Read aloud books are always fun, but pop-up books for kids definitely bring some extra ooh-ing and ahh-ing to the experience. Turning the page to reveal those 3-D surprises is pretty much a universal pleasure. If your book collection could use a bit of the extra artistry and zing that pop-up books offer, here’s a list of our favorite pop-up books for kids to check out.
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1. The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner (Pre-K to 1)
This is an oldie but OH-so-goodie. We’ve never met a group of young students who isn’t wowed when the frog opens his biiiiiig mouth in this classic pop-up book for kids.
2. The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings by Anna Llenas (Pre-K to 1)
Teaching kiddos to identify emotions is essential—so why not let these adorable pop-up monsters help you do it? We can picture some amazing student artwork inspired by this book, too.
3. The Pop-Up Guide: Space by Sophie Dussaussois (Pre-K to 2)
Kids are endlessly intrigued by outer space and the work of astronauts. Here’s an “out of this world” way to help them build background knowledge on these topics in 3-D!
4. Shells: A Pop-Up Book of Wonder by Janet Lawler and Yoojin Kim (Pre-K to 2)
5. Leaves: An Autumn Pop-Up Book by Janet Lawler and Yoojin Kim (Pre-K to 2)
6. Snowflakes: A Pop-Up Book by Jennifer Preston Chushcoff and Yevgeniya Yeretskaya (Pre-K to 2)
7. Flora: A Botanical Pop-Up Book by Yoojin Kim and Nicole Yen (Pre-K to 2)
If you like to share seasonal pop-up books for kids, you’ll want to invest in the 4 Seasons of Pop-Up series. Each title is an absolute treat, with colorful and sturdy pop-up features on each page. (Translation: these are titles you won’t constantly be repairing!) Kids will love these as read alouds and for independent browsing.
8. Welcome to the Neighborwood by Shawn Sheehy (Pre-K to 2)
Each page has a 3-D pop-up of a different forest creature, with an emphasis on how forest animals live and work together in harmony. Little hands will need some help keeping this intricate book intact, but it would be super-fun to share if you study habitats or animal behaviors.
9. Believe: A Pop-Up Book of Possibilities by Robert Sabuda (Pre-K to 5)
Every book collection needs at least one title by award-winning pop-up book creator and paper engineer Robert Sabuda. (Read on for more!) All ages can enjoy this sweet little story. Each page introduces a “possibility” and the following pop-up shows the result—an acorn grows into a tree and an egg becomes a flock of birds. Lovely to read as part of a celebration or classroom goodbye.
10. Under the Ocean by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud (K-3)
This ocean pop-up book for kids takes a unique approach by making what’s beneath the water 3-D. Take kids on a “cool” trip through the world’s major oceans. A companion title, In the Forest, will be released in September 2021.
11. Bugs: A Stunning Pop-up Look at Insects, Spiders, and Other Creepy-Crawlies by George McGavin (1-5)
A huge pop-up cockroach might not be your cup of tea, but for bug-loving students, this book is a goldmine! Pop-ups let kids look inside bug homes, bodies, and more.
12. Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart (1-5)
A must-have pop-up book for dino-loving kids. Each page turn reveals another surprising and intricately designed pop-out spread. The text has bits of humor, science, history, and more. Also check out Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters by the same authors.
13. Birds in a Book by Rachel Grant and Lesley Earle (1-5)
If you study birds, you’ll want to display this pop-up bird book for kids during your unit! Each page gives information about a different bird, and a pop-up of that bird “flies” up to a branch to join the others.
14. Pop-Up Volcano! by Fleur Daugey (1-5)
As far as pop-up scenes go, there’s not much that’s cooler than an erupting volcano. Each spread explores a different concept, like how volcanoes are formed, types of volcanoes, and notable eruptions.
15. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-Up Adaptation by Robert Sabuda (1-5)
The creative pop-up pages really bring all the familiar scenes of this classic story to life for kids. If you teach a fairy tale unit—or just have a favorite tale you love to share—you’ll want to browse the entire collection of Robert Sabuda’s Pop-Up Classics.
16. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Guide to Hogwarts by Matthew Reinhart (2-8)
Kids who love Harry Potter books and movies will be all about browsing this detailed pop-up look at the series’ settings, from Hogsmede to the Quidditch pitch. If you’ve got more Star Wars fans than Potterheads in your class, you could also check out Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy by the same team.