City Atlas: Discover the world with 30 city maps by Martin Haake and Georgia Cherry
|City Atlas: Discover the world with 30 city maps by Martin Haake and Georgia Cherry|
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Passports not needed – at least not until the pester power of this (surprisingly high-brow) gazetteer comes to play.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 64||Date: September 2015|
|Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions|
|External links: Author's website|
It's not every time I mention the feel of the book I'm reviewing, but this time it's worth a mention. This volume has been lavishly presented in a roughened card cover, as opposed to the gloss of others in this format from this publisher, and so looks and feels like an old stamp catalogue. The title image is indeed a stamp, stuck on the centre of the cover. And just as all stamps the world over are practically the same yet completely different in design, so are the world's cities. The point of this book is to bring the common elements as well as the unique features of all the world's capitals to the fore, to show that while a city may be a city is a city, their constant variety is what makes each and every one worth a visit. With that being on the costly side, this is a decent enough substitute.
Starting with Lisbon and meandering around Europe before hitting the Americas and a couple of other places, this book presents every city in the same way, with a tiny paragraph of trivia and an even smaller database of facts, and primarily a double page spread with an artfully designed, not-to-life map. The captions for all the images are suggestions for things to see and do, from museums and theme parks, to what the locals are famous for eating, to how they get around – and what landmark sightseeing experiences they move between. The background is on the whole an accurate representation – it's easy to prove when so many of the world's cities are settled around water – but the items each time can stretch the reality a little, Buck House being pink and St Paul's maroon, for two.
Also stretching things a little is what is included each time as if of interest. I would love to see the family conversation where the young reader of this book begs 'daddy, daddy, I really want to watch a production at the eighteenth-century theatre of Drottningholm Palace – ooh, please!'. A lot of the museums, cultural experiences and so on would be most edifying and Reithian if they were met with in real life. But that brings me on to the fact that this book can successfully teach the well-explored adult things. I wouldn't have known about a number 100 Bus in Berlin, I learnt of several Prague sights, and more. The book won't specifically make you feel like you've been to these places, but it will broaden the appeal and acceptance of many a land for the young primary school-aged globe-trotter-to-be.
And a lot of that will come from the prolonged perusal of this book. Each spread we are invited to find five things – canal boats in Amsterdam, lucky dragons in Hong Kong – but we also have to find the flag-waving person in each image bidding us welcome in their native language. It's little details like these, plus the bendy typography, jumbled delights of the modern city and the invisible way the young reader will actually learn quite a lot about geography, that all make these pages pretty easy to return to, and that make that worth the while.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
National Geographic Kids Infopedia 2016 has a lot more in it than just geography.
You can read more book reviews or buy City Atlas: Discover the world with 30 city maps by Martin Haake and Georgia Cherry at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy City Atlas: Discover the world with 30 city maps by Martin Haake and Georgia Cherry at Amazon.com.
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