FIRST EDITION OF MOKO AND KOKO IN THE JUNGLE, 1961, A VOJTECH KUBASTA POP-UP BOOK, FEATURING A DOUBLE-PAGE POP-UP OF THE JUNGLE WITH THE RARE MOKO AND KOKO PAPER DOLLS
KUBASTA, Vojtech. Moko and Koko in the Jungle. London: Bancroft, . Folio (9 by 13 inches), staple-bound as issued, original half green cloth, original pictorial paper wrappers; pp. 8 and double-page pop-up. $950.
First edition of Kubasta's jungle-themed pop-up book, featuring an eight-page story ("Moko and Koko in the Jungle") and a vibrant, double-page, folio pop-up of an animal-filled jungle, with Swinging Orangutan intact and with rare paper dolls of Moko and Koko, in original pictorial wrappers depicting Moko and Koko riding an elephant.
This wonderful pop-up book includes an eight-page story and an extremely large pop-up (17-3/4 by 12-1/2 by 10-3/4 inches) about two children who go on an expedition into the deep jungle and meet a talking elephant, who introduces them to all of the jungles other animals. "Kubasta's talent as a graphic artist was to combine a robust graphic style of great charm and humor with a puppet-master's flair for story-telling in three dimensions" (John Michael Dawson). "His distinctive bold and colorful figures, as seen in this work, became increasingly popular. After the Czech publishing industry was nationalized in 1948, Kubasta began creating advertising materials for Czech products abroad that included three-dimensional cards for items such as Pilsner beer, porcelain and sewing machines. Beginning in the 1950s, he developed elaborate paper construction crèches annually each Christmas season… His beautifully designed and intricate pop-ups were later produced from the 1960s-1980s worldwide and became the inspiration for the revival of the pop-up book industry in America" (Stephen Van Dyke, Smithsonian Libraries). "Kubasta's faux-naif style with a Bohemian flavor is somewhat exotic to an American eye" (Ellen G.K. Rubin), and "today, original editions of his illustrations and books are sought after by collectors from around the world" (James A. Findlay). Kubasta's works were all printed in Czechoslovakia using a special pre-war press at the state-run company, Artia Prague. They were then published for various markets, including Great Britain. This copy has the rare Swinging Orangutan moveable, often missing due to its fragility, as well as unattached-as-issued paper dolls of Moko and Koko, also often missing due to careless handling by children.