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August 9, 2011

New Books: Spin

The technology of paper crafting in publishing seems to have undergone a revolution in recent years, with the results perhaps most evident in the realm of pop-up books. No longer the simple, somewhat cheesy little books of our generation's childhood, these are now dazzling works of paper engineering, led by the amazing work of Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda.

But until now, the intricate folds and designs themselves were the wonder in these books. Ido Vaginsky's Spin takes the genre in another new direction, one of artistic double entendres. Pull the tab, and the cow head does a series of (surprisingly speedy) twirls before settling upside-down—at which point you realize that viewed this way, it's an owl. And so on with a series of cleverly designed illustrations that change form depending on how they're viewed.

The combination of paper mechanics—again, like old-fashioned tabs and pop-ups on steroids—and visual magic is dazzling and, in fact, somewhat thrilling. All of which makes Spin a whole lot of fun.

[Photo: Whitney Webster]

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