Paper Engineering

creating eric carle's


This was one of the more challenging pop-ups I’ve worked on.

The calendar is based on Eric Carle's "Dream Snow" book and the concept was that the calendar would open to reveal the Farmer’s tree surrounded by gift boxes. Children (or adults!) could then open a new window each day to pop out a decoration to hang anywhere on the tree, counting down towards Christmas.

The concept presented a number of challenges!  First, building the Farmer and the Tree.  They both needed to fit into the spread at a good size, and not get tangled up with each other when the spread closed.  If you look at the photo above you can see how the Farmer is almost off the page, so making him open up was the first interesting challenge.  The next challenge was building the tree…

The Farmer and the tree at a very early stage.

The delight of Eric Carle’s artwork is the fact that it has no drawn outlines.  Detail is created by the way all the shapes are cut out of the painted textures.  This meant that my dielines were going to be his cut-outs.  This was straight forward enough, except for the Tree.  I was trying to replicate Eric Carle’s tree from the "Dream Snow" book but the tree in the book was far too detailed to be die cut.  Consequently, I had to build in some white space around the tree and actually draw the tree.  The tree is made up of many different panels of branches and this meant trying to keep track of how the fronts and backs all slotted together.

White mock-up shown from above.

Early mock-up using mostly block colors.

Having built the Farmer and the Tree I then had to make the gift boxes pop-up around them. They needed positioning in a place where they wouldn’t get caught on the lift-up date windows. This was yet another challenge.  These little windows are not normally something that appear on the background of a pop-up and were likely to cause snags.

Finally it was all finished and I still think it was one of the most challenging pop-ups I've worked on!

The good news is that the calendar isn’t year specific, and so hopefully it will be available every Christmas. 

Published by Chronicle Books.