Hilarious from start to finish, this is the way kids might wish to be educated in all their subjects--with puns and ingenious analogies providing mnemonic devices. Among the many memorable comparisons: the international date line becomes a half-shaven face; an isthmus is seen as a person's neck; four banana slices in a bowl of cereal and milk represent land masses in contrast to oceans. Definitions are to the point, yet there's admirable depth (e.g., the way in which geographical divisions are linked to culture and history, as exemplified by four generations staying in Lvov, but reared in four different countries). Steppe by steppe, with no pampa -sity, this brother team makes the continents merrily manageable. Cartoony illustrations extend the academic antics, which will have kids heading strait for the bookshelves to peruse this winner. All ages. (Oct.)
Gr 6 Up-- A unique, funny, and informative title. After an introductory chapter defining various aspects of the study of the Earth, each continent is covered in a concise but comprehensive manner. Examples and illustrations of geographical terms and forms are provided and related to everyday situations and events. Easy-to-understand explanations make the material fun. Profusely illustrated with colorful cartoons and comic-strip art, the book is very readable. Some of the jokes and puns may be lost on younger readers, but this will not detract from their enjoyment of the book or the fact that they'll absorb a considerable amount of material about geography. Environmental concerns and recycling methods are addressed in a positive and clever way. A glossary of terms is included and the index is comprehensive. A welcome supplement to geography sections. --Valerie Childress, J. W. Holloway Middle School, Whitehouse, TX
Profusely illustrated with funny cartoons, this lively, tongue-in-cheek guide to world geography is lucid, well organized, and very informative. The material selected to support the theme "Geography shapes lives, history, and traditions" is intelligent and entertaining. For instance, Australia's physical isolation made it a great eighteenth-century jail, "chock-a-block with cute animals." As up-to-date as possible, with hand-drawn maps showing (except for Yugoslavia) current borders, this has examples kids can relate to ("Antarctica is like a reverse pizza." "If Asia were a face, Europe would be its nose"). Boring geography texts, look out!