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The first book on this year’s Christmas book advent list is a gorgeous, fragile, colorful pop-up by Robert Sabuda, The Christmas Alphabet. Originally published in 1994, this is the “Deluxe Anniversary Edition” from 2004 and I have absolutely no idea what makes it different from the original as I have never checked.

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I was sad not to fit this beauty in last year as it is just so much fun to look at, but it actually coincides perfectly with my daughter’s current obsession with all things “ABC” so it fits right in today. Requiring lots of adult supervision for little fingers, every letter of the alphabet is represented with a muted color flap that opens to reveal a fantastic pop-up image for that letter. If you love pop-ups, you’ll be enamored with this one.

I have dabbled occasionally with the pop-up tutorials you can find in some children’s activity books and online and yet I still have no idea what kind of genius magic-work Robert Sabuda is able to concoct to make such amazing little images. It really is like a tiny advent experience as each flap is awe-inducing with its intricacies and movement.

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I’m particularly fond of Sabuda’s use of limited, flat color. Considering the images themselves are not actually flat, it is nice to not be overwhelmed by color as well. He uses white as the focus and accents with a lovely palette that is refreshingly not the typical Christmas one. I have yet to pull this one out for my daughter, but I anticipate many repeat experiences and reminders for gentle fingers as we relive each letter in its Christmas, pop-up glory. Angel, evergreen, kiss, manger, quartet, and more. What a great way to start off the month!

Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas in 2013.