The Children’s Book Review | October 7, 2019
Smithsonian Children’s Illustrated History Atlas
Age Range: 7-9
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: DK, Penguin Random House
What to expect: Atlas, History, Facts, Illustrations
Travel the world with this colorful and unique history atlas that’s easy enough for even young grade-schoolers to use.
Start with a guide on how to use this particular atlas. Maps are explained (what is a close-up map for? What is a key?) and facts are laid out in easy to understand graphs. Probably the most confusing aspect of a history atlas would be the dates, and Smithsonian does a fantastic job of explaining how dates work and what they mean, both clearly and quickly. Your kid will be spouting BCE dates before you know it!
Moving on to the meatier bits of the atlas, children will start with the concepts of varied world cultures, and then move on to the Stone Age. Quickly absorbed facts and fascinating pictures and illustrations help bring this long-ago era to life. Stonehenge, early trade and the fertile crescent are all covered. Moving on to Ancient Rome, world religions, The Middle Ages, Ancient Korea and tens of other fascinating world topics are all given full-color run downs with fascinating tidbit facts. One of these spreads might be just the thing to spark the fascination of a child – perhaps the ancient African kingdom of Aksum, in Ethiopia, or the Inca Empire of Peru? With such broad-reaching coverage of the world and its history, this atlas is sure to have something of interest for any child (and adult!).
Hours can be spent pouring over the hundreds of facts or colorful maps in the Smithsonian’s atlas. The world is an enormous place with history that cannot be contained in any one book. But the Smithsonian Children’s Illustrated History Atlas does a fantastic job of covering just enough of everything to start a conversation, and a broader appreciation, of the amazing world around us.
This enormously entertaining book would be a perfect gift for a child’s library or an excellent addition to any classroom. Interspersed with delightful quizzes and nods to very high-level political movements and wars, this book could also be a starting point to larger concepts and conversations with older children.
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Smithsonian Children’s Illustrated History Atlas was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Smithsonian Children’s Illustrated History Atlas by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Children’s Atlas, History, Non-Fiction, and Smithsonian Books.