The Girl's Own Book

Toy and Movable Books

oy books were an obvious sideline for publishers who were already printing high quality graphic books for children, and they began producing a wide variety of interactive items including paper dolls, games, and books with increasingly inventive structures and mechanisms. The reader could unfold pages, lift flaps, peek through holes, slide paper tabs that changed the scene in a frame, move jointed figures, and tug on stiff paper tongues that opened cabinets and brought entire scenes to life.

Little Henry had an exciting life — he was kidnapped, forced to beg, sold to a chimney sweep, became a regimental drummer, joined the navy, fought fiercely in battle, and was promoted to midshipman. Each stage of his saga is represented by a costume into which his head can be fitted.
The Orphan Girl was published by Dean & Co., the earliest mass-producer of books with pull tabs, see-through holes, and other moving parts.
The Lady’s Toilet, here represented by an unlicensed American adaptation, compares the virtues suitable to a young woman with items on her dressing table; the symbolism is revealed by lifting a flap.
Larger flaps are used in Metamorphosis, whose short verses are revealed along with transforming images as you open the segments successively.
This “metamorphic” structure was also used in Cinderella: larger flaps change the scenery while smaller flaps reflect the narrative.
Ernest Nister was the first publisher to introduce automatic pop-ups, where opening the page brought the figures up into three-dimensional tableaux, as Puss in Boots does.

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