Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

My Pop-up World Atlas

My Pop-up World Atlas

Anita Ganeri
Illustrator:  Stephen Waterhouse 
Paper Engineer: Andy Mansfield
Novelty nonfiction
For ages 6 to 9
Templar, 2012   ISBN: 978-0763660949

Many people enjoy looking at maps in atlases. Maps can tell us a lot about a place, but most atlases don’t include much written information. In this special novelty title, the creators have found interesting ways to incorporate a lot of additional information into their maps using illustrations, sections of text and novelty features.

   We begin our trip around the world with a map showing all the continents along with the major oceans. We are shown where the equator lies, and see where the major mountain ranges, rainforests, grasslands, tundra regions, and deserts are located. Text hidden under lift- the-flaps explain what a tundra, a grassland, a rainforest, a desert, mountains, and forests are. Another larger lift-the-flap contains some interesting facts about our planet.

   On the next page there is a map of North America. The top half of the continent is a pop-up and additional pop-ups of a redwood tree, a totem pole, Old Faithful, and more make the map especially interesting. Little annotated illustrations cover the map showing  places of interest, cities, bridges, and other things. Pull a tab and you can find out about the Panama Canal. Lift a flap and you will find a North American Fact File. At the top of the page you can turn a dial to see what kinds of sports are popular in North America.

   The final double page spread shows Antarctica and the Artic. A series of pop-up signs in the center of the map of Antarctica show us how far the bottom of the world is from New York, London, and Beijing. Text on and under a lift-the-flap tells readers the story of the “Race to the Pole,” and you can pull a tab to reveal a Antarctica Fact File. Annotated illustrations show us some of the animals that live in this inhospitable part of the world. In a box, a map shows us the location of the North Pole and we can see where the sea ice extends in the winter. Text on a lift-the-flap explains what global warming is, and another map shows us what the North Pole looks like during the summer months when much of the sea ice melts.

   The eight maps in this book will show young readers that our planet is an extraordinary place, and as they turn the pages they will come to appreciate how lucky we are to have such a beautiful and varied planet to live on.