Pop-up books are the OG tablet. In fact, I'd argue they're cooler than a tablet because, hello, 3D. While I'm trying my best to keep my 10-month-old son as far away from screens and tablets as possible, I still want him to have interactive experiences. And the boy sure loves books. They're his most favorite "toy." In fact, when we had his pictures made with Santa this year, he was unimpressed until Santa brought out a book; then his face lit up like a Christmas tree. So I was definitely looking for the best pop-up children's books that I can get for my son to amp up reading time to the next level.
When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than books, too. Especially pop-up books. There was something so cool about being able to control what was happening on the page just by pulling a tab to make the character wiggle, or turning a page to make it come to life and literally pop out at you. It was like watching a live performance and I was the director. I know I obviously didn't think these thoughts at the time as I was playing with them. But that's the cool thing about kid stuff. They're learning and developing, but having too much fun to notice that part. This list has a mix of educational and just "for fun" pop-up books for children spanning all ages. There's something for everybody, whether your kid loves bugs, sharks, cats, Frozen, art, construction zones, or all of the above.
1. 'The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings' by Anna Llenas
Toddlers definitely have some big feelings. And that's a hard thing to deal with when you don't 100 percent understand what's going on. The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings uses color and fun pop-ups to help kids identify feelings, and encourages them to open up about said feelings in a healthy and positive way.
2. 'Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-Up' by Robert Sabuda
Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-Up is well worth the price tag. This beautiful book by award-winning Robert Sabuda has beautiful, intricate paper pop-up images that will inspire and entertain all ages. These pages are definitely a work of art.
3. 'The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A POP-UP BOOK' by Keith Faulkner & Jonathan Lambert
This fun book shows the "circle of life" in a fun way. Kids will learn about a lot of creatures and their eating habits with each pop-up page.
4. 'There Are No Cats in This Book' by Viviane Schwarz
This book is hilarious, and I like it to read by myself, not gonna lie. There Are No Cats in This Book tells the tale of three cats, Moonpie, Andre, and Tiny, who want to get out of the book and go on a grand adventure. There's a lot of pushing and pulling and jumping, but they still can't figure out how to get out. Can you help them?
5. 'My Best Pop-Up Space Book' by DK Publishing
Nothing is cooler than space. And My Best Pop-Up Space Book is a really fun and involved way to learn all about the Earth, moon, sun, stars, all the planets, and astronauts. And since we all know how much kids love noise, there's even a space ship that plays a "blast off" sound on every page, making this an interactive book in several ways.
6. 'The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up: Based on the Books by C. S. Lewis' by Robert Sabuda, Matthew Armstrong & Matthew Reinhart
Here's Robert Sabuda again with his fantastic artwork telling the beloved childhood stories of Narnia. Based on the books of C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-Up will be a magical read.
7. 'My Best Pop-up Noisy Train Book' by DK Publishing
Who doesn't like trains? And noises? My Best Pop-up Noisy Train Book is double the interaction and double the fun, with a button for train sounds, and pop-up pages that teach you all about trains. All aboard!
8. 'One Red Dot: A Pop-Up Book for Children of All Ages' by David A. Carter
Much like Robert Sabuda, David A. Carter's children's pop-up books are a work of art. You'll feel like you're in a museum as you and your child look for the red dot in Carter's pop-up sculptures throughout this book.
9. 'My Best Pop-Up Construction Site Book' by DK Publishing
My Best Pop-Up Construction Site is in the same vein as the My Best Pop-Up Noisy Train Book — lots of noise and a lot of fun with learning about all the machines that you'll find on a construction site.
10. 'Wild Oceans: A Pop-up Book with Revolutionary Technology' by Lucio Santoro & Meera Santoro
When I was a kid, one of my favorite pop-up books was about all the sharks in the ocean. But it was definitely not as cool and detailed as this one. Wild Oceans: A Pop-up Book with Revolutionary Technology is quite the BA shark book. According to the description, this book has "3-D pop-ups that swing off the page." Sharks that swing off the page and learning about the ocean? Sign me up.
11. 'Oh, Baby! Go, Baby!' by Dr. Seuss
For the tinier pop-up book fan, Oh Baby! Go Baby! is inspired by Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go!, and it focuses on the types of adventures babies and toddlers will embark on during their formative years.
12. 'Bugs (Sounds of the Wild Series)' by Maurice Pledger
In addition to noise, kids love bugs. At least I did. You'll learn about all types of bugs and their sounds in Bugs (Sounds of the Wild Series). There are bugs from all over and from all different climates, including mountains, wetlands, and water.
13. 'Frozen: A Pop-Up Adventure' by Matthew Reinhart
So your kid cannot get enough of Frozen (like every other child in the world), but you need a break from the movie? Check out Frozen: A Pop-Up Adventure where your kids bring Elsa, Anna, and Olaf to life.
14. 'The Movable Mother Goose' by Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart
The Movable Mother Goose is another Robert Saluda work of art. In an "explosion of color" Mother Goose nursery rhymes take on a new life. According to a review on Good Reads, there are at least four nursery rhymes on every page. Definitely a great book for bedtime or anytime reading.
15. 'Animal Opposites' by Petr Horáček
Animal Opposites is simple, but loads of fun, and it shows opposites using all different types of animals. It compares a hippo to a light butterfly, a snail to a cheetah, and more.