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.

Books On Books Collection – Gaylord Schanilec

A Little Book of Birds (2017)

A Little Book of Birds (2017)
Book of 48 pages (uncut), 9 engravings by Gaylord Schanilec and a wood engraving by Thomas Bewick, all printed from the original blocks.
Signed by Schanilec, with a poem by him hand-set in Bodoni metal type.
Hand-sewn to O’Malley Crackling doublures, pasted to Degener Black from Cave Papers.
H213 x W146 mm
Edition of 100. Acquired from the artist, 7 September 2019.

”As it turned out my mid-life vessel the “Hungry Mind”(Lac Des Pleurs, 2015) didn’t get me to the other side, and A Little Book of Birds led to yet more water. The idea of birds captive within unopened pages was originally intended as a challenge for book collectors—to open the unopened pages—or not. As years passed the birds slowly emerged and their captivity began to mean something else. I thought this book might free the birds. It did not. —GS” from slip insert.

Further Reading

Arey, Richard “Fred”,Schanilec, Gaylord. 1998. “Interview with Richard “Fred” Arey, Gaylord Schanilec, Part 1, Minneapolis, Minnesota.” Minnesota Historical Society, Accessed September 12, 2019. 
Hoinski, Michael. “Grain by Wood Grain, a Movable Feast”, New York Times,  4 February 2015. Accessed 12 July 2018.

Schanilec, Gaylord. “The Art of Color Wood Engraving”. Talk to the Grolier Club, 28 September 2012.