By: Jennifer A. Miller
Publisher: Lerner Classroom
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2010
Iceland, located in Europe, is its “second-largest island.” If you look on the map in this book you can easily see that it is surrounded by water, you can locate, volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, several cities, and you’ll be able to point out its capital city, Reykjavik. You can see that it lies just below the Arctic Circle. An explorer named the country, Iceland, after spending a “long and icy winter there.” It is a windy, rainy country, but also a very beautiful one. During the summer months “the sun can be seen almost all night,” but during the winter there may be as little as two hours of sunlight each day.
Iceland has been dubbed the “Land of Fire and Ice” because there are numerous “fiery volcanoes” and large inland glacial areas. Another unusual feature of the country is the many hot springs that dot the land. Among the many animals Iceland can claim are puffins, arctic foxes, seals, whales, and the sturdy Icelandic horse. Do you believe in trolls and elves? Some Icelanders do and in fact you will get to see a picture of a large rock in Grundarfjorour where some believe that elves live. There are many interesting things you’ll learn about Iceland. You’ll learn a bit about its history, where the people came from, their religion, the language, its literature, art, music, how people are named, you’ll learn about the importance of family life, their foods, industry, education, their holidays, and you’ll learn about their favorite sports. Do you know what glima is? If not, you may not know as much about Iceland as you thought you did.
This is an excellent and very interesting overview of Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice. Most children who open the pages of this book will become instantly drawn to this fascinating country. There are numerous well-chosen photographs that bring the text to life. For example, we are treated to a photograph of an active volcano on the island of Heimaey that is billowing smoke into the air. There are several sidebars that add quite a bit of information that is not only informative, but fun. One of these is a short listing of familiar “Family Words” along with a pronunciation guide. In the back of the book is some information on Ireland’s flag, some “Fast Facts,” an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: If you’d like a delightful whirlwind tour of Iceland, this is a fun, fact-filled journey you’ll definitely enjoy!