Written by Seonna Hong with Shenne Hahn
Images and story by Seonna Hong
Published by Baby Tattoo
Review by Jilly Gee
Labeled as a "moving pictures book" on its cover rather than a "pop-up book" and closer to the size of a paperback than the more common textbook-sized pop-up books for children, Animus appeals to adults just as much as to children, maybe even more so. Instead of the bright colors or sparkly extras seen in the children’s section of bookstores, the protagonist wears ordinary, easy-on-the eyes outfits and wanders around in a world with realistic, earthy colors. Though the colors may not be fantastical, this does not make the book feel any less magical than other pop-up books. As could happen only only in a Disney movie, the adorable little girl that is the main character is inexplicably friends with all the woodland creatures and shops in a quaint town that readers are unlikely to see likes of in this day and age.
Even the lesson Animus teaches is one that everyone could use reminding of, young or old. Not something obvious and meant just for children alone, such as, "Don’t talk to strangers," but something practical for everyday use, something that could be taken in as many ways as we need, from, "Don’t worry about the things we can’t change," to, "Accept the bad that comes with the good." No, she does not win the mean dog over in the end, but it’s the fact that the she doesn’t end up friends with the mean dog that makes for the perfect life lessons.