For middle readers just beginning a serious study of geography and cartography, the World Atlases series offers eight volumes of colorful maps showing seven continents and the polar regions. Each book has thirteen double-page spreads, starting with an introduction to map conventions and symbols (e.g., compass rose, legend, tropics, the equator, scale of distances). The political map of Africa will help kids sort out the 53 countries, brightly colored and surrounded by their flags. Other spreads present maps of Africa's landforms, bodies of water (e.g., the Nile, the Congo, Lake Victoria), climate, and major ecosystems, including a selection of African animals and plants. Especially interesting is the population map, showing a large, sparsely-populated area of desert and only a few densely-populated centers, mostly around the oceans and the Nile. A "People and Customs" spread tells a bit about Africa's diverse cultures with pictures of Dogon dancers, the Ashanti, and brightly-painted Ndebele houses. Designed as a bulletin board, a postcard page displays touristy views of attractions like a market in Marrakech and the pyramids at Giza. A products map reveals that Africa, though a source of precious diamonds, is mostly agricultural; a transportation map shows how Africans get around on roads, trains and rivers. As a finale, the last spread takes readers on a journey across the Serengeti, complete with elephants and a striped balloon. Summing it all up is a final page of brief African facts and a glossary. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
Atlas of Africaby Karen Foster, QTA Media, Geo-Innovations, Rebecca Elliott
Explore Africa! Take a look at the continent's countries, people, cities, plants, animals, farming and industry, transportation, and leisure activities.
Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 9 to 12.
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