In the spring 2003 the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) featured an exhibition of illustrations by Robert Sabuda, the nation’s premier designer/illustrator of children’s pop-up books.
Sabuda’s intricate designs and vivid use of color capture a world of enchantment. He illustrates, often writes and also formulates the special effects for his books. The exhibition showcased Sabuda’s talents as an artist par excellence. Covering a range of artistic media and technique, it featured a number of Sabuda’s works in stained glass, mosaics, cut paper and tissue paper collage. The show also opened a window into the world of pop-ups- the precise engineering and detailed production techniques used to create them. From his intricate cuttings pasted into a mosaic pattern in Saint Valentine (1992) to the gentle flow of a dragon’s tail spiraling with vibrant gems of overlapping color in the Paper Dragon (1997), the brilliance of the aurora borealis captured in the batik art of The Blizzard's Robe (1999) to the stained glass illustrations using liquid lead and glass dyes on Plexiglas in Arthur and the Sword (1995) this exhibit follows Sabuda’s journey until he emerges as the “Prince of Pop-up” as this exhibition also featured preliminary art and nesting sheets for Sabuda’s pop-up books such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The 12 Days of Christmas.