We’ll Always Have Pop-Ups

Pop-Up Paris, by Andy Mansfield; Lonely Planet Kids, $9.99, 8 pages, ages 3-6.

When readers can’t travel, well-crafted pop-ups offer wonderful opportunities to learn about the world around them. Lonely Planet Kids, an imprint of parent company Lonely Planet, recently launched three children’s pop-up books to coincide with its line of family-friendly tour guides and on-the-go activity books.

The first in the series, Pop-Up Paris, is a charming introduction to six must-see, kid-friendly sites in the City of Light, from the Pompidou Center to a tower of sugary macarons. Short on textual detail, the book is clearly geared towards a pre-k through first grade readership, providing a snippet of information to inspire children to learn more about the topic at hand. Hyper-pigmented illustrations, bordering on neon, are hip without pretense. In short, this is a book that knows it’s fun.

Easy to tote, easy to read, the Lonely Planet Kids Pop-Ups series has found a way to hook young explorers on the richness of traveling, even from the comfort of home.

Check out a 30-second video highlighting all three titles here.

Skunk on a String, by Thao Lam; Owl Kids Books, $18.95, 40 pages, ages 2-6.

This wordless picture book about a high-flying skunk is a surprisingly adorable tale about overcoming adversity and prejudice. Young readers will adore following the hapless critter as he tries to enlist Good Samaritans to untie him from the tail of a balloon. Instead, he’s shoved away–he is a skunk, after all–and he floats above a parade, over a zoo, and even under water. Eventually, the skunk is released from his aerial bondage, only to realize he rather enjoyed the high life. Thao Lam’s charming paper collage art in a dizzying array of spots, stripes, and polka dots evoke a bustling cityscape. (Readers may recognize Lam’s art from Cricket and Highlights magazines, where she’s a regular contributor.) Skunk on a String is a subtle riff on the old adage, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” without uttering a word.