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on December 31, 2008
David Carter says that 600 Black Spots is the third book in his set of five which will feature about fifty kinetic sculptures. I recently bought the first in the series: One Red Dot, loved it and thought I would go for the black dots. Like Red the paper engineering in this latest book is very clever though I think Red had perhaps more creativity in it: one spread had some thin poles actually revolved as the pages were opened, another created clicking sounds as it was opened fully.

Still, 600 has some imaginative visual goodies. The first spread features a fan of paper strips that is so simple yet stunningly effective; spread five has a left-hand page that requires you to lift up five different colored papers with the last piece very cleverly revealing a mirror and a comment about you; on the right-hand page of this spread you can pull two tabs that move a series of colored dots up and down and left to right; the last spread springs a sort of porcupine structure towards the reader.

I thought it was interesting that Carter writes the words after he has finished the sculptures though I imagine he has a general idea about what each book is about. Some of his writing is clearly aimed at adults like the use of `Fauve kaboom' on the last spread of Spots. He says `Fauve' is French for wild animal (the porcupine effect in the pop-up) which critics said had painted some of the works of Carter's favorite artist Matisse. Roy Lichtenstein's pop art inspired the `kaboom'.

The free-form pop-ups in Red Dot, Blue 2 and 600 (plus Carter's two future books to complete his series) will be a remarkable record of what paper engineering can achieve and they leave a smile on your face, too!
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on May 9, 2015
As someone who has a collection of nearly a hundred pop-up books, I do appreciate the concept here. However, several spots escaped when I first opened the book and there's no way to tell where to re-place them. A couple of constructs are unattractive and just plain weird. Buy ABC3D by Marion Bataille instead!
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on May 5, 2014
Very creative book. My child does not like reading, but when I bought this book for her, the
fascinating shapes forced her to count the black spots, and read the text.
She is older now, but still looks at the book from time to time.
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