David A. Carter on The Lorax Pop-Up
By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 6, 2012
David A. Carter is the amazingly talented paper engineer behind 75 pop-up books, including the bestselling Bugs in a Box® series that has sold more than six million copies. He is also the creator of the magnificent pop-ups One Red Dot, Blue 2, Horton Hears a Who Pop-up!, Oh, the Places You’ll Go Pop-up!, and Lots of Bots! David lives with his wife and two daughters in Auburn, California.
TCBR: Describe THE LORAX POP-UP in 5 words or less.
David A. Carter: Real 3D, no glasses required.
What is it like adapting a classic like THE LORAX that is so popular and pertinent to our times, especially with the film release?
As with all of the Dr. Seuss books that I have adapted, I felt it was important to keep true to the feel and concept of the the original book. We did not edit the text and we used as much of the original illustration as possible. The fact that the film was in the works influenced the publishing of the pop-up version, but as you can see, the film did not influence the treatment I used for the pop-up.
You’ve done a Seuss pop-up before—HORTON HEARS A WHO—but what new challenges did you come across with THE LORAX POP-UP?
The biggest difference between the LORAX POP-UP and the HORTON is that because of an increase in the cost manufacturing, we had to reduce the complexity of the paper engineering in THE LORAX.
How do you determine which part of the illustrations will “pop” from the page and which will remain flat?
The beauty of Dr. Seuss’ work is that, even though the drawings are two dimensional, they have a stupendous amount of dimension and movement, which makes my job easy. The problem was not what to make pop-up or move, but what I had to leave two-dimensional.
I read that Dr. Seuss’ books were some of your favorite books during your childhood years. What is it about Dr. Seuss and his stories that you enjoy so much?
The first book I read on my own was GREEN EGGS and HAM. I was a reluctant reader, and for me, Dr. Seuss’ books weren’t boring like the other early readers of the time—sorry Dick & Jane!. The drawings are wacky and the words are wackier. Then I read IF I RAN THE CIRCUS and IF I RAN THE ZOO, and they were the wackiest.
If you could ask the late Theodor Seuss Geisel anything about his career as a children’s book author, what would you ask him?
How did you ever convince your publisher to let you use the unconventional words that you use?! I might also ask the question that I find most difficult to answer: where do you get your ideas?
What are you currently working on? Should we expect to see another Seuss pop-up book in the future?
I am currently working on many projects; my Bugs series, my art pop-ups, mostly my own original ideas. If Random House were to ask for another Seuss pop-up, I have some suggestions in mind. Maybe something with green eggs or a zoo or a circus?
For more information, visit: Kids @ Random
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