If you have been researching phobias, chances are that you might have come across The Pop-Up Book of Phobias at some point. Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing this popular book and show you a couple of reasons why anyone interested in adult pop-up books, humor and phobias (of course!) should read it. In fact, I bet you will be dying to get the book after you are done reading this review. Let me explain what makes The Pop-Up Book of Phobias so special.
What is The Pop-Up Book of Phobias about?
Everyone is afraid of something. Most common phobias in the world include the fear of spiders, fear of flying, fear of heights, fear of certain animals/reptiles and of course the fear of dying (which I used to suffer from). So what do most readers think about The Pop-Up Book of Phobias? The general consensus about it is: whatever you are afraid of; this book will make you face it! Readers (with or without phobias) are sure to enjoy getting snakes, spiders and other dreadful objects pop-up in their faces, literally!
The phenomenal thing about The Pop-Up Book of Phobias is that the author Gary Greenberg (a standup comedian and author based out of Manhattan) has given fantastic and awe-inspiring details about the majority of common phobias around the world. Using easy-to-understand text, he has enhanced the general knowledge of his readers about many different kinds of phobias. You get to learn how each phobia originates, the theoretical aspects of these fears, the Greek origin for each phobia as well as the common treatment options to get rid of it. The wonderful thing about all this information is that it is filled with great humor. As one reader puts it, “Gary Greenberg has added a gleeful sense of macabre to The Pop-Up Book of Phobias”.
On the downside, if there is one, some readers (me included) felt that the author should have included more gripping phobias. This would certainly add to the fun and enhance this already awesome book. Some of the phobias I would like to see included in it are: fear of thunderstorms, fear of holes or other strange but very real phobias, which are actually more common than you might think.
Now, if you ask any reader (with a specific phobia) about how she or he felt after reading The Pop-Up Book of Phobias, chances are that you will hear a: wow! While a person having the excessive fear of clowns might hate having a clown pop-up in his or her face. At the same time, the next reaction (after the panic has subsided) is bound to be laughter. So you can certainly expect a great deal of fun when you purchase The Pop-Up Book of Phobias.
What about the pop-ups in The Pop-Up Book of Phobias?
Illustrator Balvis Rubess has done some marvelous work with the illustrations and the pop-up architecture in the book. In fact, many readers felt that the text is not what imparts the magical charm to this book; it is the pop-ups. I completely agree! Pop-up mechanism in books requires not just artistic talent but mathematical skills as well. The angles, the detailing and the cut all have to be super-precise to ensure that the objects pop out and move as expected. Naturally, I have to mention the paper sculptor and model maker for this great book, who is none other than Matthew Reinhardt, of Blue’s Clues fame.
If you are a fan of pop-up books, The Pop-Up Book of Phobias is a MUST-HAVE in your collection. Even teachers of psychology are known to use this book to depict various phobias such as the fear of dentists, spiders and heights, to their students.
Who will enjoy The Pop-Up Book of Phobias?
Finally, I will leave you with some interesting features and gems in The Pop-Up Book of Phobias and why I think you should get it (if you can get your hands on one):
- If you are a fan of pop-up books for grownups.
- If you love humor.
- Mysophobes (people with the excessive fear of germs) will love the dirty toilet that pops up suddenly at them (I am not giving any more details or it would spoil the fun for other phobics. I will say this though – expect an awesome ending!). In fact, psychologists recommend it to their teenagers and adolescent patients to help them find a way to laugh at their fears and anxieties.
- The book is absolutely great for your coffee table and it is a marvelous conversation starter.
In conclusion: whether you are planning on buying it for yourself or for gifting to a loved one, this book will be a big hit.