Further proof that cats and space go together like Kirk and Spock / io9

Standard

Via: io9

In case you had any lingering doubts that cats in space are the best: behold this series of children’s books, written by one Ruthven Todd between 1952 and 58, chronicling the adventures of “Space Cat.”

Ruthven Todd (Pronounced ‘riven’) (1914–1978) was a Scottish poet, artist and novelist, best known as an editor of the works of William Blake, and as a writer of children’s books, including Space Cat.”

Emphasis ours. Because holy crap, talk about a range of interests. Then again, Blake had a thing for cats, himself. Coincidence? Please.

Space Cat and the KittenSpace CatSpace Cat Visits VenusSpace Cat On His WaySpace Cat Meets Mars

Advertisements

“Manners” — Starring Mr. Do & Mr. Don’t (Pointers For Little Persons, [and big] 1943)

Standard

There are a lot of ‘little’ persons with very big mouths these days. It seems that civility, decorum, and manners are alien concepts in today’s world. This book is a children’s primer published in 1943. It should be recalled that that was right in the middle of a world war.

Perhaps this should be put back in print and sent to every household around the world.















“Manners” — Starring Mr. Do & Mr. Don’t : Pointers For Little Persons

Written by Virginia Parkinson
Claytoons by Lowell Grant, Maxwell Dorne Studio
Illustrations by Isabel Phillips
Color Photos by Philip Fahs
Harvey House, Inc — Irving-on-Hudson, NY 1943
Lithographed Print edition, 1961

via The Childrens Bizzare

A Trip Into Space With Ace Brave!

Standard
Into Space With Ace Brave - Pop-Up book cover illustration by Ron Turner. 1953

Into Space With Ace Brave – Pop-Up book cover illustration by Ron Turner, 1953

Control deck of space ship 'Asteroid'

Control deck of space ship Asteroid

This is the command deck of space ship ‘Asteroid‘ – and YOU are the captain, seated in the center there in front of your impressive array of instruments. I am speaking to you over your personal contact tele-viewer, and you can see my ship ‘The Starider‘ on your forward tele-view. We are midway between Earth and the Moon and we are bound for Mars where we are to meet the deep-space ship, ‘The Aspirant.’

On our journey I’ll share some adventures I’ve had and some things we’ve met, but first let’s review some of the equipment we use in space. Let’s go!

An important piece of equipment we use in space - The Space Suit

An important piece of equipment we use in space – The Space Suit

The Weapons Of Space

The Weapons Of Space

A. The Hydramatic Mark 4 Flame Gun which uses a light hydro-ammonal compound – its lethal range in space is 2000 yards.

B. The Atomatic which fires .20-caliber atomic bullets – the burst from these atomic guns produce spectacular results.

C. The Radiumatic which works on the controlled-fission principle produces a concentrated radiation beam. The Radiumatic is proportionality more effective than weapons A and B and can be converted into an ideal weapon for ground use.

Peril in the Venusian jungle - A rescue operation results in the disintegration of a Terrathon and a safe return of fellow traveler, Professor Devonport.

Peril in the Venusian jungle – A rescue operation results in the disintegration of a Terrathon and a safe return of fellow traveler, Professor Devonport.

Life On Mercury

Life On Mercury

Humans and the Mercurians have become firm friends since the first meeting nine years ago. The Mercurians are referred to as ‘The Iron Men‘ as the outer skin of these strange chaps is a thick tissue with a metallic base, protection against the intense heat.

The canopy and cape worn by the Mercurian on the right are used by them when Mercury makes its nearest approach to the sun, when even they need some extra protection.

Venus

Venus

The Venusians are an advanced lot. As the ship descended to the planet it was frozen into immobility. A grating metallic voice came over the intercom, ‘Hello men of Earth. Follow me and no harm will come to you. Do as I command!’

Guided to the domed city of Metharon, a meeting was arranged with the elected overlord of Venus, The Imperator. The Imperator disclosed that the Venusians knew all about Earth, had in fact visited in the past, and now monitored Earth’s broadcasts. ‘Go Back to Earth,’ he said, ‘and tell them that whenever they come in peace we shall welcome them but, at the first sign of hostility they will be destroyed, utterly!’

Since then, the Venusians have been treated with the respect they merit.

Crash Landing - Accidents happen. This particular emergency landing occurred on Mars. The rescue team that rushed to the crash site came from the take-off point bringing with them a pressurized hospital tank that saved a life.

Crash Landing – Accidents happen. This particular emergency landing occurred on Mars. The rescue team that rushed to the crash site came from the take-off point bringing with them a pressurized hospital tank that saved a life.

