Now for a topic I first wondered about when I was a kid…
ArtPlantae: How do you fix a pop-up book? Do you have any tips for parents or teachers? What should one be mindful of when they sit down to repair a child’s book?
Shawn: Attempting an at-home repair is a great opportunity to explore the structure of the piece, and perhaps reveal its weak points. Using thin, strong acid-free paper (kozo sheets are great and can be purchased from many online retailers) and an acid-free glue (PVA, a.k.a. book binder’s glue or Jade) is best.
Many of these books are ephemeral — they’re not meant to last forever. It’s easier and cheaper to replace most contemporary books. Torn books can be taken apart and explored to learn structure.
However, if one has a book that can’t be easily replaced, or has historical value, then I’d recommend hiring a professional to do the repair. Many home-executed repairs end up doing additional damage in the long run. Online searches for book conservators or repair specialists will yield lots of great options.