The Acrobat Family

h1 November 21st, 2019 by jules


I want to take a break from your more traditional picture books and spotlight a 3D book today — and a French import. The Acrobat Family (Little Gestalten, November 2019) — a book shaped a lot like a circus tent, when opened — is from French pop-up artists Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud. (Boisrobert works in watercolors, and Rigaud works as a graphic designer. Both graduated from the School of Decorativ Arts in Strasbourg.)

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the circus!” the book opens. Stage curtains, drawn to each side of this spread, reveal the book’s title and opening text. Peering out from the curtains are the members of the Acrobat Family. Turn the page for the first act, featuring Miss Prune. (She is pictured above. As you can see, she is a badass and has “biceps shaped like moons.”)

A third of the way down the recto is the page split, and under that is a 3D surprise. The large blocks on which Miss Prune stands pop out, and there she is too. With each page turn, the recto pages get smaller, as out pops more family members below; they pile on top of one another in vividly colored illustrations and surprising shapes, forming a pyramid. Readers can count from one to ten as the acrobat family members appear. When Ginger the cat leaps atop the pyramid, everyone crashes to the ground. But the final spread reveals a surprise.

This is magnificently designed paper engineering — and it’s hard to describe! But no worries. Here are some images so that the art can do the talking. …






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THE ACROBAT FAMILY. Copyright © 2019 for the English edition: Little Gestalten, Berlin. Images reproduced by permission of the publisher.

2 comments to “The Acrobat Family

  1. This is such a nifty looking book – but it definitely wouldn’t be for the classroom or a library without having back-up copies on hand! It’s so cool it’d be worn out almost immediately.

  2. And a challenge to shelve!

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