All Around the World
“Panoramas du monde”
This wonderful wide format picture book is in fact an activity book. It contains eight fold-out panoramic scenes of different landscapes (The African Savannah, The Sahara Desert, The Countryside, The North American Forest, The Amazon Rainforest, The Tropical Sea, The Australian Outback, and The Arctic) and over four hundred reusable stickers (“gommettes” in French, very popular in activity books), and the aim is of course to decorate each fold-out scene with the animals that belong to that particular environment. The names of each animal are included on the sticker sheet, which will allow for further investigation if children find themselves wanting to know more about some of them.
The stickers can be used again in the book or elsewhere (it is even safe on walls), as the plastified feel of the panoramic scenes makes it very easy to move and remove them.
At the back of each fold-out scene, young readers will also find three huge dot-to-dot animals to draw and colour. With the help of the stickers they should be able to recreate the right combination of colours for each animal. There are twenty-four in total.
All Around the World is beautifully designed and Géraldine Cosneau’s animals are gorgeous. Her style is fresh, rounded and child-friendly, with a beautiful, thoughtful use of colour, particularly in the landscapes. The completed scenes do look amazing and each can be taken out and used as a poster.
There are similarities with Marc Boutavant’s Around the World with Mouk (see my review here) in its format, but where Mouk has a narrative and focusses heavily on the cultural side of the countries it features, All Around the World has no narrative and offers a blank canvas for children not only learn about the fauna of different countries but potentially create their own narratives, by setting up scenes that will either lead to a story or illustrate one they have already thought of. There is great potential there.
All Around the World is a wonderful activity book, which will lead to hours of investigative and creative play.
Just a small word of notice: due to the nature of the stickers, the book is not suitable for children under the age of 3.
All illustrations © Géraldine Cosneau
Source: review copy from publisher