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Every once in a while, a new idea comes along and you find yourself
thinking, "Why didn't someone think of this sooner?".  "Pop-O-Mania", a
fun, new instruction manual authored and engineered by Barbara Balenta is
just such a good idea.

Yes, there are several very good pop-up instruction books alrady
available, but this one is truly unique - it teaches by actual example.
It's a pop-up instruction book that is *really* a pop-up book.

"Pop-O-Mania, How To Create Your Own Pop-ups" is constructed of six
full-page spreads chocked full of instruction, ideas and actual examples.
While the spreads cannot be called "works of art", the primary colors and
simple graphics speak loudly of fun and creativity.

The first spread is an introduction and example of what's availabe in
this book:  flaps, slides and turning wheels entice the reader to move
further into the book.  A special pocket marked "Top Secret Stuff" holds
a pull out accordion page of instructions covering simple information
about types of paper to use, cutting and folding.

The second spread gives the first instruction to create a step pop-up and
different ways to attach flaps to pages.  The third spread shows using
single slit "V's" to create mouths, vases, and even dogs with wagging

The fourth spread show creative uses for all these structures:  special
occasion cards, party invitations, name tags and pendents.  It also
discusses creating stages used to tell a story and shows a simple way to
connect several page spreads to made pop-up books.

The fifth spread covers sliders, spirals and spinners while the sixth
spread adds a few new and more complex aspects to the previous pop-ups.

"Pop-O-Mania" is a great book for anyone wanting to learn simple paper
engineering who doesn't have access to a teacher.  The instructions are
simple but clear and having actual examples to examine up close is a
wonderful help to the learning process.  Parents or teachers that don't
feel especially creative or older children with a strong sense of
adventure can easily work through this book on their own to create their
own pop-ups or teach others.

While this book may not be of interest to dedicated pop-up artists,
teachers or those of us that only create pop-ups from time to time will
appreciate the simple instruction and variety of examples inside the

"Pop-O-Mania", engineered by Barbara Valenta and published in 1997 by
Dial Books, $16.99 (ISBN 0-8037-1947-7) is a wonderful addition to the
library of pop-up instruction books.

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