January 13, 2009

A Book Of Snails [Photographed By Martin Iger]


I'm a sucker for a good photographic picture book. And Three Potato Four has one. It's A Book of Snails, by Sally Moffet Kellin, with photographs by Martin Iger, published in 1968.

Following the not-slimy trail backward, I see that Martin Iger might be a source of several more awesome photo-based children's books. Sure enough, Iger seemed poised to be the children's book world's go-to guy for tiny creature portraiture as early as 1954. That's when he put out the instant classic, Close-up of A Honeybee. Then in 1961, he and Carla Stevens put out a book with a throwback subtitle, Catch A Cricket: About the Capture and Care of Crickets, Grasshoppers, Fireflies, and Other Companionable Creatures.

Not wanting to get pigeonholed, I guess, Martin and his wife Eve Marie Iger went big in 1967 with Building A Skyscraper, which documented the rise of 90 Park Avenue, a random steel, glass, and concrete tower on the corner of 39th street.

Iger also illustrated two sports titles, How To Play Baseball and How To Ski, but those sound like older kid books. But again, he went in the exact opposite direction. 1963 represents either the zenith or the nadir of Iger's career, and I won't be able to say which until my copy of Bubble Baths and Hair Bows: a Little Girl's Guide to Grooming arrives in the mail.

Buy a nice copy of A Book of Snails at Three Potato Four, $18 [threepotatofourshop.com]
Search Amazon or http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?kn=martin+iger&sts=t&x=0&y=0abebooks.com for Martin Iger's vintage children's books

1 Comment

thanks for this great post about Martin Iger. we didn't realize he also did Catch A Cricket. it also has beautiful type + photos. we posted about it awhile back on our blog:

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