Tuesday, September 22, 2009

From the Golden Book Encyclopedia

I've collected old kid's books, especially those colorfully illustrated childrens' encyclopedias, for the last twelve years or so. They're fun for the strange things we used to teach children as well as the sometimes wonderful art by the illustrators. Here's a dinosaur image I recently found in the 1983 version of The Golden Book Encyclopedia Volume 5 (con-dy). It's credited to a Robert Frank who apparently drew for the Artist Network. It's hard to find any more information than that on the web - I ran across a few references to him, but there are other artists and photographers with similar names. So this may be the one and only piece of the man's work on the web. Apologies for the white bar; that's where the book folded. Click for a much larger view.
Illustration by Robert Frank, from The Golden Book Encyclopedia, copyright 1983 Western Publishing Company, Inc.

The book gives a hint to its age by the photo of the "Stenonychosaurus" model, which now is known to be a species of Troodon. I like this illustration. It is a bit cartoony, with almost a Don Bluth feel, and Compsognathus is anachronistic to the late Cretaceous scene. It's also either a huge version, or the Euplocephalus, Triceratops, and corythosaurs are juveniles. But the drawing does have a nice, solid weight to it. Had I come across this page as a first- or second-grader, I would have lingered on this for a good, long time.

I've got a couple other old dinosaur books on hand that I'll feature in the near future, and I'll keep looking for new ones.

UPDATE: Image now clickable!


  1. After cleaning out my mom's attic, I found several *Natural History* books from my childhood - and hers! I can't wait to get into them and see what awaits! ^-^

  2. Yeah, those are so much fun. I especially love the Natural History ones. Everything I have right now is pretty generic. Do share if you find anything mindblowing!

  3. It's POSSIBLE that this Robert Frank may be the same instructor I had the High School of Art & Design in NYC. I found your page looking for some information on him and ran across this. I remember he does/did(?) a lot of dinosaur illustrations on the side.


Trolls get baleted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.