The illustrations are detailed and humorous, while being informative. Some information is missing, or represented differently from how it is in real life, but you wouldn’t know these details unless you knew the city or detail.
For example, hot dogs in Chicago are eaten without ketchup, but the map doesn’t mention that, but does show a dog with only mustard. Sue, the dinosaur in the Field Museum is (of course?) just bones, but is shown with skin in the illustration.
Do those things matter? Probably not if you use this book as a conversation starter as we have. James grabs his book from the shelf, and says, “Where shall we look at today?” And he turns to the contents page to pick a place to look at. His favourite is Hong Kong, for some reason, but he is always thrilled when he finds the landmark he used to pick the city on the map page.
We enjoy looking at and talking about the various places indicated on the pages. It is easier to talk about places James has been to, because he likes to tell us things about them, or we can show him photos we took at the time.
The City Atlas by Martin Haake is a very interesting way of talking to your children about the world, and hopefully will foster a love of travel. There are so many facts and details the curious will check to see what it looks like in real life. It also looks very pretty on a coffee table!