AGERANGE: Ages 11 to Adult.
The unique feature of this atlas is the interactive linking of content to the National Geographic Web site (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/kids-world-atlas). Students can listen or watch videos about a topic from the Web site by browsing or linking the page number. An introduction gives instructions for use of the atlas and the site. Another suggested Web site provides a satellite view of the student's house and other features of interest. The physical world section includes environmental hotspots and natural disasters as well as physical features. The political world section provides separate maps for food, water, economics, literacy, religion, and population. Much of the atlas explores each continent in depth with exceptional physical and political maps as well as photos. Economic symbols accompany the political maps. In particular, the continent of Africa is divided into several sections with excellent detail to give the student an intimate look at this continent. The flags and statistics for 193 independent countries are listed at the back of the book. Unfortunately the oceans do not include the newly defined Southern Ocean (2000). Libraries can pass on this one in favor of an updated atlas showing the important Southern Ocean. Reviewer: Marilyn Brien
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up -This update is ideal for tech-savvy students. Curious readers can use the related Web site to view photos and videos of animals in their natural habitats, hear audio clips, play games, print color maps, and send e-postcards. The lengthy introduction includes clear explanations of how to read the maps and use the Web site followed by information on the oceans, natural disasters, world population, religions, economies, food, water, and energy, with an emphasis on environmental concerns. Easy-to-read, full-color photos, maps, and graphs are included. The midsection of the book divides the world by continents. Each section opens with a crisp satellite image, and continues with an overview that includes a colorful photomontage of the continenta€™s animals, culture, and land, followed by physical, political, and thematic maps of regions and large countries. Sidebars provide area, population, major languages, religions, life expectancy, and literacy rates. Thought-provoking images include the tattooed face of a Maori warrior and a group of Afghan women in contrasting traditional and modern dress. The last section features flags and facts such as area and population for 193 countries and a section of records (the worlda€™s hottest place, longest river). The main revisions are the relocation of country flags and statistics to the back of the book rather than the main body; the maps are smaller; there are more photographs and text; the satellite images are clearer; and the Web links bring the information to life in an exciting, new way.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools