Atlas of Record-Breaking Adventures by Emily Hawkins

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Illus. by Lucy Letherland. Wide Eyed Editions 2020. ISBN: 9780711255630.
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Subtitled A collection of the BIGGEST, FASTEST, LONGEST, HOTTEST, TOUGHEST, TALLEST and MOST DEADLY things from around the world, this is a beautifully presented and cleverly illustrated non-fiction book and is another addition to the Atlas of Adventures series. Other titles in the series include Atlas of Miniature Adventures: A pocket-sized collection of small-scale wonders, Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures: Step Into a Prehistoric World and the Atlas of Ocean Adventures: A Collection of Natural Wonders, Marine Marvels and Undersea Antics from Across the Globe. This latest book by author Emily Hawkins provides readers with an amazing insight into record-breaking events, plants and animals, natural landscapes and human-made marvels. The book begins with a clearly labelled map of the continents with small images depicting some of the record-breaking features to be discussed further in the book. The Contents page uses each of the seven continents as headings with sub-headings underneath related to the record-breakers. Once the journey into the atlas begins, the reader is given a brief description of the continent and then a myriad of amazing facts that are unique to that particular area. Victoria Falls which borders both Zambia and Zimbabwe on the continent of Africa is the most enormous waterfall in the world. It is also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya which translates in to 'the smoke that thunders'. The spray from the waterfall can be seen up to 20 kilometres away. On the continent of Europe the largest collection of bones is found in France in the Catacombs of Paris which lie 20 metres below the city. The world's heaviest parrot, the kakapo, is found in New Zealand. It can weigh up to 4 kilograms and is also one of the world's longest living and noisiest birds. Termites, the greatest insect builders in the world, are found in Australia and their enormous mounds often up to 8 metres high are dotted throughout the Northern Territory. The reader can explore over 30 scenes and read many interesting and varied snapshots of information. At the end of the book is a detailed index as well as a 'Can you find?' page.
The detailed illustrations by Lucy Letherland add to the overall enjoyment and appeal of the book. This book is an excellent book for gifting and sharing with a child or as a discussion prompt for record-breaking phenomena. Themes: Record-breakers, Animals, Nature, Environment, Wonders of the world, Continents, Maps.
Kathryn Beilby