Books looks

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Catch fairies, elves, gnomes, mermaids, sprites, unicorns and a host of other magical creatures in 3-D splendor in another impressive pop-up book from Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda.

The artists who created the Encyclopedia Prehistorica series about dinosaurs and other real creatures return with Fairies and Magical Creatures (Candlewick, 12 pages, $27.99, age 5 and older).

The content of this engaging book is fanciful but also informative, with historical content regarding imaginary creatures packed in and around the more than 30 eye-catching pop-up illustrations.

The tooth fairy, for instance, evolved from a 17th-century French tale of a fairy mouse that hides under the pillow of a tyrant and then knocks out his teeth. Who knew the gentle tradition of offering rewards for children's baby teeth had such a violent origin?

Sabuda and Reinhart arrange the book in loose categories: the fairy realm, elves and gnomes, enchanted animals and sea creatures among them.

The amount of content and illustrations that they cram into 12 pages is impressive. Each double-page spread includes a large, central pop-up surrounded by at least four fold-out books with miniature pop-ups.

The book, of course, will appeal to lovers of fairy tales and fantasy, but it has such a strong historical element that all who love literature and its origins will find it fascinating.