Aaron and I are avid children's book collectors. We were collecting them long before we had kids. In order to share this love with our kids, we give them one special book each year for Christmas and their birthday. It is always a book suited to their interest or passions at the time and always a book we deem classic or special in some way. Either because of the story, the illustrations or both. It is always a hard back and we always write a special message inside. The idea is that these books will someday become a starter collection for each child. A collection of books and of childhood memories they can take with them when they head out into the wide, wide world.
This Christmas we got James the book, This is the Way to the Moon, by M. Sasek. Sasek's books are some of my absolute favorites. The illustrations are simply wonderful. I really, really love them. I own quite a few of the books from his country series, but when I saw he did one about space, I knew it was perfect for James' collection.
Here's a little peek inside.
The front cover. Don't you love his graphic style? It was originally published in 1963. Probably one of the reasons I like it so much.
Being married to an illustrator, and graphic designer, I have learned to notice and appreciate things like type and how it fits in with the aesthetic of an entire book. Like this title page.
I have a wall in my dining room hung with pictures of old signs. They are from various trips we've taken and are some of my favorite art. I'm not the only one who sees signs as art. That steak house one is so great.
This illo makes me swoon. Can I still go and stay at this hotel where the astronauts lived? That balcony, those brightly colored buildings...I am in love.
But the book isn't just cool pictures. It is chock full of information too. Information about the space program delivered in such a way as to not be boring. Even to a Mommy who isn't as in love with space travel as her small son.
And even though the book is almost 50 years old, a lot of the information is still current. Or it is just fun to look at how they used to do things.
And here at the end, some more fun facts about the space program. Which we've read in great detail.
M Sasek is actually Miroslav Sasek. He wrote a whole series of children's books about different countries and a few US cities. Check here and see them.
I have been collecting ones from all the places we have visited: This is Paris, Edinburgh, Rome, Venice. I still need Hong Kong, London and San Fransisco. But after looking through all of Sasek's books, I decided I need the entire collection, so I am slowly adding to my number. Luckily, the books have been reprinted, so you can find them on Amazon for very good prices.
Have a look at a few. I know you will fall in love with them too.