, Boxes, Triangles, Combinations and Variations, Layers and Appendix. An interesting tidbit in the book was the history of pop-ups. The genre has its roots in antique scientific texts. As early as the fifteenth century, paper dials and lift-up flaps were used to explain concepts in astronomy, mathematics, and human anatomy. There is nothing that antiquated within the modern pages of this book, but it does have bright and fanciful projects to complete.Once you learn the basic concepts of each form, then it’s merely a matter of applying them to your own original ideas such as my personal favorites, scrapbooks and card making. (These are areas not specifically covered in this volume.) Armchair Interviews says: If you are looking for a good beginner’s introduction to pop-up art, then this book should meet that need....

Blue pencil

National Association of Art Educators Newsletter, February 2006
Reviewed by George Szekely, professor of Art Education, University of Kentucky

Recently I gave my art education class an assignment to create a book for children, to introduce them to architecture and an appreciation of historic styles. What began as a rather academic assignment turned into a three-dimensional fun-fest after I presented Carol Barton's manual on how to create pop-up books. With Barton's simple-to-follow diagrams of basic pop-up techniques, the students' building illustrations went beyond just informational notes to becoming fanciful structures that one could walk around and enter. In her book, Ms. Barton does an excellent job of explaining all the steps that lift any flat art project into space, allowing it to come to life.

Kid's are naturals at folding paper. Elementary school children invent folded dolls and interpret complex origami routines into their own creations. A natural interest in the subject makes children the perfect candidates to become "pocket paper engineers."

Voice of Youth Advocates Magazine, February 2006
Would-be architects and engineers will enjoy this introduction to the art of making pop-ups. Unlike many books on the subject, this one does not offer elaborate projects. Instead, Barton explains the mechanics behind basic forms and techniques. Although today pop-ups and "movables" are often associated with children's books, the author points out that as early as the fifteenth century, such constructions were used in scientific texts for fields like astronomy and human anatomy. Included in the spiral-bound volume are simple but sophisticated projects that can be cut out and constructed, designed so that "the beauty of their underlying geometries can be readily comprehended and appreciated...." The author plans a series of workbooks building on the skills introduced here. Judging from this promising beginning, readers who work through them patiently will be able not only to construct pop-ups, but to understand the principles underlying their construction. Teachers will find this book a useful classroom resource (if they can keep students from taking their scissors to the book). It would also make an excellent gift for a budding paper engineer....

The HartfoRd Courant, January 20, 2006, Review by Valerie Finholm
We love pop-up cards and books, and we've always wondered how they get the things to work. Being craft-impaired, we figured it would be one of those Things We Would Never Know, until we happened upon Carol Barton's new book, The Pocket Paper Engineer: How to Make Pop-Ups Step-by-Step. "There is magic in opening a flat page to reveal a three-dimensional form, and the magicians behind this magic are paper engineers," explains Barton in the introduction to her book, which contains step-by-step instructions on how to make cards that pop out when opened, and books that pop up. The best part of Barton's book is that it includes images to cut out and use....

Grey pen

Review of The Pocket Paper Engineer by Andrew Baron, December 8, 2005
recipient of the highest award for paper-engineering, The Meggendorfer Prize

Have you ever turned the pages of a pop-up book and wondered "How do they do it?" With The Pocket Paper Engineer by pop-up artist and teacher Carol Barton, you too can learn the time-honored craft of paper engineering! The Pocket Paper Engineer is a delight to behold. Even a quick glance conveys that this is no ordinary "how-to" book. Unlike others that have come before, this one looks and feels (yes, feels–by virtue of the high-quality paper, printing, and binding) rich. One of the more unusual and appealing aspects of this extraordinarily interactive book is that Carol has provided the reader with 16 actual pre-printed, detachable cards which, with a few simple instructions, can be turned into a full set of real, working pop-ups. Additional paper parts for the pop-ups are contained in four bound-in double pocket pages, which also provide a convenient way to store your finished pop-ups. 
    From the moment you peruse the index, it's evident that this is going to be a well-organized, finely crafted presentation in the art of paper cutting, folding, and gluing. The beginning of each chapter is adorned with an inspirational quote and image to prepare the mental palette and whet the imagination for what comes next. Each chapter has a stepped index tab for quick and convenient reference, making the book a ready and willing teacher for those all-too-rare spare moments. The book's user-friendly size (approximately 6 x 9 x 1 inches), enables it to fit easily into a large purse or briefcase.... Every word is thoughtfully chosen for clarity and brevity, leaving the reader to concentrate on making the actual pop-ups.... From this easy-to-use format, the reader can advance from one construction to the next, and then to designs of their own imagination and creation.... There is much more consideration to the overall design and presentation here than the casual reader may at first be aware of. From the impeccable arrangement of the chapters and their contents, to the choice of an inviting font that's easy on the eyes, it's evident that an intrinsically high degree of artistic consideration has gone into the entire presentation.
Red mechanical pencil

The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Illinois, December 11, 2005
Review by Lois Henderlong

Daunting though it may sound, kids can create these kinds of (pop-up) effects themselves with the aid of The Pocket Paper Engineer: How to Make Pop-Ups Step-by-Step. This detailed ring-bound guidebook, which features patterns and instructions, explains basic forms as well as giving cutting and folding guides. Readers graduate from simple forms like boxes and triangles to combinations that overlap and hinge in multiple places. Eventually, it's possible to progress to layers of increasing complexity. By the end, readers are producing flexible crabs and ladybugs with a variety of layers. Ultimately, readers will be able to make everything from a pop-up greeting card to a page of a book, with this workbook as inspiration. Merely paging through it is enough to send someone into a frenzy of creative thought.

The Dabbling Mum, national publication for busy parents, December 2005
As scrapbooking takes on a life of its own in my house, I couldn't help but find Barton's book, The Pocket Paper Engineer, a welcomed addition to my scrapbooking supplies. Through Barton's simple, easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, I not only grasped the concept of how pop-ups work, but I was able to recreate them–which isn't easy for someone who can sometimes be artistically challenged. In fact, with Barton's help, I'm now able to recreate pop-ups using my own designs.... If you're looking for the perfect arts 'n crafts project this holiday season, you can't go wrong with The Pocket Paper Engineer.

Black pencil, fall 2005
Imagine having the ability to make one of those beautiful, intricate pop-up books or cards that make young and old alike ooh and ahh over your handiwork. Think you couldn't do it? Well, with Carol Barton's help you just might. Barton's book, The Pocket Paper Engineer, is divided by actual dividing tabs into five categories for easy referral. Those categories are: Directions, Boxes, Triangles, Combinations and Variations, and Layers. Each category gives a page of explanation; a step-by-step illustrated instruction guide; a photo of the finished pop-up; a handy tear-out practice sheet complete with detailed, labeled "cut lines" drawn in; and a pocket for storage of completed projects.... A unique gift for the amateur artist, The Pocket Paper Engineer provides hours of artistic fun easy enough for children to conquer and entertaining enough for an adult who likes to fiddle around with crafts....

Ballast Quarterly Review, University of iowa, Summer 2005
Why are pop-up books so charming, so irresistible? Perhaps because, while essentially flat, they are also three-dimensional. A distant relative of the jack-in-the-box, they straddle two categories, surprising us by their physical wit, a refined literary slapstick. With this book, one learns step-by-step to make new pop-up pages, whatever the subject. Painstakingly engineered and produced, it is not so much a book as a hands-on workshop–illustrated, of course, by all sorts of wonderful pop-ups throughout.

Home      Press Release      Press Photos      Reader Feedback     Book Flyer       Review Copy