'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Review: City Atlas

I am so excited by the number of stunning non-fiction picture books being published lately. Maps (see review here) and Atlas of Adventures (see here) are two of my recent favourites, and now I can add City Atlas to the list!

This is a large-format, 64-page book that covers 30 cities from around the world in mind-opening detail. All the usual suspects are there — Sydney, London, Paris, Rome, New York, etc — but there's also Seoul, Helsinki, Montreal, Mumbai and Istanbul, to name just a few more.

Each double-page spread is dedicated to one city. Iconic buildings, famous people, cultural hotspots, and even child-friendly destinations are vibrantly illustrated in a kaleidoscope of images that seems to perfectly capture the heart and soul of each destination.

So, Sydney's spread has the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Luna Park and Taronga Zoo, but it also has the ghost tours at The Rocks, the Sydney Fish Market, horse rides in Centennial Park, and the Fairfax Walk on North Head (perfect for whale spotting). Iconic wildlife isn't forgotten, with a kangaroo, a koala and an impressive spider also adorning the pages!

Among Amsterdam's gems are Van Gogh (with a bandaged head so obviously after he cut off his ear), Dutch cheese, clogs and Anne Frank's house. Oslo captivates with cloudberry desserts, cinnamon buns, the Viking Ship Museum and the Nobel Peace Centre. Mexico City features artist Frida Kahlo, the floating gardens of Xochimilco, the Aztec Sun Stone, and feasts of fajitas!

There is so much to absorb on every page that I could spend days poring over the text and artwork. Books like this make learning fun. There is a fact box for each city (giving a brief introduction and listing the country, language, population and flag), but it's by exploring the illustrations that kids (and adults) will really discover what makes each destination unique.

A wonderful resource that belongs in every library, school and book-loving home.

Title: City Atlas: Travel the World with 30 City Maps
Author: Georgia Cherry
Illustrator: Martin Haake
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions, $35.00 RRP
Publication Date: October 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781847806482
For ages: 8+
Type: Picture Book, Non-Fiction

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