Country by Country
Review posted April 29, 2022.
Candlewick Press, 2021. First published in the United Kingdom in 2019. 78 pages.
Review written April 26, 2022, from a library book
This wonderful oversized picture book tells the reader all about Africa. The information is arranged by region, and every single African country gets a page with colorful pictures and information about what makes that country special. The details are given with a clear fondness for the continent, and the introductory page for each region includes ways to say "Welcome!" in the many languages spoken there.
I was hoping that reading this book would make me a better Worldle player. (In Worldle, you see the outline of a country and try to guess the name. Hints tell you which direction the answer is in and how far away from your guess.) I'm not sure I remembered all the information I read, but it gave me appreciation for the wide-ranging variety of climates and landscapes and cities and people found in Africa. If I still had school-age kids, this would be a fun book to leave out for them to browse at will.
Here is a bit from the Introduction. You can get a taste of how enthusiastic the author is about Africa.
Writing this book has been an adventure. I wanted to write it so that I could share the things I find exciting about Africa. But while I was working on it, I found out a zillion more really exciting things.
Did you know that the first human beings to walk this earth were African? They went on to populate the whole planet. So we are all from Africa originally!
Did you know that Africa is gigantic? It is as big as Europe, the United States, Mexico, India, and Japan all put together! . . .
Africa is changing all the time: new countries are being created or swallowed up, old traditions are being lost and new ones developing. This book can only give an idea of what Africa is like in the moment that I am writing. So enjoy this book for what it is: a tiny glimpse into this wonderful continent.
I could not squeeze everything that I know and love about Africa into this book. There is room to say only two or three things about each country. But I hope this book will make you want to find out more about the most amazing continent on the planet!
I learned so much reading this book about modern Africa!