North American Maps for Curious Minds: 100 New Ways To See the Continent

The Experiment: Workman. (Maps for Curious Minds). Oct. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9781615197484. $19.95. REF
The authors of this atlas claim no particular cartography expertise—Bucklan is “geographically minded,” while Cizek has a visual arts background—the book’s coverage of North America is fascinating. The atlas aims to present geographical concepts that readers might never have thought of and will find compelling. Its seven sections (Geography, Politics and Power, Nature, Culture and Sports, People and Populations, Food and Health, and Industry and Transport) offer 100 total entries on topics that span the continent. Each entry features a large map and a written explanation. About the United States, the atlas presents data like the populations of military veterans in each state and the most common countries of origin for U.S. residents, plus fun items like the number of Waffle House locations in each U.S. latitude. Other infographic maps present data about Canada and Mexico too, and sometimes the 20 other North American nations (in the Caribbean and on the Central American isthmus), including the continent’s biggest craters and attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people. The atlas is a captivating browse that will unobtrusively enlighten readers and upend things they thought they knew, like the sizes of Hawai’i and Alaska (huge!) compared to the contiguous United States. Illustrator Dunnington’s accurate, accessible maps will be a visual springboard for lively discussions in classes or around the dinner table.
VERDICT A great choice for school and public library collections.
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