Map reading and atlas skills are something to be encouraged in primary school aged children, but often the complexities of world atlases put them out of the reach of children’s skills. The Macmillan Children’s Atlas is child-freindly and accessible, but not so watered-down as to make it patronising or of little use.
The first thirty two pages of this sturdy hard-cover offering are devoted to atlas skills, an explanation of world weather, geography, satellite imaging and more, as well as world physical and political maps.
The rest of the atlas focusses on each of the six populated continents (the seventh, Antartica, is covered in the introductory section). Within each of these six sections, the regions of that continent are given two double page spreads, including a map, a listing of each country in that region (complete with an illustration of its flag, its current population and its capital city) and a discussion of the land use, natural features, traditions, people and history of the region.
The atlas is full of colourful illustrations, interesting facts and accessible information. It is completed with a Gazetteer (geographical index), the use of which is a key part in developing atlas skills.
This is an outstanding offering which would be an excellent home reference as an aid for school projects and for general interest. It would also be an invaluable school and library resource.
Tha Macmillan Children’s Atlas
Pan Macmillan Australia, 2004