If you are expecting just a volume of maps as the title might suggest, your expectations will be exceeded. The rest of the title gives a more accurate description of what to expect. This is an ambitious and engaging armchair guide to the world. Following on from the introductory section (planet earth, time zones, climate, population, mapping, etc.) each of the seven continents in turn gets a detailed treatment. A general overview of each continent is followed by regional entries so the reader does get a real sense of each place and what it might be like to visit.
The information is fresh and interesting and carefully chosen with a younger audience in mind with its references to popular culture, sport and school life.
The pages are bright and attractively designed with great variety in the ways in which the information is presented: illustrated maps, photographs, fact boxes, lists and quizzes.
The book concludes with 82 questions, many multiple choice, based on the content of the book, with answers included.
The end pages are very colourful with an array of flags from around the world, unnamed unfortunately.
In terms of content and design this is the high quality publication that one would expect from this long established and respected publisher. My only concern is that because the range of the book is so broad – the whole world – there may be insufficient information about any specific country to support project work in schools.