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5 Stars Out Of 5
Beautifully Done Atlas with Great Maps and Photos
October 7, 2013
This colorful atlas takes kids on a photographic journey through the world! As each continent is introduced, there is a side bar running the length of the page listings it's countries. At the bottom of the sidebar, a globe is shown where the continent if emboldened in red so as to highlight it from the other continents. Select countries are then featured on the pages following each continent. In addition to the great maps, information on the food, people, history, culture, and plant and animal life is also given. I like this approach to geography best, as it give a well rounded view on the places that a child might not know a lot about.
Kids will read about various sites such as St. Peter's Basilica in Rome (a late Renaissance church) , Niagara Falls in New York, Machu Picchu (an Inca site in Peru), and Mount Kosciuszko (the highest mountain Australia.)
Animal life: Sun Bears (the world's smallest bear), Rhinoceros hornbill birds (a great photo of this bird is included and its beaks DOES look like a rhino's!) Kiwi bird (New Zealand's flightless bird), Dugongs (an herbivorous marine animal.)
Plant Life: Venus Flytraps, Tulips (associated with Holland but originally came from Istanbul, Turkey!) Rafflesia (This beautiful bright red but stinky flower is the symbol of Malaysia.)
Historical Figures: John Calvin, Leonardo Davinci, David Livingstone, William Wilberforce, Hudson Taylor, Eric Liddell etc.
Foods from around the World: Gateaux (a French dessert) Stollen (a German fruitcake often made with marzipan), Fufu (a doughlike African food that is made by the boiling and blending of plantains, yams, or cassava.)
In the back there is an index and glossary included and along with this there are pages given that include definitions for various government systems and holidays from around the world.
(The only negative in my mind was some of the inaccurate placements of locations on the US map. I did check sporadically into some of the pinned locations of sites in other countries, and I didn't see any other mistakes. It was a slight misstep that will probably be corrected in future publishing's of the book.)
There is not a drab photo in the entire book, and the bright colorful photos with the informative captions underneath were truly the highlight of the book. Kids don't usually relish reaching for an atlas, but this one our kids took one look at and asked when I would be done reviewing it so they could start reading it!
*Thanks to Master Books for providing a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.
Did you know that the Hindi word for bear is bhalu? According to Craig Froman, "This word was the inspiration for the name of the bear in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book" (pg. 59). Are you aware that the smallest island in the world is only large enough for a lighthouse that is over 160 feet tall (pg. 28)? (Do you know where it is?) Have you ever noted that the Eiffel Tower "was designed based on the formation of the human femur or thighbone" which efficiently supports our weight, by God's design (pg. 37). Craig Froman highlights these and many other fascinating facts in his Children's Atlas of God's World.
While there are many interesting tidbits throughout this Atlas, what notably sets the Children's Atlas of God's World apart from similar resources is its emphasis on God as Creator and the fact that it highlights information about Christian history, people of faith, and Christian traditions around the world. For example, the pages concerning Germany relay details about Gutenberg, Luther, Bach, and Handel. Pages portraying Kenya, remind the reader of the Ethiopian eunuch and introduce one to Dr. Johann Ludwig Krapf who "founded the first Christian mission in 1846...and translated the Bible into Swahili" (pg. 52).
Additionally, the Children's Atlas of God's World contains a number of user-friendly qualities that make this an excellent choice for young people who may be new to navigating this type of research tool. Some of these features are noted in the "Table of Contents" and include:
- Grid references;
- Green Highlights throughout the text for cities or sites to be located on the map;
- Red, numbered pins marking landmarks, rivers, or other geographic locations;
- Lettered, green flags denoting special "World Heritage Sites" recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Each of the above tools make it easier to encourage children to spot the location of the various details about which you are reading together. Each map designates important cities, without providing an overwhelming amount of information.
Numerous, over-sized photos throughout the Children's Atlas of the World make places "come to life" and captivate the reader. Crisp, bright colors contribute to the visual appeal making it hard not to be drawn to this book.
The Children's Atlas of the World also showcases "Biomes of the World", explaining each habitat and what makes it unique by God's design. It contains a "Glossary" of (mostly) geographic terminology with which the young reader may not yet be familiar, as well as, an explanation of various systems of government, a listing of "Holidays Around the World", and an index (which helpfully explains how to use the grid references included on the maps).
Children of all ages (and their parents) will likely find the Children's Atlas of the World a helpful and informative reference tool for investigating "the wondrous diversity of God's creatures, from killer caterpillars to the longest snakes hiding in the jungle" (from the back cover) and for discovering God's redemptive work in these 22 countries among the seven continents.
If you are interested, you can view many of the fabulous features mentioned above in the Publisher's Book Trailer.
*Many thanks to the Publisher, Master Books (a division of New Leaf Publishing Group), for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!
Whether you homeschool or not, a good home library should at least include:
*A book of Bible facts
*A book of History (in a time-line format)
*A book of General Science facts
*A book of Animal facts
Upon first picking up a Children's Atlas of God's World by Craig Froman I was struck with some similarities between this book and Passport to the World. Turns out both books were written by the same author!
In this atlas, each of the 7 continents are featured and marked with Christian History & Tradition, major landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biomes. Each of the featured countries (22 in all) showcase their flag, capital, government system, language, population, monetary unit, area, symbol, anthem and largest city. PLUS individual facts about foods, people, customs, wildlife, holidays and more are shared.
"Bright!" "Colorful!" "BIG!" are the words that come to mind when looking through this book.
Though this is truly a beautiful and fact filled atlas, I scratch my head with the prominence of UNESCO sites that are highlighted throughout the book. Because of this, I'm personally not comfortable using this atlas in my home.
Take a peek inside this book.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Children's Atlas of God's World from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My favorite part is the inclusion of Christian History and traditions. With this information children are told when missionaries first arrived as well as how God is working in the country. This is a blessing in our home because missions is something we are very passionate about. In addition to using this in our home, I plan to take this to our monthly women's meeting where we focus on missionaries and their work around the world. This year I'll be heading up a portion of the meeting designed to help our children become more mission-minded. This Atlas will give me a great starting point for discussion with the kids in our church about the world and missionaries.