Retro-looking maps with pictures of animals, transport, famous landmarks and traditional dancers fill the pages of this mediocre atlas.
The text emphasizes environmental changes and sustainability, with proportionately less information on people. Organizationally, it starts with the oceans, including the two polar areas, and then explores the landmasses. Short, factoid-heavy paragraphs on physical features, climate and weather, natural resources, environment, wildlife and transport accompany each deeply colored map, and in the appropriate regional sections, a paragraph on people and places is added. Although the disproportionately sized pictures of landmarks, natural resources, generic people and miscellany on the maps are identified ("Omani man"; "bus"), too often they are not further explicated. Occasional fold-out pages and small, inserted “Did You Know?” booklets give the illusion of interactivity. Providing comparisons on carbon footprints (“a person in the UAE [United Arab Emirates] on average emits 15 times more than a person in China”) is vital information that seems at odds with the childish maps. A separate wall map (in the same style) is included. The woeful index includes only entries for country names, followed by their capitals.
The balance between information and attractive bookmaking is always important, but atlases like the National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers (2007) still remain the gold standard. This struggles to meet the bronze one. (glossary, index, sources; companion app not seen) (Reference. 9-11)