These masterpieces of paper engineering include rare children’s pop-up books, panoramic books and multilevel colourful books that rather look like beautiful works of art created by famous illustrators of the XIX-XX centuries. Animals are the main heroes of the fairy tales depicted in the books from Irina Stezhka's private collection and funds of the Darwin museum.
The first “paper engineer” of movable children’s books with popping-up pictures was a German illustrator Lothar Meggendorfer. The exhibition presents books created by Meggendorfer in the end of the XIXth century, published in Germany and later reprinted in the USA in the XXth century. Another gifted illustrator from Italy, Mario Zampini, contributed to the development of “living illustrations” by turning an ordinary book into a theater with the changing decorations and heroes dressed in bright theatrical costumes. One of the masterpieces by Mario Zampini presented at the exhibition is the book “Cinderella” which easily turns into a colourful carousel.Three - dimensional books made by a Czech book-designer Vojtěch Kubašta are praised all over the world and often look like an architectural masterpiece. Some of them have no text, for example, a five-level book named “Circus”. A part of the exhibition includes original and print graphics of Russian and foreign artists.