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ARC Review: An Atlas of Lost Kingdoms: Discover Mythical Lands, Lost Cities and Vanished Islands by Emily Hawkins

Publication Date: October 4, 2022


On this quest around the world, you will discover lost kingdoms, phantom islands, and even legendary continents once sought by explorers but now believed to be mythical.

For centuries, people have dreamed of finding the lost worlds of Atlantis, El Dorado, and the Seven Cities of Gold. As well as shedding light on these famously elusive places, this atlas contains maps and captivating illustrations to illuminate lesser-known destinations, from the lost island of Hy-Brasil to the desert city of Zerzura. You will learn about rich mythologies from different cultures, from the Aztecs to the ancient Britons, from the Greek legends to Japanese folklore.
Most of the places in this book have never been found, but within these pages you will succeed where the adventurers of the past were thwarted. Learn about ancient maps, age-old manuscripts, and cryptic carvings that reveal clues to the whereabouts of these lost kingdoms. The journey will transport you to thoroughly other-worldly places.

From Emily HawkinsNew York Times bestselling author of Oceanology—comes this whimsical blend of myth and history, fact and fantasy. This lavish volume will fire the imaginations of young adventurers everywhere.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is an absolutely stunning book and I would have *devoured* it as a child. I still devoured it as an adult, but I wish I’d had it available when I was obsessed with explorers and lost cities as a child.

The illustrations are gorgeous. The colors are vivid and make the cities and kingdoms seem real and as if they might pop off the page. Or as if you could sink into them and do some exploring of your own. The composition of the illustrations draw your eye around the page.

The cities and kingdoms are spread out across the globe and the book is organized into sections by continent. Each section begins with a map of that region with all of the probable locations of the cities and kingdoms laid out in relation to one another which is very helpful in getting an overview and general idea of where each is located, especially for kids who may not be well-versed in geography and might be confused if they are simply said to be in Yemen, Ethiopia, Mongolia, etc.

I love how the text is parceled out in boxes and banners that overlay the illustration, with some text written on the illustrations themselves in bite-size chunks. It breaks up the details and information and makes it seem easier to read and understand. This is a definite plus in a book for kids.

I recognized many of the names of the lost cities and kingdoms as well as the names of many of the explorers. Some I even recognized from books my kiddo and I are reading. I came away feeling like I’d been on an adventure and learned a whole lot on the way.

I especially like how each entry felt thoroughly researched and was broken into two parts: the mythology and legend of the place in question, and then the expeditions and evidence for or against it being a real place. It didn’t diminish the importance of the cities and kingdoms in the mythology or religion of any peoples, but it also gave a reality check so kids don’t come away thinking everything mentioned in it is a real discoverable place.

10/10 would absolutely recommend and I am pre-ordering a copy for my kiddo for Christmas right now.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions for providing an e-arc for review.


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