News Release - June 27, 2008

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2008

Contact: Marcia Schneider (415) 557-4252

Robert Sabuda: Travels in Time and Space Pop Up Books at S.F. Main Library Illustrate Artistry and Innovation

Robert Sabuda: Travels in Time and Space, an exhibition featuring 60 works of the pop-up book creator, demonstrate the artistry and innovation in pop-up books. Drawn from 11 books, Sabuda's works - both pop-ups and flat art - will be on view Aug. 31-Nov. 9 in the Jewett Gallery at the Main Library.

Sabuda is widely regarded as the wizard of pop-up book engineering. His first published pop-up was The Christmas Alphabet (1994), a best-selling holiday classic. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Commemorative Pop-up (2000), has been considered his masterpiece. Its linoleum-block print medium adheres to the style of the original W.W. Denslow illustrations, yet the intense visual power of the pop-up is all Sabuda's.

Robert Sabuda has always had a great passion for books, but his fascination for three-dimensional books began with an unusual twist. During a visit to the dentist as a boy, his fear of pain was quickly forgotten when he discovered a wicker basket filled with sturdy hard covered books, whose stories leapt off the page. Surprised, excited and awestruck by this wondrous approach to storytelling, the experience was life-changing. Sabuda began creating his own pop-up books for friends and family.

Throughout his youth he continued to improve as an artist and after graduating from high school, he studied art at Pratt Institute in New York. In his junior year, he interned at Dial Books for Young Readers. At Dial Books, he was assigned the task of opening incoming mail, where he received the original works of Barbara Cooney, Thomas Locker, Rosemary Wells and James Marshall. Deeply inspired by their work, Sabuda decided to become a children’s book illustrator.

"I began to write my own stories and illustrate those as well. Picture books were wonderful but I always hoped that one day I could create a pop-up book, too. So, I pulled out my old pop-up books and taught myself how to make even better ones as a grown up."

Robert Sabuda: Travels in Time: An Exhibition featuring Sixty Works is organized by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Library will offer book art programs at the Main Library and in the branches. In addition, a talk on the history of pop-up books will take place on Oct. 23 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Latino Hispanic Community Room of the Main Library.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information call (415) 557-4277, or visit the Library's web site at

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