Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spacecraft at Work (1965)

Spacecraft at work (1965) is kind of a random book. It has some interesting illustrations but it organized with subjects scattered randomly throughout the book. It might be one of those project created purely because "space sells" so they did not put a lot of effort into it.

Elting, Mary. Illustrated by Koering, Ursula. Spacecraft at Work. Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Harvey House. (96 p.) 24 cm.

The illustrations are very beautiful and simple.  The text and illustrations cover  all aspects of space flight including space suits, Moon landings, recent space missions, and space stations. Also 1966 edition.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Adventure Stories for Boys and Girls (1966)

A bit of fun (and obscure) children's space fiction today from Adventure Stories for Boys and Girls (1966). As you can tell I like graphic design a great deal and this book is a charming fantasy about space flight.  The chief graphically interesting story "Space Man Sam"  is about a mouse that sneaks aboard the first space flight to Mars.

Adventure Stories for Boys and Girls. Illustrations by Vasco Americana. London: Rylee Ltd., 1966.(45 pp.) 

 I like see the various space books he is studying and his own scientific explorations. One of my viewers noted the title of the book is in Italian so probably this was a translation of an Italian children's book.

At this point he decides he must sneak aboard the space ship.

He reminds me of "Mighty Mouse" with his heroic pose here.

 Mars seems a bit closer to earth (check the sky) than I thought but maybe Sam  is distracted by the enthusiastic Martians who take him on a tour. I especially like this "flying sofa" as a way to see the sights.

Getting a copy of a recent Martian newspaper is the best way that Sam can bring back evidence of his trip to the earth scientists.

The book has one other space related story with less exciting illustrations:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Journey Into Tomorrow (1953)

Journey into Tomorrow seems to be about the glorious future awaiting Russian children and young adults. As always if someone wants to give me a better translation of the title I will change it. The best illustration in the book is really the cover.
And here is the title page for those who read Russian:

The book has a number of futuristic vehicles and concepts, devoting a chapter to each.  These are similar to some of the other illustrations I have found from that time but they are still interesting.

The views of the future don't look that different from those design ideas found in Lang's 1927 film Metropolis.  The urban crowding is a little less dense but the helicopter seems much the same.

There is the same "tank" I have seen in other books, very handy for "off-roading." The space illustration are confined to last two chapters.

And these final illustration of hydroponics and a space station are also quite nice.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Jolly Jump-ups Journey Through Space (1952)

The Jolly Jump-ups Journey Through Space is pop-up book in the Jolly Jump-ups series. The books are about the adventures of children as they explore the world.

The Jump-Up family appeared in a series of popular books detailing its adventures, which ranged from exploring a new house and neighborhood to crossing America in a trailer. In this story, the family ventures into space, visiting other planets and encountering friendly aliens.

Geraldine Clyne. The Jolly Jump-ups Journey Through Space. Springfield, MA:  McLoughlin Bros. 1952

I don't have any other pictures to share right now of my copy, but I did find this youtube video from the  Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum who shared their copy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Trip in Space (1968)

A Trip in Space is the fictional story of astronauts traveling in space. It finishes out my "storybook month" showing how fantasy and reality can get blended in these children's books.  The question I have is if it is about an occupation (like astronaut) and it shows what they do without any special "extra" adventure is it fictional because it is essentially a composite portrait rather than about a specific person? Or is it simply a career book?

The illustrations in this book are very nice.

Grant, Bruce. Illustrated by Fleishman, Seymour. A Trip in Space. Chicago: Rand McNally and Co. (22 p.) 21 cm. Illustrated Boards.

They simplify the astronauts' journey but render the essential facts well. I like very much the aerial view of the swamps of Cape Kennedy  as a rocket is launched. A nice way to show the geography of the area.

Their vehicle looks like an early Apollo capsule but their suits are more Mercury than Apollo.

This is my favorite illustration showing the sun's rays refracting into rainbows at the edge of earth's atmosphere.

A nice description of how they prepare for re-entry.

What would it be like to go into space?

"Out of this world, grinned Larry"

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Johnny's Space Trip (1954)

Back to the imaginative past and Johnny's Space Trip. This 1954 fictional book captures the spirit of doing it for yourself as Johnny and his friends build (and dream of) a spaceship for a journey from their backyard. It is pure fantasy but as you will see there is a scientific bent to what Johnny wants to bring.

Sells, Mike. Illustrated by Charles Stone. Johnny's Space Trip. Cross Publications, Inc., New York, 1954.

So what would/did you take on a space trip to the Moon? I know I imagined this trip in a number of ways. I think that was one of the reasons that Space Food Sticks, Tang, and other space age food were so interesting to me. I was practicing for the "diet of the future."

 This is interesting that he wants to check if his spacesuit is airtight before wearing it.

This selection of supplies is pretty reasonable, especially the big box of candy bars.  However I am a little worried about the tank of oxygen!  While very useful, you do wonder if this was something Johnny had around the house.

A beautiful take-off and the rocket seems to just soar across the sky. Where do you think Johnny should go?

Johnny heads for the Moon. Of course since he has just an afternoon for the voyage he was not planning to land. Notice that they passed the "space platform" on their way to the Moon and were going 6000 miles an hour.  The book also discussed the question of where do moon craters come from.

Of course returning to Earth is the easiest part of the journey, it is downhill all the way. Welcome home Johnny!