Students looking at pop-up books at the 3D Book Exhibition being held alongside the reading festival at Expo Centre. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah: Conjuring the times when pop-up books were popular, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is showcasing a 3D Book Exhibition at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The first-time attraction is in Hall 4 of the venue, encased in a few glass booths showing the pop-up books. The exhibit, running till April 28, has been arranged by expert Italian curators Massimo Missiroli and Mathieu Faglia from the 3D Book Centre in Forli, Italy.

The earliest examples of such books are said to be found in 13th century Catalonia. Visitors to the 3D Book Exhibition can see 250 of these books, hand-picked by the curators to represent eight different periods of time.

These books include At The Beginning (1880), From The Third Dimension To The Pop-Up (1920), The Birth of the Name “Pop-Up” (1930), The Carousel Books (1940), Global Production (1950), The Art Of Voitec Kubasta (1960), The Wally Pop-Up Era (1970), and finally, A New Amazing Millennium (2000).

The latest revivals of the pop-up books on display include Harry Potter, DC Superheroes, and a throwback to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Older books, from the 1920s, include selections from the popular Hans Andersen’s fairy tales.

Some of the pop-up pages are basic, such as a fish poking its head out of water, while others are seemingly as complex as the arranged props on a stage, such as a double-page ‘scene’ from a Star Wars movie showing aliens at a cafe.