Marvelous Maps: Our Changing World in 40 Amazing Maps

Welbeck. Apr. 2023. 96p. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781803380421.
Gr 2-5–This book is a colorful assembly of 40 illustrated spreads depicting various maps, each accompanied by a three-to-four paragraph narrative explanation of what is portrayed. The topics cover a wide range, from traditional geography subjects like time zones to maplike concepts that are not as strict, like pepperoni pizza and the world map as designed by a dolphin. There is a mix of topics, from historic to pop culture to fantasy, with no thematic throughline, so the content feels random, unrelated, and untethered. Some ideas are unique, leaving readers wanting to learn much more, but there’s not enough of a visual vehicle to take them there. Other ideas are too abstract for this particular age group to grasp. There is a glossary of map terms in the back, as well as information about the genesis of each map. Kuestenmacher has been posting geography and map content on Twitter since 2011, amassing 250 million followers since his account’s inception.
VERDICT While the work is interesting and engaging for adults in the Twitterverse, this compilation does not translate equally for kids in the book format.

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