Book Review: Everest, by Sangma Francis • Glam Adelaide

Book Review: Everest, by Sangma Francis

NON-FICTION: A picturebook outlining the cultural and religious significance, history, ecology and challenges of the highest spot on the planet.

A fascinating and information-packed tribute to everything about and around Mount Everest.

This beautifully presented hardcover book for ages seven and above provides a broad education around the world’s highest mountain. Far from just a geography book, Sangma Francis gives a fascinating insight into how the Himalayan mountain range was created, along with the cultural, religious and environmental influences that surround this majestic peak.

Mount Everest was renamed from Peak XV by the western world in 1865 in honour Welsh surveyor Sir George Everest. In Nepal however, the mountain is still known as Sagarmatha (“Goddess of the Sky”) while Tibetans still call it Chomolungma (“Mother Goddess of the World”). Reaching 8,848m above sea level, its peaks can hit low temperatures of -70C with winds over 175km/hr.

Everest is stunningly illustrated by Lisk Feng with large, colourful and often full-page drawings that add visual interest and context to the information-dense text. The book is comprehensive in its approach, beginning with the tectonic shifts in the earth some 50 million years ago which formed the Himalayan mountain range. It goes on to discuss the Hindu and Buddhists beliefs, the Sherpa culture, instruments used through the ages by explorers and adventurers, the native wildlife and ecosystems, regional and religious mythologies, and provides copious information about the climbers of yesteryear and today. Even the legendary Yeti (Abominable Snowman) gets a look-in.

Concluding with a double-page glossary and suggestions for further reading, Francis has collated an invaluable resource that is targeted at a younger reader but does not talk down to them and consequently, is equally interesting for adult readers too. There’s so many fascinating facts and stories contained within these pages.

The large format book (245 x 305mm) also makes Everest an eye-catching display book for any child’s bookshelf.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Book Distributed by: Walker Books Australia
Released: January 2019
RRP: $29.99 hardback

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