This Book is a Planetarium

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ISBN 9781452136219

This Book Is a Planetarium

And Other Extraordinary Pop-Up Contraptions

By Kelli Anderson

In this unique interactive book, each turn of the page reveals a different, lo-fi-but-fully-functional paper gadget.

Inside its pages live: a constellation-projecting planetarium, a strummable musical instrument, a geometric drawing generator, a perpetual calendar, a message encrypter and decoder, and a speaker that amplifies sound.

By reducing familiar gadgets down to just paper, this book shows that a lot can — indeed — be done with very little. Because each pop-up works (despite exhibiting no apparent technology), the book enables an intimate, firsthand vantage point on invisible structural forces at play in our world. To satisfy readers’ curiosity about how something so simple can do so much, the book concisely explains how humble paper taps into the larger phenomena of light, time, soundwaves, and mathematics in order to make lo-fi magic. .

Never has humble paper had such radical ambitions.

Defying every expectation of what a book can be, this pop-up extravaganza transforms into six fully functional tools: a real working planetarium projecting the constellations, a musical instrument complete with strings for strumming, a geometric drawing generator, an infinite calendar, a message decoder, and even a speaker that amplifies sound. Artist Kelli Anderson contributes enlightening text alongside each pop-up, explaining the scientific principles at play in her constructions and creating an interactive experience that's as educational as it is extraordinary. Inspiring awe that lasts long after the initial pop, This Book Is a Planetarium leaves readers of all ages with a renewed appreciation for the way things work—and for the enduring magic of books.


Hardcover.  October 2017.



“A wondrous pop-up masterpiece that translates the laws of physics, from light to time, into magical hands-on demonstrations…. This Book Is a Planetarium is immeasurably delightful, an achievement of elaborate engineering that feels somehow as spare and precise as a poem.” —Brain Pickings

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