The title suggests a coffee table companion (or the author's earlier Pictures to Live With) but this is a purposefully peripatetic tour of time and place to explore the nuances of the ""universal language"" of drawing, in pure form, and in prints, book illustrations and cartoons. The text is a minimal commentary on the black-and-white reproductions, which range from Chinese watercolors to the cartoons of Al Hirschfield; it says a little about techniques, a little about media, and a lot about manners of expression. (The author points out that two artists of the same period may express themselves quite, differently, while two artists of different periods see--and draw--quite similarly.) The section on cartoons seems disproportionately large except as possible bait--an ancillary observation. As a whole, this is a fresh, unpedantic approach to seeing with the inner eye.