"JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO MAKE PEOPLE LOVE ONE ANOTHER": A CHRISTMAS STORY BY CZECH ARTIST VOJTECH KUBASTA, FEATURING AN EXQUISITE LARGE POP-UP SCENE
KUBASTA, Vojtech. A Christmas Story. London: Bancroft (Artia), 1960. Folio (9 by 13 inches), staple-bound as issued, original half blue cloth, original pictorial paper wrappers; pp. 8 and double-page pop-up. $1100.
First edition of this didactic but atmospheric tale about a young boy who is moved by the spirit of Christmas and admits to wrongdoing, with delightful, double-page pop-up of the nativity by acclaimed artist and paper engineer Kubasta.
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 a town's preparations for Christmas. "In the late 1950s, architect and illustrator Kubasta's work took a major shift. It is not known specifically what influenced him to experiment with movable illustrations, but with an architect's eye for three dimensions, a graphic artist's talent for illustrating, and a cultural bias towards puppetry and folk tales, Kubasta possessed all the elements to uniquely construct pop-up books… His genius was to take a single sheet of cardstock and cut and fold it so that at least four dimensional layers were formed. For some illustrations, additional pieces were added which could be moved with a tab [as here]… Kubasta's faux-naif style with a Bohemian flavor is somewhat exotic to an American eye" (Ellen G.K. Rubin). Each Christmas season Kubasta would design and illustrate a new crèche, through which he would depict the traditional Czech holiday spirit. These and his pop-up books were produced by the state-owned Artia publishing house. "His pop-up books have appeared in 24 different languages and 35 million copies have been sold. 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.
Pop-up with just a few minor paper repairs, only a few faint spots to text, slight soiling to board, a bit of wear to extremities. A very good copy.