The Golden Play Book of Animals of the Past Stamps, 1954
By Rose Wyler and Gerald Ames
The path that led to my career as a scientist began when I was about 4
years old and I found a Marx
dinosaur (I think it was an Allosaurus) on the sidewalk in front of
Charlie Kinkowski's (sp?) house. (Sorry
Charlie, wherever you are, but back then as you probably remember,
preschoolers knew all about the law of
"finder's keepers, losers weepers.") After that paleontological
theft...er "find," I soon came into possession of
several more, legitimately obtained, Marx plastic dinosaurs. Soon
thereafter, I somehow acquired an
incomplete set of prehistoric animal cards that were illustrated by
Kalmenoff. Over the next few
years I eventually lost or traded away (for Baseball or Beatle cards?)
prehistoric animal card
collection. But lo-and-behold, one day (late 1960's) I happened
to see a set of the
same cards, in perforated
bound pages, for sale at some long-forgotten store. After
the cards, all I had to do was carefully
separate each individual card at the perforations. And finally--a
set! But alas, I
possess maybe 15 of the original 46 or so cards.
I didn't realize until several years later that the Kalmenoff
illustrations were also published in a sticker book.
The original version of the sticker book was titled as above.
Later reprintings from the 1960's and 1970's were
titled "The Golden Stamp Book of Animals of the Past." I do not
know which came first--the stamps, or the cards.
Note that there are some differences between the "card" and the
"sticker" sets. The sticker set has a few
extra illustrations (e.g., "Skull of the Uninta Beast," "Cave Painting
of Bison," etc.) that were not included in
the "card" set. In addition, the "card" set has more specific
captions than does the sticker set (e.g., "Dimetrodon"
versus "sail-backed reptile).
I really like Kalmenoff's illustrations in this sticker book; perhaps
because they evoke fond childhood memories?
In any event, the illustrations have a nice mix of bold colors; and
as the "bear-dog" (which was swiped
from a Borophagus illustration by Charles R. Knight), are executed very
nicely. (Note that a color version of Knight's
Borophagus is contained in Czerkas and
Kalmenoff based many of the sticker book illustrations on those of
the "bear-like dog," "giant mosasaur,"
"plated dinosaur," etc.). The "early reptile" is based on an
by F. L. Jaques, and the "Plesiosaur" is
on a line drawing by Richard Deckert that is contained in Osborn's, Origin and Evolution of Life.
Oh yes, I need to mention that Robert Garland prepared the adequate
line drawings contained in this sticker book.
Finally, if you enjoy vintage illustrations of prehistoric
animals, get yourself a copy of this sticker book.