Eric Carle Advent Calendar

Eric Carle Advent Calendar

Eric Carle Advent Calendar

One of the most challenging pop-ups I’ve worked on!

The concept for the calendar was that it would open to reveal the Farmer’s tree surrounded by gift boxes. Children (or adults!) would then open a new window each day to pop out a decoration to hang anywhere on the tree, counting down towards Christmas.

The concept in fact, 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 opening him up was an interesting challenge in paper engineering.  The next challenge was getting my head around building the tree itself…

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 was far too detailed to be cut out by dies.  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!

Having built the Farmer and Tree I now had to make the gift boxes pop-up around them.  Positioning these in a place where they wouldn’t get caught on the lift-up date windows was another challenge.  These little windows are not normally something that appear on the background of a pop-up.

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

Following are some early development photos.

Early Farmer and Tree Development

Early Farmer and very early Tree.

Early Dream Snow Pop-Up From Above

Tree and Farmer seen from above.

Eric Carle mock-up.

Mock-up made with markers and computer print outs.

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