Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review: Children's Atlas of God's World

Did you know that the Hindi word for bear is bhalu? According to Craig Froman, "This word was the inspiration for the name of the bear in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book" (pg. 59). Are you aware that the smallest island in the world is only large enough for a lighthouse that is over 160 feet tall (pg. 28)? (Do you know where it is?) Have you ever noted that the Eiffel Tower "was designed based on the formation of the human femur or thighbone" which efficiently supports our weight, by God's design (pg. 37). Craig Froman highlights these and many other fascinating facts in his Children's Atlas of God's World.

While there are many interesting tidbits throughout this Atlas, what notably sets the Children's Atlas of God's World apart from similar resources is its emphasis on God as Creator and the fact that it highlights information about Christian history, people of faith, and Christian traditions around the world. For example, the pages concerning Germany relay details about Gutenberg, Luther, Bach, and Handel. Pages portraying Kenya, remind the reader of the Ethiopian eunuch and introduce one to Dr. Johann Ludwig Krapf who "founded the first Christian mission in 1846...and translated the Bible into Swahili" (pg. 52).

Additionally, the Children's Atlas of God's World contains a number of user-friendly qualities that make this an excellent choice for young people who may be new to navigating this type of research tool. Some of these features are noted in the "Table of Contents" and include:

- Grid references;
- Green Highlights throughout the text for cities or sites to be located on the map;
- Red, numbered pins marking landmarks, rivers, or other geographic locations;
- Lettered, green flags denoting special "World Heritage Sites" recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Each of the above tools make it easier to encourage children to spot the location of the various details about which you are reading together. Each map designates important cities, without providing an overwhelming amount of information.

Numerous, over-sized photos throughout the Children's Atlas of the World make places "come to life" and captivate the reader. Crisp, bright colors contribute to the visual appeal making it hard not to be drawn to this book.

The Children's Atlas of the World also showcases "Biomes of the World", explaining each habitat and what makes it unique by God's design. It contains a "Glossary" of (mostly) geographic terminology with which the young reader may not yet be familiar, as well as, an explanation of various systems of government, a listing of "Holidays Around the World", and an index (which helpfully explains how to use the grid references included on the maps).

Children of all ages (and their parents) will likely find the Children's Atlas of the World a helpful and  informative reference tool for investigating "the wondrous diversity of God's creatures, from killer caterpillars to the longest snakes hiding in the jungle" (from the back cover) and for discovering God's redemptive work in these 22 countries among the seven continents.

If you are interested, you can view many of the fabulous features mentioned above in the following promotional video:

*Many thanks to the Publisher, Master Books (a division of New Leaf Publishing Group), for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!

1 comment:

Gena at said...

We love this book--use it all the time!