Another generation of children are enjoying Miroslav Sasek's classic "This is..." series of books. Eighteen in all, they introduce children to the people, customs and places of interest in cities and countries around the world. The text might seem a quaint today, but it's the illustrations that really steal the show. Using vibrant color and stylized drawing, Sasek captures the personality and flavor of each city or country in a way that appeals to both children and adults.
Originally intended to do just three This is books, Sasek kept going when they were received with such critical and popular success.
The series began with This is Paris in 1959 and ended in 1974 with This is Historic England. In between were books on London, Rome, New York, Edinburgh, Munich, Venice, San Francisco, Israel, Cape Canaveral, Ireland, Hong Kong, Greece, Texas, the United Nations, Washington D.C. and Australia.
[Editor's note: this post was originally published in August, 2007]