(This is going to be a picture intensive post.)
I've only just come out of the pop-up book closet, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say I've found the best pop-up books out there. The first one being Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs.
This pop up book is extravagant; there's no other word for it. Most pop up books save the best for last, a grand finale on the last page to leave you with a "wow" at the end. Every page of this book is a grand finale page. If the center image doesn't impress (although I can't imagine why it wouldn't), each page spread has small inset pages, and these contain pop up images too; of of these inset pages have more pages with more pop ups in them.
The intricate and sometimes delicate construction of these pages, as well as the writing, seems geared towards an older child, say 10-12 years old. The writing is informative, and there are pronunciation guides for each of the dinosaurs. Best of all, at the end, the authors devote an inset mini-book to why the dinosaurs disappeared; they offer several of the prevailing theories without giving weight to one over the other, ending with we don't know why they disappeared for certain. Responsible writing - I love it.
So here are the pictures (I could not pick out just a couple, so there are a lot of them here):
A typical page:
Each of those bits in the corners is another pop up:
Some of them have multiple pages of small pop-ups:
(on the left is a multi page mini popup and the right side is a mini pop up page with flaps that open up on either side with more popups.)
This one gives an idea of the scale; not only of the dinosaur (with the man and elephant) but of the art itself.
For the T-Rex fans out there:
My only complaint is that each of those mini pages are held down with a photo-corner type thing. They do need to be held down, and I can't think of a better way to do it, but the corners require the reader to slightly bend the pages to get them in and out; over time and use, that's going to weaken the paper.
Saying that though, I can't recommend this book too much; it's fabulous. Kids and adults alike will find something to ooh and ahh over. MT has already asked if he could take it to work to show the guys; admittedly he is in the printing business but I don't think there's anyone out there that won't find much here to be impressed with.