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In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I hate pop out build-a-thing books. (That’s the technical term for them, right?) In my experience, almost without exception, they are aged too young (meaning that, if the package says “5 and up,” the project is normally suitable for nobody younger than, maybe, 26 years old, with an engineering degree) and the paper is so flimsy that the finished project can’t take being handled in any way. Nine instances out of ten when we purchase one of these types of thing for our daughter I end up putting it together after she gets frustrated and walks away, and just a few days later I find it in the bin, ripped or crumpled.
Sato Hisao’s Make and Move Animals (part of a series which also includes a Robots iteration, and an up-coming Monsters version) is the exception. While I don’t know that most six year olds could sit down without assistance and pop these together, most would be capable of doing it with some assistance.
When together, the animals move easily and fluidly. Jonathan H. Liu over at Geek Dad created a great gif showing a completed turtle in motion:
The design of the animals is likewise very nice. The colours have a bit of texture to them, and everything is very clean and simple. The weight of the paper is perfect; not so thin as to tear easily, nor too thick, so as to be cumbersome and awkward.
All in all, an excellent way to kill a few hours.
Almost overwhelming when unfolded, To the Moon is a wonderful addition to the re-emergence of the coloring book through these last few years. And, amazingly, it manages to add something new to the genre. (Is coloring book a “genre”?)
Literally one very long, very detailed (and very impressive) illustration of a tower reaching all the way from the Earth to the moon, there is an almost insane amount of detailed contained herein, which makes the act of coloring the picture one of constant surprise and discovery. Indeed, moving just a few inches reveals some new joy. The style is not entirely dissimilar to Dr. Seuss.
Some details might be a bit small for those on the younger end of the spectrum to manage, but it’s a great deal of fun to color, and it’s large enough that the whole family could gather around the sprawling coloring book on the floor.
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