Miroslav Šašek (November 16, 1916, Prague – May 1980, Wettingen, Switzerland) was a Czech émigré author and illustrator, best known for a series of books for children, originally published by W.H. Allen, titled This Is..., which he signed M. Sasek.
Šašek's family background was in milling: the family operated the "Lucký mlýn" mill at Chodovlice in northwest Bohemia. His father worked as an insurance agent to the south of Prague in Sedlčany, but died in 1926, after which he moved with his mother to Prague. In 1947 Miroslav Šašek left with his wife Jindřiška (née Tumlířová) to Paris and started studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He finished the illustrations for the Czech edition of Chevallier's novel Zvonokosy and began to draw a tourist guide for the town for the Czech publishing house Ladislav Kuncíř, but only for preparatory work. where he worked for Radio Free Europe from 1951 to 1957. This Is Paris appeared in 1959, starting what ultimately grew into a series of eighteen books. Šašek's This Is London received the New York Times Choice of Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year in 1959, as did This Is New York in 1960. This Is New York also received the Boy's Club of America Junior Books Award in 1961, while This Is the United Nations appeared on the International Board on Books for Young People Honor List in 1979. In addition to texts and illustrations, Miroslav Šašek is the author of book covers and graphic design of many books abroad and in our country.
Before his death, Miroslav Šašek lived in Paris. He died in Wettingen, Switzerland, near Zürich, where he lived with his sister.
- Benjamin a tisíc mořských ďasů Kapitána Barnabáše (1947)
- Veselý kalendářík (1948)
- Sedm mamlasů (Eduard Petiška, illustrated by Miroslav Šašek, 1948; published in German as Die sieben Schlemihle, 1950)
- This Is Paris (1959, reissued 2004)
- This Is London (1959, reissued 2004)
- This Is Rome (1960, reissued 2007)
- This Is New York City (1960, reissued 2003)
- This Is Edinburgh (1961, reissued 2006)
- Stone is not Cold (1961)
- This Is Munich (1961, reissued in 2012)
- This Is Venice (1961, reissued 2005)
- This Is San Francisco (1962, reissued 2003)
- This Is Israel (1962, reissued 2008))
- This Is Cape Canaveral / This Is Cape Kennedy (1963, reissued as This Is The Way To The Moon 2009)
- Letters from Pompeii (Wilhelmina Femmster Jashemski, illustrated by Miroslav Sasek, 1963)
- This Is Ireland (1964, reissued 2005)
- This Is Hong Kong (1965, reissued 2007)
- This Is Greece (1966, reissued 2009)
- This Is Texas (1967, reissued 2006)
- This Is the United Nations (1968)
- This Is Washington, D.C. (1969)
- This Is Australia (1970, reissued 2009)
- Mike and the Modelmakers (1970)
- This Is Historic Britain (1974, reissued as This is Britain 2008)
- Zoo ist das Leben - Satierische Verse (Max Colpet, illustrated by Horst Lemke and Miroslav Sasek, 1974)
- This Is The World (2014: "A Global Treasury," selections from the "This is" series)
- Zprávy Společnosti pro vědu a umění při Čs. národní radě 1980 "Počátkem června t.r. zemřel ve Švýcarsku vynikající český malíř, grafik a ilustrátor Miroslav Šašek. Narodil se r. 1916 v Praze, odkud po studiích odešel r. 1947 do Francie, kde studoval na umělecké akademii v Paříži. Několik let pracoval v rozhlasové stanici Svobodná Evropa, ale pak se věnoval plně své umělecké tvorbě. Žil střídavě v -Paříži a v Mnichově. ..."
- Doris De Montreville, Donna Hill Third book of junior authors 1972 -- Page 250 "Biographical sketch of Miroslav Sasek: MIROSLAV SASEK was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and educated there, specializing in art and architecture.After the coup in February 1948 he chose to emigrate. In Paris he tried to work as a graphic designer and architect for three years. In 1951-1957 Miroslav Šašek was a member of Radio Free Europe in Munich. He started as a producer, but soon became an announcer, actor, reciter and singer. For Free Europe he also drew pictures on leaflets that were in the 1950s. transported to Czechoslovakia by means of balloons. He also worked with exile magazines and publishers. Together with František Smrček (radio pseudonym František Tomáš), they published a cyclo-styled magazine Scorpion. Saska's wife worked in Radio Free Europe as an assistant director. As much as he loved Paris and felt at home there, he did not become a French citizen but has preferred to remain stateless."
- sasekfoundation.eu[permanent dead link]
- This is Miroslav Šašek: “Genius” émigré illustrator now receiving recognition at home