Showing 1–12 of 16 results

Miroslav Šašek (November 18, 1916 – May 28, 1980) was a Czech émigré author and illustrator, best known for his captivating series of children’s books titled “This Is…”. Originally published by W.H. Allen, these books bear his signature as M. Sase. Let’s delve into the fascinating life and work of this remarkable artist:


Early Years and Education:
Born on November 18, 1916, in the Prague district of Žižkov, Miroslav Šašek initially pursued architecture studies.
He honed his drawing and painting skills under the guidance of Czech landscape artist Otakar Blažíček.
After completing his studies, Šašek contributed drawings to newspapers and illustrated numerous books.
Paris and Beyond:
In 1947, he moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux Arts.
When the Communists came to power in Czechoslovakia, Šašek made the decision not to return to his homeland.
He earned a living as a graphic artist in advertising and worked as an architect.
From 1951, he was employed in the Czech section of Radio Free Europe in Munich.
In 1957, he returned to Paris and embarked on creating a groundbreaking children’s illustrated guide to the city—“This Is Paris”—which was published in 1959.
The Iconic “This Is…” Series:
Šašek’s series continued with similar books on other cities:
“This Is London” (1959)
“This Is Rome” (1960)
“This Is New York” (1960)
And many more, covering cities worldwide.
These books earned him numerous awards, including an entry in the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Honour List in 19792.
Painter and Legacy:
Beyond his work in books, Miroslav Šašek was also a painter throughout his life.
He left an indelible mark on the world of non-fiction picture books, illustrating daily life from a child’s perspective.
Šašek passed away in Switzerland on May 28, 1980.