‘A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up On purpose to a life beyond life.’
We seldom realize, in thinking about human culture and history, how much we depend upon the written word for all we know about the past. Civilization is actually synonymous with writing and for all modern archaeological techniques, it is still writing alone that tells us how people in ancient times lives, worked and thought. Pictures, carvings, sculpture, clay vessels, and many other artifacts give us some part of the story, but only writing establishes a civilization. To take only one illustration, the Easter Island giant stone figures exist, but in the absence of the written word, we know nothing whatsoever about those people or what the statues represent.
Samuel Israel’s delightful and simply explained book about writing and how it developed into books is an excellent children’s primer to make them understand one of mankind’s most miraculous skills. To a child and to all too many adults a book is just a book: good, bad exciting, dull, informative or boring. But any book could come to life in a child’s hands when he understands more about what went into its production.