Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Found at the library: The Real Book About Prehistoric Life

Picked this up from the used book sale shelves at the North Canton Public Library:

Copyright 1957. Reminds me very much of the sort of books I’d occasionally receive from my dad or uncles, passed down from when they were kids, or that I’d check out from the Carnegie Public Library in Upper Sandusky when we’d visit my grandparents.

I really have a thing for science fact and science fiction artwork from the ’50s and ’60s, and this also reminded me how much I loved reading this kind of educational series book. (I had a bunch of much slimmer books that were newer and aimed at younger readers, but for the life of me, I can’t manage to cobble together an accurate enough web search to find photos of them. They had red borders and usually single-word titles like “Fire” and “Dinosaurs.”)

Here’s the “Real Book” cover art beneath the Prehistoric Life jacket:

And here’s the endpaper art, which gets bonus points for including three creatures and one plant which I’ve dug up in fossil form right here  in Ohio:

And kudos to author Dorothy Shuttlesworth and illustrator Matthew Kalmenoff, who seem like they had awfully cool jobs combining art, science, and education.

Super retro bonus find: Tucked within the pages of the book, one totally authentic souvenir reproduction of the Gettysburg Address.

It’s a small, blurry photo because it wouldn’t fit on the scanner, and I didn’t want to mash it, but you can see a better example on the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency website.

I’ll admit when I first found it, I thought, “Cool! Old letter!” only to be disappointed a second later, when I saw that the text was the Gettysburg Address. (I really would have loved to find an old, everyday personal note. That kind of thing really sets my mind running.) But then this thing sparked some personal nostalgia from the time we took a family trip to Colonial Williamsburg when I was a kid, and my parents bought me a souvenir set of reproductions that included similarly-antiqued editions of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Verdict: Two bucks well spent, especially since it goes to the library.

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April 22, 2013 - Posted by | Books, geek, Ohio, Science, Uncategorized | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I love the art from old science and science fiction books too! I also had a bunch of old books that my mom and uncle saved from when they were kids and it reminds me a lot of how much I enjoyed reading them. (Including a set of Bomba the Jungle Boy – not quite Edgar Rice Burroughs but still cool and great cover art and illustrations.) When I got a little older and got hooked on sci fi, there were still a lot of old paperbacks circulating from the 50s and 60s so it all reminds me of being a bookworm nerd in the 70s. I love your book. (I’m especially fond of anything with dinosaurs.) Definitely $2 well spent.

    Comment by Evolution of X | May 4, 2013 | Reply

  2. I still have my uncle’s copy of “Revolt on Alpha C,” one of my earliest exposures to science fiction literature. Great cover: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/10/revolt-on-alpha-c/

    Comment by jrbooth | May 4, 2013 | Reply


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