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Review: Big City Atlas

Book Title: Big City Atlas (available here)
Author: Maggie Li
Publisher: Pavilion Children’s Books
Publication Date: June 2020
Reviewed By: Nathan Wilcox

Close your eyes and you can probably imagine the cities of London, Paris and New York -but what about Buenos Aires or Singapore or Mumbai? With a globetrotting penguin as our guide, in The Big City Atlas we embark on a world tour to 28 different cities. With each city offering something completely new, whether it be showing the local cuisine, traditions or landmarks, readers are given a taste of what life might be like there. As a geography-enthusiast and fan of maps in general, this book appealed to me from the outset. The wealth of information included on each page paired with the bold and colourful designs make for such an enjoyable read. I was also drawn in as this book focuses solely on cities within countries rather than the countries as a whole. This seems to offer something different from what already exists with regards to children’s atlases and provides it in a way that children would hugely enjoy. Each double-spread page is unique in its design and does well to give each city a different feel without appearing at all repetitive. Sometimes atlases can be overwhelming for children, with too much happening on each page making it difficult to take everything in. Big City Atlas, however, has just the right amount of detail in each page, combined with beautifully illustrated drawings, to maintain the reader’s attention and entice them into discovering what the next page has in store.

I can see this book being used with a range of children, especially at KS2. It feels accessible in the sense that I can imagine year 3 really engaging with this book yet equally could also see it being thoroughly enjoyed in year 6. There is a deceptively high amount of information on each page as it does not feel overly stuffed with facts, I think that no matter how many times you read this book, there is always an opportunity to learn something new and will certainly be revisited time and time again.

You can order Big City Atlas online or from your local bookshop or library.

Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Nathan for reviewing it.

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