Pop-up heaven;Hallowe'en;Children's books

29th October 1999 at 01:00
WITCH ZELDA'S BIRTHDAY CAKE. By Eva Tatcheva. Tango pound;12.99

Pop-up books often seem to be a lot of fuss about nothing. But although the text (apparently written by the eponymous sorceress herself) is rather less than spell-binding, this pumpkin-shaped book is a real feast of visual ingenuity.

It's the 31st day of October, and the witch's home comes alive with magical feats of paper engineering. Moving parts include arms, legs, flaps, doors, furniture, skeletons and party invitations, and in the witch's kitchen, the cooks prepare the pumpkin with a mechanical display of stirring, scraping and synchronised sawing.

Combining rich colours, weird and wonky perspectives, scritchy-scratchy drawings, snippets of newsprint and magazine photos, there's a wealth of imaginative detail here. And on the practical front - for classroom forays into painting, collage and cut-paper work - there's heaps of artistic inspiration for copy-cat activity.

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