The creators behind the popular Encyclopedia Prehistorica series of pop-up books Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda offer this second volume in the Encyclopedia Mythologica (following Fairies and Magical Creatures, 2008).
Ranging beyond the better-known canon of classical mythology, the book is evenly weighted to include Egyptian, Norse, Eastern, and New World legends. Each of the six main spreads in Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes ($29.99) is dominated by a large centerpiece, which is surrounded by three or four flaps that open to reveal smaller but often no-less-impressive pop-ups that dive into substrata of the spread’s main theme. Some of these pop-ups reveal even smaller flaps in a kind of nested-doll-like series of diminishing size.
The page constructions are what you’d expect from the duo, which is to say intricately detailed and exquisitely designed but also sturdier than they look, though certainly prone to mangling when overhandled. The information, though well conveyed, is both necessarily truncated by the nature of the format and demanding of a higher reading level than most pop-up books. The 12 page hardcover is perfect for grade 2-5 students.