The Voyage of Marco Polo.

Voitech Kubasta: Pop-Up Innovator I

An architect by profession, Voitech Kubasta brought a decidedly contemporary "pop" sensibility to his innovative paper engineering. Published in Prague by state-run Artia and marketed by the London firm Bancroft and Company, Kubasta's works leap from the page with their imaginative and vivid illustrations. The paper engineering, fresh and crisp, infuses these pop-up scenes with an exuberance born of Kubasta's lively imagination.

Taking the standards of children's literature as his point of departure, Kubasta gave familiar themes a bright new treatment. Moko and Koko breathe fresh life into the overused jungle setting, as they peek out from a now lavish and adventure-filled world. These books contain only one three-dimensional scene, a format that allows the interior pages to be printed and assembled conventionally and economically while saving the dramatic impact for the final pop-up.

Kubasta also explored new themes. He invented the characters Tip and Top, joined by their trusty dog Tap in certain volumes, to teach children about ships, cars, airplanes, and even outer space. In the Tip and Top series, every page pops open with striking shapes and forms. Only Kubasta's superior designing skills could make these complicated constructions appear so seamless