Children often find pop-up books very exciting. They love the magic that happens when folded sheets of hard paper pop-up! Pia had some beautiful pop-up books. Some had animals and some had fairies. Just like other children, she also found them very magical. However, there was one pop-up book that was very special.
It was beautiful, glittery and had lovely colours. “Come With Me” – it was written on the cover of the book. Pia’s grandparents brought that book for her from their recent holiday to Ireland. Pia was delighted to receive this gift form her grandparents.
She ran into her room and opened the book.
“Oi!”, came a strange sound from somewhere in the room.
Pia didn’t pay much attention as she just wanted to look inside the book.
“Oi! I am talkin’ to you”. It was clearer this time. Pia looked here and there but couldn’t find anyone.
“Psst! Look ‘ere…down at the book!”
Pia looked down and she was stunned. The pages of the book were turning, slowly, one at a time, all by themselves.
“Oh, jeez! I thought you’ll never know.” The sound came from the book. Pia couldn’t believe it.
Pia lifted the book and looked closely. She couldn’t find a face or a mouth. Where the sound came from, she thought.
“Oi, be careful. Put me down gently. Don’t be afraid. I know what you’re thinkin’. Yes, I can talk and hear too.”
“You’re a talking book? Whoa!! How can you talk?”, Pia said surprisingly.
“I once belonged to a magician whose son was blind. The magician gave me the power to speak so that I can tell his son the stories inside and take him to those places with me”, said the book.
“Oh! I am so excited. Let me open your pages and see the magic”. Pia couldn’t control her excitement.
She opened the first page. Cutouts of a beautiful beach popped up and the pop-up started growing bigger and bigger. Soon, Pia was at the beach.
“So? What do you think?”, asked the book.
“It’s beautiful. Tell me more”, said Pia.
“This is a beach. And the water that you see – that is an ocean. A beach is where land and water meet. That tall building that you see. That’s a lighthouse. It’s like a landmark or milestone that tells sailors that they are close to the land. Children love beaches. They make castles in the sand. Collect seashells from the shore. People come here to spend a good time with their friends and families”, the book told Pia about the beach.
Pia was quiet and listened to everything the book was telling her. She loved being there. All this while, the book was in her hands.
“Turn the page”, said the book.
Pia was so thrilled that she didn’t hear when the book called for her.
“Oi! Keep down the book! Turn the page!!”, the book said once again.
Pia heard him this time and she did as the book said. She turned the next page. Cutouts of a jungle popped up and they started getting bigger.
Now, from the beach, Pia was in a jungle. It was a jungle full of trees, birds and animals. Pia could hear the chirping of the birds and hooting of the monkeys.
“You are in a jungle now. This is where wild animals live. Some animals eat only fruits, grass and plants. Some animals hunt other animals for their food. Some animals eat both. Interesting, isn’t it? Some animals live on the trees. Some animals live on the land. A jungle is full of trees, plants and bushes”, the book continued.
Pia was spellbound. Until now, she had seen jungle only in books or TV.
“This is amazing! Hey, a squirrel! Is that a deer peeping out?”, said Pia gasping with joy.
“Yes. You are right. Do you want to see more animals?”, asked the book.
“Not today. I will see more animals next time you bring me to the jungle”, Pia said.
“Alright then. Turn the page”, said the book.
Pia turned the page once again. Beautiful hills popped up this time and they started growing bigger and bigger.
Pia found herself sitting on the rainbow. Her happiness knew no bounds. She never even imagined herself sitting on a rainbow in the wildest of her dreams.
She could feel the clouds in the sky. The view from there was breathtaking. The hills were looking spectacular from the top. The sky, the valleys, the cool wind, the streams of water, the greenery, the sunshine, the high-flying birds – Pia was in awe of nature.
“Oi! Do you like the view?”, asked the book.
“I am so happy…I am so thrilled”, Pia laughed and screamed with glee.
After few minutes, the book said, “This is the last page, little girl. I think we should go back now. Close the book.” Pia became upset when the pop-up book said this. She didn’t want to leave.
“I don’t want to go. Can we stay for some more time?”, asked Pia hopefully.
“Listen, every page has a time limit. If we don’t return within that limit then we will never be able to go back into the same page. Do you understand?”, said the book.
It was hard for Pia to leave the rainbow. She looked down at the book and gently closed it. She looked up and found herself in her room, sitting at the same place.
“Don’t be sad, little girl. I will take you there again. But this is all for now”, the book said.
“Thank you so much for taking me to these beautiful places. I am delighted to have you. What’s your name, by the way?”, asked Pia curiously.
“My name? Come With Me”, the pop-up book said and flew over to the bookshelf to sit in the most comfortable spot.
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