Friday, January 12, 2007

Children's Space Books

Many great anthropologists, philosophers, and people who study other things are in agreement when they say that three of the highest goals that we as a civilization can achieve are discovery, understanding, and knowledge. It is natural that, after we look at the world around us, we must look up to the heavens and ponder the vast unknown. In 1959, when these two books were published as part of the Golden Library Of Knowledge series, the universe and its bounty were ready to share its mysteries with the people of the Earth, and these books captured the excitement of the time with charming illustrations, novel descriptions of the moon and planets, and the dizzying notion of new possibilities. Of course, in the end, some of the predictions didn't come true and some of the facts are now obsolete, but Space Flight and The Moon remain an interesting slice of life from an era poised to discover the wonders of outer space.

1. Front cover of Space Flight: The Coming Exploration of the Universe

2. Front cover of The Moon: Our Neighboring World - Purchased at the great McCrory's!

3. Advance Scouts in Space - The picture shows a Vanguard returning to Earth, but the main attraction of this scan is the text describing the Space Age circa 1959. The second and third paragraphs are especially interesting.

4. Title page from Space Flight - The picture shows a string of astronauts emerging from their craft.

5. A close-up of a spaceman's suit and equipment. Unfortunately, modern spacemen have been declawed, I believe. The text on the left describes those traits that are necessary in a spaceman.

6. Construction in Space - The amphibian-like Construction Globes are pretty cute!

7. The Space Station - 'Ground control to Major Tom..' I wonder if this book's illustrator advised the art directors from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

8. A shot of the action

9. A moon observer and other craft

10. Trip to the Moon - Lift-off!

11. Proposed views of a moon inhabited by astronauts

12. A page depicting moon myths from around the world

13. In this picture, a scientist tries to identify a planet. He is pointing out various features on the planet's surface to a large audience of scientists. Unfortunately, you had to buy the next installment of the series to find out if he succeeded in identifying it, and I don't have that book. I suppose we'll never know his findings.


jason67 said...

These illustrations are great!

They remind me of an old set of "Golden Book Encyclopedias" that I had as a kid. They had belonged to my dad and I used to love looking at them.

Wish I would've kept them!