‘Antarctica, A Continent Of Wonder’ By Mario Cuesto Hernando And Illustrated By Raquel Martin Review


Reviewed by New_Mama

This delightful children’s book is aimed at those over 6 years old. It is written to follow a group of explorers and researchers on their voyage to, and 6 months stay in Antarctica. Readers are invited to come along with the explorers and take part in each step of their exciting discoveries from the initial journey, experiencing snowstorms, and learning what it is like to live in a research station in the ice. The author has himself travelled to Antarctica and therefore the book is able to offer authentic and genuine insights into this largely unknown world.

The book is beautifully illustrated with drawings from cover to cover and these are certainly the standout of the book. Pages vary from beautiful landscape scenes to almost scrapbook like information pages. Children of a wide age range will enjoy looking through these stunning pictures, even if too young to fully take in the whole book. Whilst the book is aimed at older children, I would therefore say that the book could still be enjoyed by younger siblings or younger children with the pictures themselves offering much interest and joy. The book is a large hardback and muted tonal colours within the stunning illustrations are classier than the bright tones used within most children’s books- it certainly would not look out of place on your coffee table!

As the reader journeys through the book, each page offers new discoveries; from labelled animals to detailed and fun facts about the environment, the book certainly provides a depth of knowledge that will ensure it can be enjoyed for many reads to come. Introductions about the first explorers to set foot on Antarctica, Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott are also within. Parents themselves are also likely to learn a fact or two and therefore it provides more enjoyment than the average children’s book when reading together. Whilst the book would clearly be of interest to children with an interest in exploring, I think it would be suitable for all and is a creative way to encourage children to perhaps read outside their usual area of interest and become engaged in the world around them.

Whilst generally the book is written in an engaging and light hearted way, I did feel that perhaps some of the language used was above the reading age it is designed for and may require adult assistance. Not a problem necessarily, but perhaps leads the book to be enjoyed more together as a family. The main downfall would be that the text in certain areas is difficult to read, with similar background colours or, at times, too small. American English spellings are also present, worth noting as those aimed to be reading this are at their prime for developing their written English.

The book would certainly be a great purchase or gift and provides great value for money with hours of entertainment. For parents looking to provide a stimulating way to distract or teach their little ones this book would definitely be a good option. Released only very recently in May 2021 this book would be a great gift for your own or other children. A good option also for holidays, to provide hours of enjoyment, whilst also helping in providing home learning activities or weekend entertainment.

My little boy and I would give this book a rating of 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4/5

RRP: £14.99

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