Cities come to life in Stephen’s new book

Stephen Waterhouse with his new pop  up atlas. (d605a407)
Stephen Waterhouse with his new pop up atlas. (d605a407)

Iconic landmarks in the world’s most famous cities have been brought to life in a Hartshead illustrator’s new pop-up book.

The book, called My Pop Up City Atlas, takes readers on a journey around the world, stopping off in more than 70 cities including Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Mumbai and Istanbul, where children can learn hundreds of facts about history, weather, population sizes, tallest buildings, animals, transport and religion.

Illustrator Stephen Waterhouse has spent 18 months working on the book, which sold more than 26,000 copies before it was released.

The book is the second in the atlas series, after My Pop Up World Atlas, which sold 126,000 copies in the 18 months since it was released.

Now Stephen is working on the third book in the series – but the theme is top secret!

And he says he has learnt just as much as the children who read his books, for he failed his A Level geography exam at school!

He said: “In October 2010 the publisher said they had seen my work and asked me what my dream job would be. I said a pop up book – I love 3D stuff.

“A year later they came up with the job and we did the first book, My Pop Up World Atlas. The city atlas is the second and we are working on a third but it’s top secret.

“It is the most technical stuff I have ever done. Making it all fit together is a real challenge. Everything is so factual, I have to get it just right.

“I research and get about 10 pictures from different angles for each illustration. Each spread takes about a month but New York took a bit longer!

“In Africa, there was a lot of border dispute so we had to keep changing the borders in the drawings.”

Stephen got his big break following his degree show at Loughborough University.

His first book, The Runaway Chapati, was commissioned following his degree show, and then he wrote and illustrated three books for Bloomsbury.

He was chosen to illustrate a commemorative book of Bible stories, commissioned and chosen by Sir Cliff Richard to celebrate his 50th anniversary in showbusiness.

He said: “Publishers commission illustrators from all over the world, so if you get commssioned it’s the best feeling. It’s like winning the lottery.

“I do lots of school visits showing the books and kids love them. I’m really happy with them.”