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Maps from Mulbarton are a worldly affair

PUBLISHED: 08:30 28 March 2009 | UPDATED: 11:00 12 July 2010

David Wright and his daughter Rachel Noonan, authors of children's Atlas series.

David Wright and his daughter Rachel Noonan, authors of children's Atlas series.

Getting young children excited about a map of the world is no mean feat, but one well travelled south Norfolk father and daughter have created two new atlases to enthuse youngsters about the countries around them.

Getting young children excited about a map of the world is no mean feat, but one well travelled south Norfolk father and daughter have created two new atlases to enthuse youngsters about the countries around them.

But it was not just a shared love of travel that brought David Wright and his daughter Rachel Noonan together to create two new specialist atlases designed for young children, but also an unfortunate twist of fate.

David and his wife Jill, from Mulbarton, had already written a hugely successful children's atlas when Rachel and their son Steven, were children, which has sold more than a million copies and been translated into German, Greek, Japanese and Norwegian.

However, two years ago the couple approached famous atlas publisher's Philips to see whether they could create two new atlases for early years children and infants.

But just as they were given the green light to start working on the books, David was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with cancer.

“We always thought that the world is a very exciting place but atlases are often so boring,” said David. “So we approached Philips and said your maps are great but your atlases for young children are dull, can we help you? We thought we could lend our knowledge to create something for much younger children. By the time they said yes, I was taken into hospital with cancer.

“But Rachel said she would help me if I wanted and I think it gave me something to focus on. I had lots of thinking time, either in hospital or recovering at home in bed, to think about ideas, I think she was able to calm down some of those rather out-there ideas as some of them were quite crazy.

“I think I have a flair for being creative, and she is definitely good at checking facts and precision. It was a good team,” laughed David, who was the geography-education lecturer at UEA Norwich.

So with Rachel on board he began creating the two new colourful books aimed at 3-5 year olds and 5-7 year olds.

Philip's Early Years Atlas by David Wright and Rachel Noonan and Philip's Infant School Atlas by David Wright and Rachel Noonan, are both £6.99; published 9 March. The 12th edition of the original Philip's Children Atlas by David and Jill Wright is also available, costing £10.99, reprinted in January of this year.


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