bookpleasures.com, Review by CONNY CRISALLI, May 13, 2012
Carol Barton definitely has a thing about paper, especially card stock or thicker paper that she easily transforms into three-dimensional wonders appropriately called "pop-ups." In her third volume of The Pocket Paper Engineer, this thirty-year plus expert in paper engineering explains the "V-fold" types of pop-up construction.
What is amazing and creative about this book is what Barton gives the reader: exact replications of her own pop-ups including the cut-outs and platforms found under each discussed tab. The reader can easily pick a type of pop-up fold and recreate it. Using precise instructions and tutorials with drawings and directions, one can cut out, fold and paste the designs, completing one of the pop-ups. Colorful painted designs of pop-ups included are apple trees, a peacock, a dog, a frog....
This book makes an exceptional and fun gift for any person who is crative with their hands or one who wants to learn how to make their own pop-ups. Homeschoolers would appreciate it greatly as a project to research and complete. It is a keeper in this reader's house to share with future grandchildren or those interested in the art of paper crafts.
bookpleasures.com, Review by lavanya karthik mumbai, india, july 3, 2012
There is something magical about one’s first encounter with a pop-up book – that joyful and wondrous moment when an illustration transcends the limiting frames of the flat page and comes to life before your eyes. Few crafts so successfully combine the pleasure of handmade art with the technology of print. Fewer still are books that can coherently deconstruct this art for the novice paper engineer. Carol Barton’s books on pop-up construction certainly belong in that last group.
The Pocket Paper Engineer Volume 3 (PPE3) is third in a trilogy that comprehensively covers the design and construction of this most seductive of crafts, making it accessible to students of all ages. Volumes One and Two introduced the basic materials, terms and concepts needed to master the fundamentals of pop-up construction. Volume three, which I had the pleasure of reviewing, takes its readers to the next level of complexity by focusing on V-folds, a set of versatile paper folding techniques that allow images to stand upright on the face of the page. It remains the best book I have read till date on the subject, with its unique combination of instructions, tips and DIY exercises that strengthen paper working skills and encourage creative thinking towards three dimensional problem solving.
Starting with directions to assemble a basic V-fold, the book progressively steps up the intricacy of its exercises, each of which are accompanied by stunning hand-rendered templates that can be cut out and assembled. It is necessary to follow the sequence of the exercises in the book, as they build on techniques and ideas explained in earlier sections. I confess to feeling quite daunted the first time I flipped through this book. A week later, I face its final exercise – a cheerful little bat demonstrating the formidable Zigzag V-fold – with far greater confidence.
PPE3 is a celebration of the small detail – from the playful, lushly rendered illustrations (created for this book by Ms. Barton’s assistant, fifteen year old Eleni Smitham) and cut outs to the numerous tips and suggestions offered throughout the book. While I have spent the last week trying out the exercises illustrated in the book, I also found myself leafing through its pages just for the quotations from noted writers and philosophers that precede each section (My favorite – Samuel Beckett urging me to “..Fail again. Fail better.”) And how many manuals of this kind would offer a handy pocket to store completed projects in? I also appreciated the final section on multiple editions, enabling one to think beyond just the individual project and tools at hand. One problem I did face while using this book was an utter inability to mutilate it, preferring the more laborious process of tracing out or redrawing the components of each exercise. For readers who would like to avoid that additional step, a complete set of pop-up components for this book can be purchased from Ms. Barton’s website.
PPE3 is a must-read for every paper engineering enthusiast.
Bergers book reviews, alice berger, November 15, 2012
Pop-up cards are fun to give and receive. Although they look difficult to construct, with the right guidance, the task can be much easier. In The Pocket Paper Engineer, Volume 3, the process of building V-folds is explained in careful detail.
This unique book allows the reader to work with it in a fully hands-on manner. Designed to be taken apart and used in construction, the pages are sturdy and include pockets (in which) to place your finished products. Clear directions and illustrations show you exactly how to put these pop-up designs together, and then explain how to use these newly acquired skills for creations of your own.
roberta peavey , homeschool enrichment magazine, april 2013
Do you have fond memories of being a child with pop-up books that brought stories to life? Did you ever wonder how the maker figured out how to make all those pop-ups look three dimensional? If so, you’re going to love this series of three volumes written by Carol Barton!
Carol explains how pop-ups work, gives general directions, and introduces various types of pop-ups, including box, triangle, combination, layered, platform, prop, spiral, and straddle pop-ups. She also explains about using various V-folds to create even more fun projects. There are ideas for how to use her books to incorporate lessons in writing, storytelling, measuring, math, geometry, problem solving, basic mechanics, and dimensional design. Carol shows, through her directions, how to use the projects within the books to learn Bible stories and verses, geography and history, geometry, engineering and design, and even natural sciences. The books have full-color illustrations and line drawings. Indexed for ease of use, they also contain a number of resource links and supplier lists and have a hardcover case with wire-O binding (like a binder).
We love these books! They are inspiring, fun, and will definitely hold up to repeated use. I love the great ideas and examples of how to make a lesson out of an “art project.” I’ve wanted to incorporate more fun into our school day, and I think I now have a great way to do that. Although the books may appear a bit expensive (around $75 for all three), they are worth the price if you want to bring a bit of life to your lessons. This is a nice set of resource books, and I’d gladly recommend them to anyone interested in trying something new and different to teach their kids.