Books On Books Collection – Charles D. Jones & David Kulhavy

A Forest Insect Alphabet (2013)

A Forest Insect Alphabet (2013)  
Charles D. Jones & David L. Kulhavy
Casebound, textured cloth over boards, front cover with title stamped in metallic silver, doublures inked green on one side, sewn book block, CD-Rom shrink-wrapped to back cover. 260 x 260 mm. 60 unnumbered pages. Acquired from The Book Depository, 30 July 2022.
Photos: Books On Books Collection. Displayed with permission of Stephen F. Austin State University Press.

Curious that avian abecedaries outnumber the entomological. So do famous catalogues of bird art. Where is Audubon’s Bugs of America or Bewick’s A History of British Bugs? At least the Belgians can offer Becker & Méaulle’s Alphabet des Insectes (1883).

Becker, Léon and Méaulle, Fortuné Louis. 1883. Alphabet Des Insectes. Paris: J. Hetzel & Cie.

A Forest Insect Alphabet makes considerable progress in rectifying the situation. Although it is not primarily intended for humorously teaching the ABCs and reading like Alphabet des Insectes, it is an instructional reference and has its own different sense of whimsy. And although it is not in the realist tradition of Audubon or Bewick, it delivers fifty-one original woodcuts drawn and cut by Master Printer Charles D. Jones, twenty-three in black and white and twenty-eight with colors based on those of the named insect. What makes A Forest Insect Alphabet even more special is its scientific driving force — Stephen F. Austin University’s Professor David L. Kulhavy — who also delivers the elements of whimsy by conveying his entomological knowledge not only in prose but also quatrains and songs (even sung on the CD).

Well, that explains the smell when trying to pick up a ladybird rather than letting it crawl aboard a fingertip of its own accord.

Further Reading

Abecedaries I (in progress)“, Books On Books Collection, 31 March 2020.

Bartlett, Vanna. 2020. Arthropedia : An Illustrated Alphabet of Invertebrates. Norwich, UK: Mascot Media.

Becker, Léon and Méaulle, Fortuné Louis. 1883. Alphabet Des Insectes. Paris: J. Hetzel & Cie. Available online here, here and here (Gallica/BnF).

Pallotta, Jerry. 1986. The Icky Bug Alphabet Book . New York: Scholastic.

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