Friday, January 27, 2012

The Prentice-Hall Book About Space Travel / The True Book About Space Travel (1954/1955)

I will now indulge in space art examination. This is an expanded version of this post from Feb 5, 2009

William Temple wrote this popular children's "space" book:

Basically The True Book About Space Travel was published in 1954 in London and sometime later that year they decided to make an American edition called : The Prentice-Hall Book About Space Travel.  It was published in 1955. What I find fascinating is not only how the text was changed to make it more "American" but many of the illustrations were redrawn by Henry Billings. I thought it would interesting (entertaining?) to compare the original art for The True Book about Space Travel Illustrated by Gerald Quinn with the redrawn art by Henry Billings. For similar subjects they took different approaches.

Henry Billings was an American illustrator and artist. His biography info is here:$0040null:71/0

Gerald Quinn was a British science fiction illustrator. His biography information (that I could find) is here:

We will try to keep Prentice-Hall (Henry Billings) on the left and The True Book (Gerald Quinn) on the right.

The text guides what illustrations were used.These were both about early dreams of flight.

Well you get the idea. (The comparison formating in Blogger is a pain). You are in for a few more of these next week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sparky the Space Chimp (1967)

Sparky the Space Chimp was a 1967 Australian book used in school, it was also reprinted in 1975 (below).

As you can see it was intended as "interesting reading" for children practicing their reading skills.  The actual era of using chimps for space flight was very short but they persisted in school books.  I think this may have been becasue the actual events were moving too fast for a book about the manned programs not to be quickly out of date.

Sparky the Space Chimp. Brisbane, Qld. : Jacaranda. 61 p. 1967. Endeavour Reading Programme No. 5
The paintings in the book are a nice snapshot of how other countries viewed out space efforts.

I have also speculated that "chimps in space" is a realistic surrogate for children. A child could imagine themselves on the same adventure.

The painted details are obviously fiction if you have ever seen the actual photographs of the monkey and chimp flights. Nevertheless they were space heroes and it is nice to remember thier adventures.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Moon Christmas Coloring Book (1970)

OK I really missed my Christmas post this year but who doesn't send out Christmas cards late once in a while?  But it is really never too late for a unique item.

 While only a minimal plot, this 1970 coloring book highlights how Santa Claus is recruited to save Chrstmas for the men on the moon.
 I like the details in the illustrations, and almost see this as lost storyboards from some late 60s Christmas special.
 Of course Santa can't just go to the moon. He needs training first.

 I am not sure if the spacesuit is airtight if he can't close his visor over his beard. Maybe that's why we saw few bearded astronauts :)

 Chistmas comes to the Moon. Think of the cost per pound for the tree they brought (and you thought your tree was expensive!)

 And the moral is simple, if we can put [anything] on the Moon we can [do anything]
There is very little information about the author except this final page (can it really say: Lord & Taylor?). Good luck finding your own copy.

I hope your holiday were wonderful and the return to work or school hasn't been too bad. Happy 2012!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Space Station for a Fine Young Astronaut (1960)

This is my attempt to display one of my favorite pop-up books by photographing it. When it is flat it seems just a spiral bound book, but when you open it it becomes a space station!  Here is a view of it from the top:

Hallmark Cards. Space Station for A Fine Young Astronaut. New York: Hallmark Cards. (4 p.) 18 x 21 cm. Illustrated Boards. 1960
When the book is opened you see the different rooms of the space station.

That is not a space rock in the station, just a colorful weight I used to hold it still. This is the Decompression-Refueling station.

The book folds out/pops up into a 4 room space station, each section of the station is heavily labeled with all controls and hatches indicated. Rooms include: Decompression-Refueling station, Control-Communications Center, Recreation Station and Life Support Center.

 First up is the Control-Communications Center.

Comes with 3 additional punch-out pages: 1 instructions, 1 with space capsule, 1 with astronauts and equipment. There is also 1 page of text on the back cover about space stations and conditions in space.  

 This is the Life Support Center.

 And finally the Recreation Area, with plenty of storage.  Hope you enjoyed the tour.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dreams of Space welcomes Boing Boing readers!

Welcome Boing Boing readers!

I am honored by your clicks and want to provide a rebutal to the "League Of People Who Like To Download Large Images To Their Swipefile (LOPWLTDLITTS, or Lopwiltidlit, for short). "

While some images are small, most will enlarge to a much more satisfying size if you click on them.  Try it below:

This looks small but if you click, it is a giant downloadable image!

That is the cool Australian version of this 1956 American board game:

This is part of the ephemera part of my blog. I love all this cool space stuff for kids from the 1950s and 1960s.  Especially if it was part of the "future to come". I have had a family illness for the past few months but I am resuming blogging regularly so check back if you can.

Here is the board for the game and the instructions so you can play at home. remember to click on the image.