On kids' shelves, there are books with a delightful thickness between the covers. Turn the pages and artwork springs into a 3-D sculpture.What makes these books come to life is a technique referred to as paper engineering. It's an art form that makes a green dragon stand up and bow its head with the pull of a lever and a house of cards instantly erect itself with the flip of a page in Alice in Wonderland. And they're not just for kids. The impressive complexity and beauty of some pop-up books attracts older collectors and artists. One such artist is Fort Lauderdale resident and 2001 Florida Artists' Book Prize recipient Andrew Binder, who includes paper-engineering techniques in his books and notes that the pop-ups add a "kinetic, interactive element." Dozens of books with pop-up pages from Binder, Vojtech Kubasta, and Robert Sabuba are on display at the "Paper Engineering and Pop-Up Book Exhibit" at Bienes Center in the Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Some are commercial products, others limited editions, and they include a range of subjects, including the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz and The Night Before Christmas. The exhibit runs through March 12. Call 954-357-8692. -- Patti Roth
In a jar!
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Remember when you had to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar in school and you could win the whole thing? Well, forget about having to pick out all the brown jellybeans, because now you can make your own candy jar. As part of its monthly "Free Family Day" event, the Art and Culture Center's Art School (1626 Harrison St., Hollywood) offers an activity for kids with a sweet tooth and some creative muscle. Here's the plan: The center supplies the jar, you decorate it for Valentine's Day, then fill it with candy of your choice. Then proceed to stuff all the candy in your mouth until you feel properly sick to your stomach. Sure beats signing lame Valentine's Day cards for people you don't really like. Good times! The activity starts at 1 p.m. Call 954-921-3274. -- Audra Schroeder