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Pop-Up Artist Robert Sabuda Headlines Symposium

Posted Apr. 7, 2014
enter photo description
Robert Sabuda, renowned children's pop-up book artist
and paper engineer, will speak at a special symposium
on children’s movable books at Kent State University on
May 2.

(Photo credit: Steven Butman)

Renowned children's pop-up book artist and paper engineer Robert Sabuda brings his unrivaled talents to Kent State University for a special symposium on children’s movable books.

Teachers, librarians, artists, designers, students, collectors and all lovers of children’s books are invited to attend the one-day event titled, “Pop It! Move It! Use It! Programming, Selecting and Exploring Children’s Movable Books,” on Friday, May 2, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Governance Chambers (second floor, Kent Student Center).

The registration fee is $75; full-time graduate and undergraduate students can attend for $35. Registration includes program, materials, lunch, refreshments and parking. Seating is limited; register early! Visit to register.

Sabuda will give the keynote address and lead participants in a hands-on pop-up activity in the morning. He also will sign copies of his books (available at the Kent State Bookstore) during the lunch break.

Sabuda’s books are known the world over for their intricate, stunning artistry. For example, a New York Times review of his Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland says, “The veteran Robert Sabuda's more ambitiously engineered version … has raised the bar within the genre. Sabuda, a veteran artist and pop-up creator (The Christmas Alphabet, The Wizard of Oz), is also a movable book maven. He has created an object that is the most absorbing book/toy I've played with in a long time. The intelligent paper trickery on each spread is, well, awesome. Surprise is essential to the success of any pop-up book – although with some of the less inventive ones, after the first couple of routine pop-ups, the viewer's expectations are likely to diminish. Sabuda has surprises on every spread.”

For more information about Sabuda, his books and artistry, visit

After lunch, symposium participants will explore the following topics:

  • “Pop-ups Go Digital: Apps and Online Resources for Teachers and Librarians,” with Marianne Martens, Ph.D., assistant professor at Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science;
  • “Popping-up Through Time: A Short History of Pop-up Books,” with Larry Rakow, retired librarian, pop-up collector and owner of Wonderland Books (online store for old, rare and collectible children's books);
  • “Programming With Pop-up and Movable Books; Building a Library or Classroom Collection,” with Sue McCleaf Nespeca, owner of KidLitPlus Consulting and expert in children’s books and early literacy; and
  • “Collecting Pop-up and Movable Books,” with collectors Diana Tirpak, Jan Ridgeway and Carol G. Davis.
enter photo description
Pictured is a pop-up book by Robert Sabuda.

Participants also will enjoy a touch-lab display of 50+ pop-up books; an optional lunch-time tour of the Reinberger Children’s Library Center and Marantz Picturebook Collection (in the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State) to see the Carol G. Davis Pop-up Collection of 500+ pop-up and movable books; and a display of pop-ups from Wonderland Books. (Wonderland Books will have books available for purchase at the symposium.)

The event is sponsored by the School of Library and Information Science and School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University, and the Northeast Ohio Regional Library System (NEO-RLS).

Space is limited. Register early! Visit to register.

While he's in town, Sabuda also will make appearances at the Akron Art Museum (330-376-9185; Thursday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m.) and The Learned Owl Book Shop in Hudson (330-653-2252; Saturday, May 3). Visit their respective websites or call for details.