The National Parks Pop-up Book Adds a Retro 3-D Feel to Any Library

Visit National Parks in 3-D Pop-up With the new National Parks Pop-up Book

1930s Style Posters Illustrations Bring Parks to Life in 3-D National Parks Pop-up Book

I have a love and appreciation for all that our National Parks do for conservation and protection of wild-lands in America. And as an outdoor educator that has worked in National Parks (yes, I wore the Smokey the Bear hat) I also respect how hard the Rangers and staff work with very little resources and pay. These parks have been tasked with excellence in service, collaborations, citizen science, heritage education, employee development, management, research, technology, and more ( Of the 59 parks under NPS there have been over 282 million visitors  each year, and the numbers are growing. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw over 10 million visitors in 2012 alone. The golden Gate National Recreation Area had over 14 million visitors, and the Blue Ridge Parkway had over 15 million visitors (National Parks Traveler).

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is the non-profit support arm of the National Parks. It was established three years after the National Park Service itself (1919). They raise funds to support national parks outside of the political area and advocate for park lands and protection.

national parks assoc logoAs a part of their mission the NPCA has a wide variety of educational items to purchase in their store as well as memberships and magazine subscriptions. One of their newest products is, "America's National Parks, a Pop-up Book" by Don Compton, Bruce Foster, Paper Engineer, and Dave Ember (illustrator).

pop up cover
America's National Park Pop-up Book Cover

The book features eighteen different National Parks with six in panoramic pop-ups; including the Great Smoky Mountains, Glacier and Yosemite, the Everglades, the Grand Canyon,  and Yellowstone. All of the illustrations are done in the style of the 1930s WPA (Works Program Administration) from the New Deal era. Here are some examples of the style:

John_is_not_really_dull,_WPA_poster,_ca._1937 Wiki
WPA era 1930s poster (Photo: Wiki commons)
473px-The_nickel_and_dime_store,_WPA_poster,_ca._1941 Wiki
WPA era poster, 1930s. (Photo: Wiki commons)

Check out the great collection of retro posters housed in the Library of Congress.

The National Park pop-up book's illustrator has taken thirteen posters from the WPA era and re-created them, rendering them into 3-D form. There are pop up mountain goats, a snail kite and egret sitting in the everglades, a geyser shooting up off the page, a condor flying over the Grand Canyon, and an alligator stalking through the swamps. There are also corner cards to open with pop-up action.

mountin goat pop up
An example of the pop-up art found in the National Park's Pop-up book.

The focal pop-up art is significant, with art rising up to 13" off of the each page. To go along with the art there are facts about each park and narratives about the key features of each location.

This book is a great introduction to National Parks for children (and the pop-ups are on sturdy paper), as well as a trip reminder for adults or inspiration for future travels. I would highly recommend helping out the National Parks Conservation Association and purchasing this book. On their website the cost is $34.95, or the deluxe limited edition is $105. For each purchase of the standard book $8 goes towards the park association and for the deluxe edition $80. You can also find the book on Amazon.