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Robert Sabuda
Sabuda in 2014
Sabuda in 2014
Born Robert James Sabuda
(1965-03-08) March 8, 1965 (age 57)
Wyandotte, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality American

Robert James Sabuda (born March 8, 1965) is a children's pop-up book artist and paper engineer. His recent books include retellings of the stories of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.

Early life

Robert Sabuda was born on March 8, 1965, in Wyandotte, Michigan, and raised in Pinckney, Michigan. He attended the Pratt Institute in New York City.


Sabuda's specific interest in 3-D paper engineering (i.e., pop-up books) was sparked by a book he received that was illustrated by Vojtěch Kubašta. His interest in children's book illustration began with an internship at Dial Books for Young Readers while attending the Pratt Institute. Initially working as a package designer, he illustrated his first children's book series, Bulky Board Books, in 1987. Wide recognition only came his way after he started designing pop-up books for children in 1994.

Sabuda has used techniques including:

  • faux stained glass (Arthur and the Sword, 1995)
  • batik (Blizzard's Robe, 1999)
  • papyrus-textured illustrations (Tutankhamen's Gift, 1994)
  • murals (Saint Valentine, 1992)


Sabuda presently works from his studio in New York City and is involved in a wide variety of projects that involve movable paper. He has also released a video of his working style. Sabuda has also been awarded the Meggendorfer Prize three times, an award instituted by the Movable Book Society of America in honor of German illustrator Lothar Meggendorfer. He is a multiple No. 1 New York Times best-selling children's book creator and has over five million books in print published in over 25 languages.

Personal life

Sabuda married technologist James Talvy on June 25, 2016, at the 10 Horse Art Center in Highland, New York.

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