Miroslav Sasek

Miroslav Sasek

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Miroslav Šašek (November 16, 1916, Prague – May 1980, Wettingen, Switzerland) was a Czech emigre author and illustrator, best known for a series of books for children titled This Is..., which he signed M. Sasek.

Originally trained as an architect, he had just begun a career in children's literature when the Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948 prompted him to emigrate to Munich, West Germany, 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. Šašek was living in Paris at the time of his death, which occurred on a trip to Switzerland.