Mars is inhabited by these formidable creatures. They communicate telepathically. The first meeting with them was tense but they are now good friends. They refer to their planet as Alkmenos.

Mission Accomplished

And there is The Aspirant. She’s surrounded by space-suited men and two transport ships are bringing in last-minute supplies. The Aspirant will be the ship used for ‘Operation Deep Space’ – an exploration of the outer planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Much of the credit for the design of The Aspirant should go to the Venusians and Martians. They provided important component designs that helped make the ship into what it is.

Now that the supplies from The Asteroid have been loaded into The Aspirant it’s time to return to Earth. In twenty-four hours The Aspirant will blast off into deep space. One day we’ll be back to tell you — what lies beyond!

SPACE PATROL

SPACE PATROL

Passing the moon on the return to Earth a sinister shape is seen streaking toward the ship – a space pirate! A message is radioed to the moon-based Space Patrol. Furious activity and almost at once, the ships are blasting off the launching ramps. The Asteroid holds the pirates off long enough – here come the Space Patrol!

The End...?

The End…?

Images via The Ron Turner Collection

In Which A Guy Named Dr. Seuss Put Play Into Learning And Creativity

Standard

All around the world the name Dr. Seuss is synonymous with The Cat In The Hat. First published in 1957, the book The Cat In The Hat remains a favorite in children’s literature with a number of adaptations for film, television, and the stage.

First Editions With Dust Jackets: The Cat In The Hat (1957) and The Cat In The Hat Comes Back (1958)

First Editions With Dust Jackets: The Cat In The Hat (1957) and The Cat In The Hat Comes Back (1958) – (Photo: The Ephemera Network)

The classic came about as a result of a story in a 1954 Life magazine article that addressed the question, why can’t Johnny read? Writer John Hersey suggested that children’s low reading levels were a result of – boredom. Dick and Jane were just not stimulating to a young mind. Children just couldn’t relate to the ‘abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls.’ He suggested Theodor Geisel – aka Dr. Seuss – as a guy who could change that. The director of Houghton Mifflin’s educational division, William Spaulding, liked the idea. Handing over a list of 250 primary words Spaulding gave Geisel the now famous challenge – ‘Write me a story that first-graders can’t put down.’ Nine months later, Geisel handed over the manuscript and illustrations for The Cat In the Hat. The book is 1,702 words long, but it uses only two hundred and twenty different words. Dr. Seuss’ seminal work was so successful as a reading education tool that in 1997 the National Education Association declared March 3 – Seuss’ birthday – the date to celebrate reading during ‘Read Across America Day.’

Many observations have been noted about The Cat In The Hat‘s success – i.e. it stressed phonics as a reading teaching tool, by connecting interesting illustrations with words it amped up the use of storybooks to teach language skills rather than primers and textbooks, it even had deep social and political ramifications (for a bit darker take on The Cat In The Hat, Louis Menand’s 2002 New Yorker article, Cat People, is highly recommended.) But with all that said, it can be simplified with one word – fun.

So it was with the 1959 Revell ‘Dr. Seuss Zoo’ toy set. The Zoo consisted of four snap together models with interchangeable parts. It encouraged creativity by allowing kids (and adults) to make up any number of creatures by mix-and-matching the various parts. Shown below are the main characters – Roscoe The Many Footed Lion, Tingo The Noodle Topped Stroodle, Norval The Bashful Blinket, and Gowdy The Dowdy Grackle. It’s easy to imagine the fun one would have creating different zoo characters with this toy set.

Dr. Seuss Zoo Toy Advert Published in Life Magazine - October 19, 1959

Dr. Seuss Zoo Toy Advert Published in Life Magazine – October 19, 1959 (Photo: books.google.com)

Dr. Suess Zoo Model, Roscoe The Many Footed Lion

Dr. Suess Zoo Model, Roscoe The Many Footed Lion (Photo: Jeff Pidgeon flickr)

Doctor Suess Zoo Model, Tingo The Noodle Topped Stroodle

Doctor Suess Zoo Model, Tingo The Noodle Topped Stroodle (Photo: Jeff Pidgeon flickr)

Dr. Seuss Zoo Model, Norval The Bashful Blinket

Dr. Seuss Zoo Model, Norval The Bashful Blinket (Photo: Jeff Pidgeon flickr)

Dr. Seuss Zoo Model, Gowdy The Dowdy Grackle

Dr. Seuss Zoo Model, Gowdy The Dowdy Grackle (Photo: Jeff Pidgeon flickr)

So, what do we come away with when considering Dr. Seuss’ contributions to education and creativity? It’s pretty elementary – when it comes to developing the mind, nothing beats playful and compelling tools. And in today’s 21st century computerized world, that’s easier than ever.