Friday, February 26, 2010

Vintage Book Friday

The Wonders of Life on Earth
By the Editors of LIFE and Lincoln Barnett
Special Edition for Young Readers
Text Especially Adapted by Sarel Eimerl from the Original Version
(Life Books / Southern Cross International, Sydney, 1965)

I received this book as a Christmas present when I was 10 or 11. This was a superb gift for a child of around that age. Aside from the engagingly written text, the book is lavishly illustrated with photographs and other artwork. The proverbial treasury!

As it turned out I lost the book sometime in the years I was growing up, but back in January this year whilst holidaying around the Gippsland Lakes, I happened upon a reasonably well-preserved copy in an opp-shop at Lakes Entrance. The hard cover is a bit dog-eared and worn in places, but the pages inside are by and large in excellent condition. Naturally I snapped it up immediately.

I want to restore the cover to make it somewhat more robust so I can give the book to my great-nephew when he’s a bit older. Before that, however, I should probably review the text to ensure there are no glaring anachronisms in the science that may have been superceded since the 1960s.

The three-page fold-out, below, depicts Fernandina Island (referred to in the book by its former English name, Narborough Island) of the Galapagos group, overshadowed by La Cumbre volcano, perhaps much as Charles Darwin might have seen it in 1835 (had he actually visited that particular island, which to my knowledge he hadn’t).

Next, a two-page spread detailing various denizens of the Amazon rainforest.

There’s some enchanting detail in the broader panorama, such as the little howler monkey tugging the tail of a coati-mundi (who seems to be saying, “Hello, breakfast!”).

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home