How the ‘Wow’ factor plays into today’s kids (and adults) getting pumped up about sports

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Do your kids read books any more? More specific: Do they have the attention span to read a sports book that’s not assigned in school?

Paging through “Wow! The Pop-Up Book of Sports,” the newest Sports Illustrated Kids selection that is released today, there’s the underminding message that we need to really hit them over the head with the “wow” factor to make them pay attention to what’s going in sports.

Or ….

It’s pretty cool to have a pop-up book that can be considered a neat work of kid-friendly art — the stuff you can lay open on a shelf and admire it from near and afar.

That’s where we choose to put this project, which has a relatively reasonable $26.95 price tag consider that’s the cost of a couple of DVDs that may have two replays in them at the most.

Too bad this blog isn’t in 3D. You’d be actually saying “wow” as you flipped through this thing.

It starts with SI photographs, which can’t go wrong in any medium.

Then consider eight moments in sports that now seem to come to life — The Red Sox’s 2004 World Series win, skateboarder Danny Way leaps over the Great Wall of China (attached to a straw, so he twists as he moves from right to left), New York Giants receiver David Tyree’s Super Bowl catch … and Tiger Woods at the Masters … and LaDainian Tomlinson diving over the pile at the end zone line … and Serena Williams hitting a tennis ball into your face … and LeBron James flying in for a dunk, with the rim moving toward your lap as the pages open. … and surfer Kelly Slater, inside the tube, which you don’t realize is really five layers of paper that creates a tunnel of water you’d never imagine could look so real.

(We’ll even overlook the fact that those ’04 Red Sox actually clinched the title in St. Louis, and not at Fenway Park, but seeing a pop-up of the Fens makes it much more pretty.)

Wow, indeed.

Best of all, perhaps, is it comes wrapped in plastic, so that the lookie-loos in the book store don’t ruin it before you can actually buy it (which encourage online purchase so you get it in mint condition).

And even though it has the “warning” that there is a “choking hazard: small parts, not for children under 3 years,” buy it for the kids, keep it as an adult.

SI hired Bruce Foster, who has done nearly 40 pop-up books for museums and publishers, as the paper engineer for this one. He also did the pop-up opening scenes for the Disney movie “Enchanted.” That’s the payoff for those who know his work.

Maybe it’s best we don’t have any photos to show of what some of these scenes look like. We’ll save the surprise for when you get your hands on it.

We also offer these two reviews, for what they’re worth, on the Amazon.com site (linked here).

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