When I was at the Book Thing this weekend, I picked up the classic children's book, This is Paris, by Miraslav Sasek. Between 1959 and 1974, Sasek wrote 18 "This Is..." books. The places range from Paris to Texas, and from Rome to Cape Canaveral. The books are being re-issued one or two at a time, but the copy I found was from 1960 and is written in French.Sasek was born in pre-WWII Prague, trained as an architect and ended up living in Munich. On a trip to Paris, he thought that children should have guidebooks, too. He originally intended to only write books about London, Paris and Rome. However, with the popularity of the books, he wrote 15 more. The illustrations in these books are composed of line drawings, water colours and collages. The people in the bus below are actually stamps!
When he was writing This is Washington, DC, the riots broke out after Martin Luther King's death. He stayed in the city and was still there when Robert Kennedy was killed. He was actually sketching JFK's grave at Arlington when the guards asked him to leave so they could dig RFK's grave. Talk about being a part of history!
This is Paris has scenes from every-day life, as well as the typical tourist attractions like the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. The famous Marche aux Puces is well-illustrated here, with so many details of the brocante you can find there! C'est une bonne chose!