Series Review: The World in Infographics

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered in water.
  • 97.5% of the water on earth is saltwater.
  • 68.7% of freshwater is found in glaciers.

naturalworldThat is all important information—and I could go on listing various percentages—but a list of numbers really doesn’t do much by itself.  What do you want me to know about those numbers?  Where do they fit into what I already know?

It’s often hard to get a sense of the meaning behind the numbers, especially for kids who may not have the context they need to apply the data to the world around them.  Many of the books we share with young people have charts, graphs, and other representations of data in sidebars and call-out boxes to help make sense of some of the data, but what if you made the call-out box the entire spread?  That’s exactly what The World in Infographics series does.  Each spread in these books is designed to look like the graphics we find and share online.

For those who may not have discovered infographics yet, here is a definition from Wikipedia: “Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.”  These graphics are perfect for comparing numbers, getting a sense of scale, and making connections.

planetearthThe World in Infographics series uses these strengths to its advantage as it demystifies the numbers of our world.  In Planet Earth, for example, we learn the size of the world’s largest iceberg relative to the island of Jamaica and the 3,963 miles from the surface of the Earth to the center turns into the distance between London and Chicago. Some of these comparisons may work better than others, and some kids may take to this format more than others.  Nonetheless, this is a series to watch.  Planet Earth and The Natural World are available now.  Two more titles will be published in the fall.

These books are good choices for science teachers looking for simple visual explanations of various science topics.  But they are great choices for teachers who want to talk about using data and presenting knowledge.  This series will introduce students to the concept behind infographics and give them an opportunity to look closely at what translates well to this format and what doesn’t.  Whether you are using these books for the content or the presentation, you will find a unique series that will appeal to kids and teachers.

Bibliography:

Planet Earth by Jon Richards. March 2013. 9781926973753. Gr. 3-6

The Natural World by Jon Richards.March 2013. 9781926973746. Gr. 3-6

The Human Body by Jon Richards. October 2013. GR. 3-6

The Human World by Jon Richards. October 2013. Gr. 3-6

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