Appreciative of the nice things I had to say about his previous book, Discovering Sharks, paleoartist Julius Csotonyi recently reached out to me and kindly offered to send a copy of his latest book to review. As a fan of his work, I was of course happy to oblige, and became even more intrigued upon finding out it was a pop-up book! After bit of a shipping delay, my package finally arrived a few days ago, containing my own copy of Dino World: A 3-D Prehistoric Dinosaur Pop-Up Book!
Dino World takes several classic Csotonyi illustrations and revamps them into a pop-up format. The only one I don’t specifically remember having seen before is the Giganotosaurus vs. Ekrixinatosaurus page, though I believe it may feature in Prehistoric Predators (authored by Riley Black, who also wrote Did you see that Dinosaur?). Those hoping for exclusive illustrations may consequently be disappointed, but it makes for a fun, alternative way to enjoy Csotonyi’s art. The scenes gain a new sense of depth, and almost look like small dioramas when fully extended.
The book opens vertically, rather than the more typical right-to-left, and the top flap of each page is meant to stand up rather than lie flat (though you will have to hold it yourself to keep it there). The bottom flap displays the information about the scene and each creature in it when folded, and reveals the rest of the scene when opened flat. Each animal (and occasionally some plants!) in the scene receives an alphabetical designation, corresponding to the appropriate label on the folded flap, making for easy identification of each creature in the scene.
While the mechanics of the the pop-ups themselves are nowhere near as sophisticated as those in the Encyclopedia Prehistorica series (see my review of Sharks and Other Sea Monsters, and keep an eye out for my eventual review of the Dinosaur version!), the simpler design means they are much less prone to damage. (It also allows the illustrations to remain more scientifically correct, with no artistic concessions to the pop-up mechanics necessary.) I therefore have far fewer reservations about letting my kids read it than the other, more complicated pop-ups in my collection. Both my boys love Dino World, and have even requested it among our usual rotation of bedtime stories!
It’s fun to see a different take on the art of a renowned paleoartist like Julius Csotonyi, and no doubt the unique format will both introduce a broader audience to his artwork, while steathily educating them on the prehistory of our world. I happily give Csotonyi’s Dino World my Dino Dad Stomp of Approval! For more of Csotonyi’s work, check out my review of Discovering Sharks, and get your hands on The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi as well! For more pop-up books, check out Sharks and Other Sea Monsters.