I was checking in a cart of brand new juvenile nonfiction books, grabbing the books that looked especially interesting for my nonfiction list on the library's web site. I saw a book on swords but decided not to take it, it looked blah. Later in the day, I read a review for the book and ran to the shelf to check it out.
Swords: an artist's devotion by Ben Boos is the most beautifully illustrated book I have ever seen. The text is divided by the people who use the swords: warriors, raiders, war maidens, villagers, soldiers and so on. Each "chapter" includes historical information about the user, drawings of the swords in use, drawings of the different parts of the sword, etc. Between each section is a two-page spread, in warm, rich colors, of different aspects of a sword: hilt, blade, scabbard and more. The pictures look so real, you can almost feel the chill of the metal, the weight of the sword in your hand. Check out the author/illustrator's blog page at http://www.benjaminboos.blogspot.com/ -- you won't be disappointed.
I showed the book to an artist friend of mine (yes, BP, you are an artist!) and he was entranced. I know he will go to the library and check the book out just to carefully examine each drawing, marveling at the detail. I hope you will do the same!