Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr): Vroom! by Barbara McClintock

Leonardo Pop-Ups

You don't have to be Dan Brown's Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon to spot the wondrous truth of these da Vincis. With Leonardo Pop-Ups, the paper engineer and graphic designer Courtney Watson McCarthy puts the work of a master--and the page itself--into flight. Da Vinci's sketchbook rendering of The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne stands 12 inches tall, its five separate panels creating a dazzling dimensionality. Turn the page and the Vitruvian Man himself leaps up, arms and legs stretched out in his square and circle, representative of the perfection of creation, exquisitely rendered in cardboard. McCarthy's 10 da Vinci pop-ups also include The Annunciation and, from a sketchbook, a pedal-powered flying machine. The follow-up to previous volumes honoring the likes of Gaudi and Escher, Leonardo Pop-Ups itself is something of a flying machine, an improbable marvel. It's sturdy, too. -- Alan Scherstuhl, freelance writer and editor