chapter  9
Conclusion—Contemporary “Pop-Up” Books
Activity and Agency Reformulated
ByJacqueline Reid-Walsh
Pages 19

In this chapter, I conclude my historical examination of early movable books from the 17th to 19th centuries before the advent of the pop-up. In the previous chapters, I moved through different genres organized by type and complexity and in a roughly chronological manner. I began with books composed of one or two pieces of paper cut and folded into flaps: turn-up books, harlequinades, and metamorphic books. Then I discussed more complex paper artifacts that combine narratives with paper figures and backgrounds using tabs and slots, paper dolls, and toy theaters. Finally, I explored some complex movable books from the late Regency and Victorian periods—books that work primarily in two but occasionally in three dimensions and that all use tabs in some way. These tabbed examples include the wordless Regency tab-and-slot book, The Paignion playset, where the small tabs enable a child interactor temporarily to anchor numerous figures in a wide array of slots interspersed across a number of scenes inside and outside a city house. Later complex books of the Victorian period combine two devices, such as a large pull tab and slat or tab and volvelle together. When a child pulls the tab, the hidden mechanics create transformations by moving the components.