Emily Hawkins (text), Lucy Letherland (illus.), Atlas of Miniature Adventures, Wide Eyed Editions, Nov 2016, 64pp., $14.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781847809094
This colourful little book offers entry into the curious world of miniatures. There is not a lot of text throughout, making it an easy read, but it is packed with interesting information and the pictures are intricately detailed, with colourful illustrations of the various locations around the world where different miniature wonders can be found. It is organised by continent, beginning in Europe with descriptions of miniature model villages, a black light mini golf park and the birthplace of the snowglobe, then moving across the globe to feature the smallest animals, reptiles and fish as well as human-made wonders. Each section begins with a map of the region highlighted with miniature marvels, not all of which are detailed in the book. These maps are followed by double page spreads of particular locations, with facts about the miniature featured there, another mini-map and breakout boxes showing particular items of interest.
Some of the miniatures covered in the book include a bonsai village in Japan, the world’s smallest frog, a tiny fish that can travel huge distances by leaping between puddles, model railways and a fairy palace built by a 1930s movie star. Young explorers can discover that the world’s smallest primate is the size of an AA battery, and that the Teddy Bear museum in Korea has a teddy bear 4.5 millimetres high with jointed arms and legs.
Atlas of Miniature Adventures is the sort of book that will fascinate kids who like to discover the unusual and the fantastic, or who like to collect things. There are all kinds of curious items and creatures covered, from a tiny postal service to miniscule butterflies. The full colour illustrations have plenty of detail, with lots of tiny treasures to discover – the final two pages of the book have 21 images that encourage kids to go back to the relevant locations (pages) and search for various items they might have missed. Even the front and back covers have many miniature items to discover, making this a colourful, intriguing book.
Reviewed by Rachel Le Rossignol