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Subject: John Strejan, 70; Paper Engineer Worked on Series of Pop-Up Books

March 26
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Date Posted: April 15, 2003 6:23:34 EDT

John Strejan, 70, a paper engineer who worked on pop-up books and was known to peers as "Silverblade" for his masterful skill with an X-Acto knife, died March 26 in Los Angeles of cancer.

A native of Detroit, Strejan attended Portland State University in Oregon and began his creative career in advertising there, and after 1958, in Los Angeles.

In the 1960s, Strejan began working for Elgin Davis, a founder of Graphics International, which created a new line of pop-up books requiring hand assembly.

Strejan maintained a long association with the publisher, which in 1974 became Intervisual Books.

"You have to think like a child," Strejan once said of his unusual line of work, which incorporates the skills of artist, designer and engineer.

One of his most popular series was the National Geographic series of pop-up animal books published from 1987 to 1989.

The books series has been re-created by 13 international publishers.

Among other three-dimensional books Strejan worked on were Charles M. Schultz's "Snoopy and the Twelve Days of Christmas" by Determined Productions in 1984, "The Pop-Up Book of Gnomes" by Harry N. Abrams in 1982 and the "Choo-Choo Charlie Playset" by Piggy Toes Press in 1998.

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