Global Play: A Review of Soccer Atlas

Soccer Atlas: A Journey Across the World and onto the Soccer Field
James Buckley Jr.
Illustrated by Eduard Altarriba
QEB Publishing
June 15, 2021
Ages 7-11

Step into the world of fútbol with James Buckley’s Soccer Atlas! Buckley introduces the reader to all things soccer, starting with how professionals play the game. Top professionals play for club teams in a league, as well as for the national team of their homeland. He then explains the make-up of the field and the rules of the game, pointing out that the penalty area is the most important part of the pitch. We also get a look into the history of soccer, including how it started on each continent, and the design of the ball. Another thing readers will find in this book is information on FIFA, the men and women’s World Cups, and national competitions. The bulk of this book is dedicated to the individual histories of each continent, with two-three pages explaining the growth of the sport and highlighting the achievements of each region’s top professionals, past and present.

Buckley and Altarriba produced a comprehensive and engaging book for kids interested in soccer. With book dimensions of 9.5×11.5, Altarriba gives us full-bleed illustrations. The colorful pages and titles with large, bold lettering are sure to capture the reader’s attention. The illustrations and text mix together throughout the page, incorporating vivid charts and maps for easily accessible information. Buckley includes a chart with the different words for soccer used around the world. This speaks to inclusion and diversity, helping kids connect with different cultures or see their own culture represented. Along the same lines, “Other Ways to Play” shows how those who are wheelchair bound or visually impaired can still participate in the game. Whether the reader’s interests are to play professionally or to become a more informed fan, Soccer Atlas will provide the answers!