"Czechoslovakian author/illustrator of nonfiction for children, Sasek’s This is… series provides a unique service for children by introducing them to great countries, cities, and landmarks in an entertaining and understandable way. Sasek approached his books as if he were visiting a place for the first time, as he often was. He began each visit by going to see the places and things he heard or read about, and explore the rest without the aid of a guidebook. His impressions in word and picture form the basis of the books, and he added historical asides when he thought they were warranted. Sasek wrote his facts simply, but with enough nuance and satire to entertain sophisticated readers; his colorful illustrations are accurate and architecturally precise, but are drawn with humor and detail to intrigue young readers. Throughout the series Sasek retains a childlike sense of wonder in his verbal and visual descriptions.
Sasek was educated as an artist in Czechoslovakia, but left in 1948 when the Communist Party came into power; he settled in Munich, but chose to remain stateless. Sasek started writing for children while on vacation in Paris. He noticed that parents in families of tourists tended to stay absorbed in their surroundings. Feeling these young people deserved to know about the things they would or could be seeing, Sasek created This is Paris in 1959; he eventually published nearly twenty books in the series.”