I am so pleased that the "This Is" series of books by Miroslav Sasek are back in print. Elsewhere, the comments on Sasek's work have been "only good for children up to 3 years!" Well, I'm in my fifties and I intend to collect the ones I most enjoyed as a child, such as This Is San Francisco and This Is Rome. In an age of electronic wizardry Sasek's books stand out as a reminder of a time when books were the chief form of entertainment and education.
Sasek's art and wit are truly original and unique. He manages to take the reader on a journey through both the landmarks of his subject and the everday minutiae that makes up a country and its culture. Each book is a remarkable achievement.
It must be remembered that the chief driver for Sasek's success was the explosion of foreign travel for leisure during the 50s and 60s.
Do his books stand the test of time? Well, to be truthful the answer is no if you want up to date facts and figures. However, I cannot see how his quirky, funny pictures coupled with his subtle wit would not continue to amuse and educate children of all ages for generations to come.