Aug 17, 2020

50 Maps of the World

50 Maps of the World

Written by: Ben Handicott and Kalya Ryan

Illustrated by: Sol Linero

Published by: Wide Eyed Editions

Published on: September 1, 2020

Ages: 7+

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We loooove maps in our family. Both my kids learned to iron on paper maps they wanted to frame. My son is a geography enthusiast who can name almost any pro league soccer stadium in the world. This book absolutely calls to us.

The book is laid out well with lots of information on slightly modified maps. It introduces people of note, moments to remember, and spotlights certain areas of each map.

There are so many things to love! Lots of women included in the people of note, so many interesting tidbits. We all have gained new places we want to go when the pandemic is over, like the lava fields of Yatta Plateau in Kenya, or Isla del Sol in Bolivia.

For younger audience members who might be having this read aloud to them there is a search and find legend at the back of the book. I can't imagine any child who isn't going to want to search for Poopoo Land. All of the illustrations are endearing.

We had a couple of issues with the book, however. One is that my kids have struggled with upper and lower case letters, since this doesn't exist in Japanese. Some of the fonts in this book are stylized to mix the upper and lower case letters, on the letters i and l among others, which can confuse beginning or ESL readers. 

Another issue is that I noticed at least one inaccuracy. It says of Fukuoka Castle that "visitors come in droves to see the cherry blossoms from up high in the crumbling turret." In actuality the turret that is pictured is on one of the lower levels of the castle walls, and the cherry blossom views are from the ramparts. Also, nothing about the castle is crumbling, the walls are in amazing condition as well as the buildings that are still there. This is just a little thing, and understandable as I'm sure they couldn't have visited every place on these 50 maps, but it makes us wonder what else may be inaccurate in the book.

The good parts of this book will stick with us for a long time as we dream of traveling, so we give it 4 out of 5 dumplings.

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