Artist Robert Sabuda joins us in Practically Paradise today. Robert Sabuda and Michael J. Rosen’s pop-up creation extraordinaire (AKA book) Chanukah Lights is the 2012 Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards, Younger Readers category. Have you had a chance to hold this book in your hands? If not, be sure to view this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2SKhAIh7J8&feature=colike
Candlewick Press, 2011. Ages: 4-8 (and up!) ISBN: 978-0763655334 Publisher’s description:
From a pop-up master and an acclaimed poet and author comes a glorious celebration of the true spirit of Chanukah. Inspired by Michael J. Rosen’s reverent poem, Robert Sabuda’s striking pop-ups depict each night’s menorah in a different scene, using imagery such as desert tents, pushcart lanterns, olive trees, and a final panorama of skyscrapers. Sure to be a treasured family heirloom, this stunning collaboration showcases the spirit and resilience of a people in search of home.
In the press release Barbara Bietz, Chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, said: “From the shtetl to skyscrapers, the white pop-up scenes against a background of deep rainbow colors illuminate Jewish life for the eight nights of Chanukah. Together, children and adults will marvel at the stunning scenes that magically unfold with each turn of the page.”
More information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour can be found at The People of the Books blog (the Association of Jewish Libraries blog). Today, Michael Rosen is being interviewed by Liz Burns. In the interview with Michael Rosen, the comment is made that “in no uncertain terms Robert told me that he was not designing a pop-up of a family standing around candles, or opening presents.”
Diane: Tell us what messages you did want to send families as they shared this book. Historically you researched “place” for Chanukah Lights, what’s the backstory in your selection of scenes?
RS: I’ve always loved history, so any book that uses history to excite, explore or educate makes me happy! Hopefully the readers of Chanukah Lights, both young and grown-up will agree. The selection of scenes was a fluid, thoughtful process that took place over a period of months with the author Michael J. Rosen. I’ve known Michael for a long time and we are very attuned to each other’s creative processes. He would suggest some “places” to explore and then I would expand on them. I remember him mentioning Jews in search of new homes crossing the ocean and immediately realized that a “place” could be the ship carrying them.
Diane: How much does the “wow” factor matter?
Diane: What are you working on now?
RS: I’ve just finished Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid which will be published in October 2012. And I’m off to India in May (for the second time) for the India Book Festival!
I read in Hadassah Magazine that “Chanukah Lights is created with 201 pieces of paper, 647 folds, and 392 dots of glue—in 187 minutes! ” AMAZING!
Thank you for participating. Chanukah Lights is a beautiful heirloom title and I’m happy that I can share in the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour to tell others about it.
Interviews and Internet Links:
- Sabuda’s Pop-Up Studio Blog http://popupstudionyc.blogspot.com/
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sabuda (Hey, I still like finding links here!)
These two questions were thought of after I’d emailed Robert again on Tuesday. I’ll update answers if I get a response. Thanks. Diane
Diane: Do you ever participate in SKYPE sessions to schools?
RS: Unfortunately my schedule only allows me to do conferences or large scale book events.
Diane: The FAQ on the RobertSabuda.com website mentions you are too busy to accept ideas of pop-up books. I wonder if you know of any Asian artists who might create a pop-up book conveying the movement and excitement of the Asian festivals like Dragon Boat Racing, Chinese New Year, Diwali, etc.? Have you ever experienced Chinese New Year and the lion dance? Unfortunately I can’t visualize a way to convey the smoke arising from the thousands of firecrackers, but it would be fun.
RS: As far as an Asian paper engineer goes, Sam Ida is your man! You can easily do a quick google search on him.