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In May, “The Pop-Up Book of Westerly” was proceeding toward production. Copies are being delivered now and a second batch will be created. Sun File Photo

WESTERLY — The "Pop-Up Book of Westerly" has inspired a second batch, a second book and a special reception.

The first batch of the books — created in honor of Westerly’s 350th Anniversary — is being distributed to buyers who ordered copies in advance. The second batch is in transit and will arrive sometime between Dec. 12 and 20; a similar book for Stonington is in the works; and on Friday book lovers can learn some secrets about the hand-assembled book and how it was made.

Lisa Konicki, president of the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce, oversaw the production of the heirloom publication. She said that Bruce Foster, the book's paper engineer, will fly up from Texas for a book talk and signing at the Ocean House on Friday afternoon. 

The book features paper pop-ups of Westerly landmarks such as the Babcock-Smith House Museum, the United Theatre, the Knickerbocker Music Center, the Westerly Library & Wilcox Park, the Chorus of Westerly, and the Artists' Cooperative Gallery of Westerly. The pop-ups were designed by Westerly artist Lisa Szaro. Friday's talk, "The Making of the Pop-Up Book of Westerly," will be hosted by Konicki and Szaro and will include videos featuring behind-the-scenes views of the plant where the book was assembled, a PowerPoint presentation, and a revealing look at two secrets hidden in the book.

"People can learn all about how the book was made," Konicki said Tuesday morning. "We'll take you behind the scenes to the plant in Laos where there are rows and rows of people hand-gluing the designs. There are so many hands involved ... it's very exciting."

Also exciting, she added, is the progress being made with the Town of Stonington Pop-Up book.

"The theme is 'Community Traditions,'" Konicki said. Stonington artist Susan Pfeifer-Scala has been selected for the artwork and most of the icons and events have also been chosen.

The Blessing of the Fleet and the Mystic Irish Parade, Stonington Borough, Pawcatuck and Old Mystic will be featured, she said, and the Mystic Aquarium, Olde Mistick Village and the Mystic Seaport Museum will each have two pages.

"And of course, the bascule bridge will rise and close," she said. 

"We are three quarters of the way funded," Konicki said, adding that orders are being taken for the Stonington books, which will cost $40 apiece, $5 more than the Westerly book. "Because it's four pages longer than the Westerly book."

"It's just so great that the demand is so strong, and that 100% goes to charitable causes," she said.

"Last week, we gave a check to the Stanton-Davis Homestead Museum," she said, "and one to the Miracle League and another to the United Theatre, which was part of our pledge."

Konicki said a few copies of "Pop-Up Book of Westerly" will be available for sale at the Friday Ocean House event. Reservations for the free event are encouraged, she said.


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