Children's Books

A Travers le Transvaal

Léo Dex was the pseudonym of the brillant and distinguished aeronautical engineer Edouard-Léopold-Joseph Deburaux, who was commander of a company of hot-air balloonists attached to the French Army’s First Corps of Engineers. Under his given name, he wrote many books and papers on the possible uses of hot-air balloons for exploration and warfare. His grand experiment in balloon exploration—sending hot-air balloons across the Sahara from Tunisia to the region of Timbuktu—ended in failure, and he died shortly thereafter.

Astronomie et Meteorologie a L'Usage Des Jeunes Personnes

The stark black publisher’s binding—contrasted with brilliant gold, blue, green, and red embellishments—would certainly have attracted any child to this astronomical children’s text. This book broke with the more traditional format of the dissemination of astronomical knowledge in France at the time, which often took place in a belles-lettres format under the pretext of a knowledgeable man conversing with a young and pretty woman.

The Golden Plover and Other Birds

This is the second of a series of sketches and life histories of birds told in a unique way—by the birds themselves as "autobiographies." This makes it especially interesting to the young readers for whom it was written, but also contributes valuable information for older naturalists. Author Arthur Allen was a professor of ornithology at Cornell University, which is renowned for its Laboratory of Ornithology. The book is illustrated with 240 of Allen's own photographs, and there are eight color plates by George Miksch Sutton. One of Sutton’s images is used for this entry.