Beauty & the Beast: A Pop-Up Book of the Classic Fairy Tale, engineered by Robert Sabuda, Simon & Schuster, $28.99, ages 4-8, 12 pages. Sabuda, one of the great wizards of paper engineering, once again delivers joy into our hands. In this pop-up adaptation, Sabuda stages five elaborate scenes and numerous smaller ones in the fairy tale classic about beautiful Belle and the hideous beast who falls in love with her and is transformed by her tears into a handsome prince. From the first spread, the grandeur of the book sweeps you away. There, you see the beast's dark castle rise up as high as the book is wide when folded out and looking as imposing as Hogwarts. Down below, Belle's father approaches on a horse. On the left side of the spread, narrow pages open to reveal the first chapter of the story, along with two small pop-ups, one showing feathers flying as Belle and her wicked sisters tend to chickens and another showcasing a lush pink rose that Belle modestly requests from her father. Then to the right, three doors appear in a vertical row, each latched with a paper tab. On each tab is a sentence or two that sets up what's behind a door. As you lift the tab, the doors accordion up and you look through a window to see long, colorful hallways with mirrors at the end. By now, you feel completely enveloped in the tale and can't wait to see what pops up next.
Later spreads show the beast's face rising from the page, Belle and the Beast dining at a table, and in the grand finale, Belle crouching down where the Beast lays dying, under a magical arch of trees and flowers. Below this scene a smaller pop-up allows the beast to transform into a prince. This is another masterwork from a man who cuts magic from paper.