Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dinosaurs Come to Life in Pop-Up Form; Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart Create a Work That Is Both Art and Information

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dinosaurs Come to Life in Pop-Up Form; Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart Create a Work That Is Both Art and Information

Article excerpt

Byline: SHANNON HOUGHTON

Pop-up book virtuosos Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart won't make anything for children that they themselves don't appreciate.

"We really are just big kids at heart," Sabuda said during a recent phone interview from their art studio in New York. "Seriously, we never create a book thinking kids will like it. We make it what the kids in us are interested in."

Sabuda, dubbed by critics as "the king of pop-ups," is known for his best-selling, elaborate interpretations of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and America the Beautiful. He and Reinhart collaborated on a new book called Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs The Definitive Pop-Up! (Candlewick Press, $26.99; ages 5 and older). It's currently No. 1 on the New York Times children's books best-sellers list.

Both men were big fans of the mighty lizards when they were young. Reinhart has a soft spot for the T-rex.

"It's not so much because it's so ferocious," he said. "It's got such small hands, such itty bitty fingers, but it's so powerful."

Sabuda couldn't pick a favorite dinosaur. But he is fascinated by the concept that such creatures could ever go extinct.

"They were so big and then they were just gone," he said. "I love mystery."

Each page of Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs has an enormous scene out of prehistoric life, with extra fold-out vignettes covering lesser-known dino tidbits, such as the behavior of the maiasaura (good mother lizard) and the two brains of the stegosaurus.

"I remember at a very young age seeing a movie about dinosaurs, and halfway through the picture, cavemen appear to fight the dinosaurs," Sabuda said. "Ever since, I've always wanted to make a big, fun book about dinosaurs that was as accurate as possible."

Although the authors worked to make information as accurate as possible, they decided to go wild with colors, because even scientists don't have solid notions about all details of how the creatures looked. …

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