Maps, by Eleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski

Maps is an oversize and endlessly browseable collection of hand-drawn maps of most of the world.

Maps by Eleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. Candlewick, 2013, 107 pages.

Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 8-10

Recommended For: Ages 4 and up

You like maps?  We’ve got maps!  After a view of the whole world, followed by a political map of Europe, the fun begins: big, double-page spreads of each country, lavishly illustrated with folk-arty, idiosyncratic icons of flora, fauna, geographical features, local customs and historical figures, food and native dress.  The drawings are the most distinctive feature, as most atlases are illustrated largely with photos.  Here, everything is hand-drawn, even the maps themselves.  The large size (11” x 15”) allows for an explosion of detail on every page, including the birds of the air and the fish of the sea and all that swim in the paths of the sea.  Originally published in Poland, the orientation is secular—no Moses in Egypt, no Calvin in Switzerland, no Luther in Germany.  In basic form, the human figures resemble bobble-head dolls, so there’s no Stalin or Hitler either.  You might want to also watch out for the anatomically-correct David (Michelangelo statue) in Italy and other representations of semi-nude art.  But the overall mood is joyful in the best religious sense.  Hours of fun for the geographically-minded.


Note art representations in the previous paragraph.

Overall Rating: 4.25 (out of 5)

Literary/Artistic Rating: 5

Worldview Rating: 3.5

Read more about our ratings here.

Recommended Reading at Redeemed Reader

Book Review: Prisoners of Geography: Our World Explained in Twelve Simple Maps is a birds-eye view of world history as determined by terrain.

Resource: See our roundup of world atlases. For specific locations, see City Atlas and Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island.

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