Jumping Jack Press, a pop-up book imprint launched in 2007 by Up With Paper, the world’s largest pop-up greeting card company, announced last week at the New York Now stationery show that it will publish a 20th-anniversary edition of famed pop-up book author, illustrator, and paper engineer Robert Sabuda’s evergreen bestseller The Christmas Alphabet, as well as Sabuda’s Christmas mini pop-up book. No print runs or pricing have been set by the Ohio company yet; both books will be released in September.
The Christmas Alphabet launched Sabuda’s career in 1994, when Orchard Books initially published it. The company, which is now an imprint at Scholastic, also published a 10th-year anniversary edition in 2004 with a new jacket, which included a green foil cover. Jumping Jack Press promises a new cover for the 20th-anniversary edition, as well as a “custom pop-up ornament insert.” Both the cover and the insert will feature gold foil embellishments.
Neal Porter, who heads his own imprint at Roaring Press Books, was publisher of Orchard Books in 1994. He recalls that when The Christmas Alphabet was originally issued, with a red cover and a white and pastel interior that included 26 spreads of holiday images and symbols, he encountered “some resistance” from accounts. “It was so different from other books,” he recalled. “They asked, ‘Why can’t you put more gold, more glitter? It’s so stark.’ ”
“I guess they finally got what they wanted,” he said with a laugh. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years.”
The Jumping Jack edition of Sabuda’s Christmas mini-book will have a new blue-foil cover. Inside, nine pop-ups spell out the word “Christmas.” It was originally published by Orchard in 2006.
Jumping Jack Press, and its parent company, Up With Paper, which was founded in 1978 as PopShots, Inc., are, understandably, thrilled to add Sabuda to their list. George White, Up With Paper’s president and COO, said, “Sabuda knew who we are and we certainly knew who he was,” disclosing that personal connections eased the way in building a relationship with Sabuda: Up With Paper paper engineer Yevgeniya Yeretskaya once interned for Sabuda, and creative director Monika Brandrup currently serves on the board of the Movable Book Society with him. “He liked our books and our pop-up program. We had a meeting of the minds and it went from there,” White said.
Jumping Jack Press, which has about a dozen titles in print, licensed with Disney to publish Marvel and Toy Story, which were released in 2012. The company also publishes original books, including its bestselling title, Snowflakes by Jennifer Chuchkoff, illustrated and engineered by Yeretskaya. Snowflakes has sold 60,000 copies in four print runs since its 2010 release and was one of the holiday books that GLIBA booksellers were most excited about at their annual conference this past fall. Jumping Jack Press titles are available directly from Up With Paper, as well as from Ingram Publishing Services.