National Geographic Our World, Updated Edition: A Child’s First Picture Atlas by National Geographic Kids

This introduction to continents and countries begins with an orientation session to the concept of a globe, a map, and land characteristics, which is a transition for how to recognize boundaries and landforms on a map. The United States is featured first, then the seven continents. Each oversized two-page spread is peppered DK-style with a mix of images that connote the location, such as bananas, carnival, cowboys and rainforests to represent South America, and rice, bamboo and pandas representing Asia. Every entry is accompanied by the continent, shown in position on a world map; a large political map with country boundaries marked; and a mix of photos and illustrations that show native peoples, a common animals, landmark and attractions, the biome, and some cultural aspect.

The text is simple and straightforward, with a large font. Vocabulary words marked in red and accompanied by a graphic. The layout is lively, with a color coded index, busy pages, and bright clear shapes.

The book concludes with geography projects, such as dialogical reading prompts, for parents to share with children. A “Guess what I am?” activity will have young readers flipping pages to go back and find more icons on the maps. A glossary and pronunciation guide are appended.

This review was originally published on the Hip Librarian’s Book Blog August 16, 2006.

Published by Beth Gallaway

reader, writer, gamer, LEGO enthusiast.

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