Now that Jurassic World: Dominion is out, it’s the perfect time for more Jurassic Park content here at Dino Dad Reviews! I’m actually a little late with this one. I got it a while ago, but computer issues (just to name the most direct barrier) kept me from working on any reviews at the time, and I’ve been struggling to regain some semblance of productivity ever since!
Be that as it may, let’s take a look at Jurassic World: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book, a signed copy of which author Matthew Reinhart personally sent to me! Reinhart is well-known as a crafter of fantastic pop-up books that really stretch the limits of the art form. Long time readers may remember my reviews of his previous prehistoric-themed books, Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs and Sharks and Other Sea Monsters. While Reinhart teamed up with Robert Sabuda for most of his previous books, this time Rich Davies provides his services as an illustrator, presumably due to the different style demanded by creating brand-consistent depictions of Jurassic Park scenes.
While presented as a Jurassic World pop-up book, it actually covers the entire pre-Dominion history of the franchise (not including spin-offs like Camp Cretaceous). The first two double-pages in fact devote themselves to the first Jurassic Park movie, with lovely recreations of the famous Jurassic Park gate as well as the Visitor’s Center. I particularly like the Visitor’s Center page, which features a larger-than-usual tab which flips the entire central scene from the dinosaur skeletons to the famous T. rex vs. Velociraptor fight from the film’s finale.
The middle spread is devoted to “Site B” or “Isla Sorna” in general, primarily focusing on moments from Jurassic Park III, with minor nods to The Lost World: Jurassic Park. My kids and I have had the most fun with this page overall. The main scene features the memorable T. rex vs. Spinosaurus fight from JPIII, with tabs at the back of both dinosaurs allowing readers to control each of them individually, allowing one to recreate the battle however one wishes.
The Jurassic World has a few fun tabs of its own, including a moveable gyrosphere (which alone puts it a step above the one at Jurassic World: The Exhibition!) as well as the Mosasaurus‘ takedown of the hybrid Indominus rex. This page appears to have gotten improperly folded somehow during transit, as it didn’t seem to properly unfold when I first got it, and created a huge gap when I closed the book. After fiddling with some of the behind-the-scenes structure of the page, however, I managed to restore it to proper function, although I still have no idea which part in particular was causing the issue!
The book ends in dramatic fashion with the Isla Nublar rescue mission from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The central pop-up initially seems like just a pleasant view of the overall island, until one pulls the large tab at the bottom. Similar to the JP Visitor’s Center scene, this causes a dramatic change in the overall appearance of the page. I found the scale of the ensuing volcanic eruption genuinely startling when I first experienced it. That alone should speak highly of Reinhart’s creative designs, even from simply a mechanical perspective. This has to take the top prize as one of the most dramatic changes I’ve ever seen caused by an interior pull-out tab in a pop-up book.
As with any pop-up book, there are of course a few specific constructions that don’t necessarily work quite as well as some of the others, usually due to being unable to quite line up with the average reader’s line-of-site, but these are few and far between. The Rex in the visitor center fight is perhaps the most noticeable, with it body looking a bit choppier than it might have otherwise been. I suppose one might also wish that at least something from Dominion had been included, to really make this book feel as though it lives up to the “Ultimate” in its name, but the final product we do get is nothing short of excellent overall.
I highly recommend this book to any fan of the Jurassic Park franchise, whether young or old, though of course my caution from previous pop-up reviews about rough-handed youngsters still applies. I personally enjoyed it so much that I even took my copy to a showing of Jurassic World: Dominion to show off to my friends! Jurassic World: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book provides a fantastic experience for its readers, and it definitely earns my Dino Dad Stomp of Approval. For more Jurassic Park content, check out my reviews of the Jurassic Park Little Golden Book, Monopoly: Jurassic Park Edition, the first season of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, and Jurassic World: The Exhibition.