Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Illustration mini-series (Pt.2) :: M.Sasek

M. Sasek ( the M is for Miroslav), was a Czech artist and author who, rather unusually, wrote travel books for children. A trained architect, he noticed that almost all tourist guides were aimed solely at adults and set about remedying the situation in glorious style.

I’d love to tell you I grew up knowing his ‘This Is…’ series of books, but I first discovered them when I bought the reissued ‘This Is London’ for my nephews a few years ago. Each of the eighteen ‘This Is…’ books feature a different city or country, ranging from Paris and Rome to Israel and Hong Kong. They’re packed with beautifully observed detail and humour and, despite the illustrations being so evocative of their time (mostly the 1950s and 60s), still feel fresh and relevant today. All bar a couple have been reissued in recent years, and can be found on the M.Sasek website, or Amazon mini-site.

Whether you’re heading off on holiday with children, helping them out with a school geography project or just interested in beautifully illustrated non-fiction, they’re well worth checking out.

x

7 comments:

Carmen said...

I love the ones of London :P I may have to look out for some of these - something about that bottom one makes me want to just keep looking at it - am not sure what it is. Could quite happily have that on my wall!

Ruthie said...

EEEEEE - did you know that we are right near the end of the Kate Greenaway Award - I work in libraries! The KG awards are for children's book illustrations - how timely is that? The winners are announced any day now!

Just google Kate Greenaway Award - if you cant find it then leave me a message on my blog and I will look out the website for you!

Rx

alexa said...

These are just wonderful - as a child of the 50s and 50s, they are so evocative! Thank-you for the intro to them - I think my DD would love one for her birthday ...

alexa said...

PS Another huge thank-you for this post - following your links, I discovered a not very common bilingual copy of 'This is Munich', the city which Sasek regarded as his adopted home and where his wife and, I think, son still live. As my DS lives there and is bringing up our DGS to be bilingual, this is going to be a perfect present for them both!

Julie Kirk said...

Carmen - there's something rather mysterious about that little alleyway isn't there? And the colours are so subtle.

Ruthie - thanks for the tip, just been looking at the shortlist. I really like the look of 'LEON AND THE PLACE BETWEEN'.

Alexa - how fabulous!!! There's something a bit serendipitous surrounding Sasek going on. I bought one of his books on a recent trip to a charity shop before I even knew Kirsty was featuring him here! I wonder what it all means ..... :)

Sarah said...

Ooh I do like the illustrations of the buildings! Will go explore.

RosieBird said...

How have I never seen these before? Absolutely fantastic! Going to have to start saving my pennies and stock up on some picture books, methinks.

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