A little book

Okay, I’m back from holiday travels and I am going to throw together one or two more short posts for 2023. Today, a bonus post from the Mexico series showing a hand-illustrated book of cactus and succulents (plantas carnosas). This was one of L’s books that he had while growing up in Chihuahua.

One of the pictures from the preface has some pretty fabulous prickly pear cactus wallpaper behind the specimen plant on the shelf.

I like that the book shows children being involved, though I wish they didn’t look so serious.

A selection of illustrations. Excuse the shadows – I was taking these on a kitchen table.

All of the pots are simple, weathered terra cotta, allowing the reader to focus on the plants. The illustrations are really well done.

A couple more.

I would have loved to have this book as a kid.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Kris P

    I would have too, Jerry! I can’t remember even seeing a book with garden-related content during my childhood years.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      I didn’t have any specifically for children, but I had a lot of garden books that I enjoyed anyway. Was thinking of doing a post some day of my favorite garden books from childhood.

  2. danger garden

    What a wonderful book! Are L’s parents plant minded people?

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      They are a little. L’s mom grows quite a few houseplants, and his father grows some fruit trees, but other than that, gardening wasn’t a big part of their lives..

  3. Elena

    The illustrations are charming and botanically accurate! Does the illustrator get a credit in the book? And who is the author? The cover says “Ediciones Altea” which I presume is the publisher. I’d love to know more about this book.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Oops, I accidentally left that information out. Here it is.
      Author: Sue Tarsky
      Illustrators: Graham Corbett and Will Giles
      Publisher: Ediciones Altrea, Albacete, Spain (1982).
      ISBN: 8437216745

  4. Anna K

    What a great book! I love the illustrations! We were going through and sorting our kids’ books just this weekend. With the young men assisting us via Viber from Sweden, we kept the obvious gems, and then some. The rest will be passed on to others. L’s book would definitely have gone in the stack to keep. Kids’ books like that make me happy!

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      It’s nice to go down memory lane with books that meant something to us when we were younger.

  5. hb

    Charming book–as you say wonderful and since I grow some of those plants I can say very accurate illustrations! Thanks for sharing that little gem.

    What I remember from childhood was a little plant pamphlet my Mom got for free in a package of fertilizer. She kept it around for years and I’d pull it out and look at the pictures. There was a color photo of a Gloxinia, and I really, really wanted one. They being a tropical, high-humidity type of plant best grown in a greenhouse or conservatory, I’ve never grown one.

    Have grown a few other plants since, though!

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Imagine that! Getting a free pamphlet on plants with fertilizer! Some of my first plant books were those that our neighbors threw out. I too remember perusing the pictures, thinking about which plants I wanted to try next. I definitely remember wanting gloxinias and bought a few from a florist, but they never lasted long in the arid living rooms of the Desert Southwest.

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