Today, I'm recommending Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods & Heroes by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, the talented creators of beloved pop-up books including versions of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy.
The first main spread (Lords of the Two Kingdoms) includes an introduction to what mythology is as well as information on ancient Egyptian gods and myths. The second (The Classical Pantheon)features an eye-popping Mount Olympus and information about various of the Greek gods, along with pop-outs about Atlantis. The third spread, which is entitled Mortal Champions of the Old World, features a pop-up reproduction of the Argo, Jason's ship, the aforementioned pull-tab that flips 12 short scenes and stories, and a small pop-up page that holds the Trojan horse and an even smaller pop-up with the story of Icarus, showing him as he fell to earth. You can see the ship and close ups of some of the other art in the book at Robert Sabuda's website.
The fourth major spread (Kingdoms of the Frozen North) features a large central pop-up of Thor, wielding his hammer in a most muscular way. Additional pop-ups include the Valkyrie, a marvelous representation of Yggdrasil, and a cross-dressed Loki. The penultimate spread is devoted to Mighty Eastern Dynasties featuring ancient gods of Japan and China, as well as Gods of Oceania: the central pop-out on the page is of the Polynesian goddess, Pele. The final spread also holds two titles: Great Spirits of the New World, about North American Native American myths and legends, and Empires of Blood, devoted to the Aztecs, Maya and Inca people.
If you're interested in mythology - or in graphic design, or pop-up technology (yeah, I said it), this book is worth a look. Available in stores now.
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