Big Picture Press released “Maps” a “celebration of the world, from its immense mountains to its tiny insects – and everything in between”. And indeed what a visual delight this book turned out to be! With 52 HIGHLY detailed and illustrated Maps, this book is a gem. It’s an atlas for the very curious child.
Here is what you will find inside!
This gigantic book (14.6 inches * 10.8 inches) opens to inside cover page “Contents”. The contents itself is a double spread illustrated map of the world. This page allows the reader to quickly jump to a map of the region or country of interest.
Right after the title page, the book opens to a gorgeously illustrated double page spread of a world map showing the seven continents of the world, the five oceans of the world,a compass and a sample of few sea creatures that one would see at a 50,000 feet view of our world.
Following which comes the main contents of the book: the Maps! The maps in this book is organized by Continent, so the opening page for each “group” of countries is the map of the continent to which it/they belong to along with a few highlights such as : how many countries, overall population and the size in Km. and Miles.
Let’s take a quick glance at what the actual page of a country looks like. These are the real highlight of the book. Each country is a double page spread either in portrait or landscape mode. Each map has delightful details to be discovered. For example, this map of Iceland gives you a small info detail at the right hand corner. This includes, the capital, the language, population, area/size and the map.
Apart from the “statistical” facts that you find on the map, we delighted in finding details such as different kinds of flora and fauna that one finds in Iceland. We found cultural curiosities like who are some of the famous personalities from this region. What do people in Iceland traditionally dress like? What are the natural wonders that one would visit if we made a plan to travel to Iceland? What is the local food in this area? I could go on… but there is just TOO much to discover, to find, to learn and enjoy.
The author/illustrators go above and beyond traditional cartography and show surrounding geography. In the case of the map of Iceland, we see the sea life in the oceans around Iceland.
Our only complaint would be that this is not a complete world map. The countries/maps highlighted in this book:
1) Europe: Poland, Czech Republic, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland
2) Asia: Russia, Mongolia, China, Nepal, India, Thailand, Japan, Jordan
3) Africa: Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, Namibia, Madagascar
4) North America: Canada, United States of America, Mexico
5) South America: Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile
6) Australia and Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji
7) The Arctic
8 ) Antarctica
The author/ illustrator duo make use of earth tones for the basic art layout giving this a genuine “old world” feel. Decorative borders adorn each page. Fine line drawings and cartoon like rendering of illustrations add to the charm of the book. We simply loved pouring over the book looking for small nuggets of information about various places that we had visited in the past.
In summary, this book is not just an educational tool, but a fun visual treat for anyone looking for learning about geography and cultures around our world. It was tempting to make a big list of places that one wants to visit and mark them off of this big book of Maps!