Sunday, February 2, 2014

This Is...Great Books on Famous Places

Miroslav Sasek was a Czech illustrator and trained architect. He was inspired to write and illustrate travel books for children. These were written in the late 1950's and 1960's and his illustrations are so evocative of the era. They realistically capture the famous sites, and interesting things to see and do around the world. They even capture the details of local dress and activities. Each book is a little journey through the destination.

Before we travel to a new city, I like to read these books. Often times they are more delightful to peruse through again when back home, just like looking through a photo album of our trip, when all the site and places have become fond memories.

Many of these books slipped into "out of print" status, but then were republished in the early 2000's along with some updated information asterisked into the book.

Let's begin with my favorite city, and Sasek's first book which he wrote after his first trip to Paris in 1958.

This is Paris

Paris Opera
Notre Dame
Arc de Triomphe

Miroslav Sasek

This is Rome


Trevi Fountain.



Miroslav Sasek
The Spanish Steps.

This is London

Piccadilly Circus at night

illustration of London Parliament from vintage "This is London" book by Miroslav Sasek
Big Ben and Parliament along the Thames

Black London Taxi

Tower Bridge... as pictured by Miroslav Sasek

London...where everyone knows how to que.

London fashion! Love it.

This Is Edinburgh
Edinburgh Scotsman illustration This is Edinburgh

Edinburgh Scotsman illustration1 This is Edinburgh

illustration of a Scottish terrier from vintage book, "This is Edinburgh" by Miroslav Sasek
Love this one - Harris Tweed and tartan!

This is Edinburgh, M Sasek, Mons Meg cannon
The big guns up at the castle. These look out over the river, Water of Leith,  where on our visit a particularly educated American asked the guide if the shoreline on the other side was America.

Victoria Street (there is a really great restaurant at the bottom that serves wonderful "stovies")

Sasek also wrote a book titled This is Britain
or originally This is Historic Britain. It covers more of the entire British Isle.
This is Britain by Miroslav Sasek

This Is Munich

Sasek, Miroslav - Sausages!

Sasek was an architect, and his books are filled with wonderful geometric patterns and drawings.

This Is New York

Miroslav Sasek - Museum
Brooklyn Bridge - This Is New York by Miroslav Sasek (1961)
Miroslav Sasek - King Pizza
Times Square.

New York Skyline
Miroslav Sasek, "This is New York" showing an American footballer
American football player.

This is San Francisco
This is Books and The Children's Department
Miroslav Sasek from This is San Francisco

Miroslav Sasek - Los ANgeles

This is Ireland
Nice...Ireland gets a bar.
This is Ireland hills This is Ireland

This is Greece
(hoping to read this one next - as in travel to Greece)

The Greek Islands.

this is texas (1967, reissued 2008) • miroslav sasek
illustration from This is Texas

A Sasek map of the world

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