“Everywhere’s been where it is ever since it was first put there. It’s called geography.”
– Terry Pratchett

Mizielinska, Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinska. Maps. Somerville, Mass.: Big Picture Press, 2013.
Expand your general knowledge with this creative book of maps. All of the continents and many countries are depicted in hand-drawn illustrated maps showing not only geographical features but also famous people, foods, sports, plants and animals, and tourist sites. In fact, everything that you might want to include in your own general knowledge of the world as well as coloured drawings of 83 national flags. First published in Poland, this English translation is highly recommended for readers 8 to 80 years old.

Amazon Rain Forest

Sahara Desert

Mauna Loa

“Can you see the sunset real good on the West side? You can see it on the East side too.”  – S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders

The Amazon

 Did you know that the Amazon River is the second longest river in the world? Did you know that the Amazon River is so wide that for much of its length, it is impossible for a person standing on one bank to see the opposite bank? The Amazon by Molly Aloian (Crabtree Publishing Company, 2010) tells all sorts of intriguing facts about the vast Amazon River. I learned that the mighty Amazon River contains about one fifth of the earth’s fresh water. I also learned that in one hour, the Amazon River pours about 170 billion gallons (640 billion litres) of water into the Atlantic Ocean. I discovered that more then 8,000 species of insects live along the Amazon River, and more than 1,500 species of known fish live in the waters of the Amazon River. The Amazon in an insightful book about the many amazing wonders of the resourceful, vast, incredible Amazon River. (Morgan in grade eight)

Did you know the White Nile gets its name from the colour of clay in its water? Did you know that today, approximately 160 people live in the Nile river basin? The Nile River in the Sand by Molly Aloian (Crabtree, 2010) tells all sorts of interesting facts about the Nile River. I learned that Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia and forms the main water source for the Blue Nile. I discovered that climate change is causing sea levels around the world to rise and the Blue Nile sometimes looks black. The Nile River in the Sand is a fact-filled book about the longest river in the world. (Megan in grade eight) 

The Yangtse

Did you know that the Yangtze river is the largest river in Asia? Did you know that the Yangtze river is the third-longest river in the world? The Yangtze: China’s Majestic River by Molly Aloian (Crabtree, 2010) tells all sorts of fascinating facts about the most important navigable waterway in China. I learned that Yangtze River has been an extremely important waterway for people and goods moving between Sichuan province in western China and the Eastern coast of China and it killed thousands of people in devastating floods during its long history. I discovered that Yangtze River developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the ancient world and many important battles took place along it. Furthermore, the world’s biggest dam, The Three Gorges Dam, which generates more electricity than any other hydroelectic dam in the world, is located on the Yangtze River. The Yangtze: China’s Majestic River is a compelling book about the most important navigable waterway in China. (Ina in grade eight) 

Vaicenavičienė, Monika. What is a River? New York: Enchanted Lion Books, 2021.

A thread. A meeting place. A mystery. A reflection…. A grandmother uses fourteen metaphors to describe a river in this exquisite picture book full of facts about history and geography. The style and relatively small size of the font make the book most suitable for adults to read to young children or older readers to read on their own. But for any age, the rhythm of the sentences and the details of the illustrations require a mind that can linger on each page, appreciating the gentle flow of the story. A book to buy! Highly recommended for readers 8 years old and up.

P.S. Teachers might like to use this book as an introduction to metaphors. Or as an introduction to writing nonfiction essays using a literary style. 

P.P.S. Readers travelling around the world through books might like to know that this book was originally written in Swedish. The author now lives in Vilinius, Lithuania. 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go!” – Dr. Seuss 

Click HERE for lists of places to know.

Click HERE to practise your knowledge of world geography. 

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