An Atlas of Afterlives

Discover Underworlds, Otherworlds and Heavenly Realms

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Pub Date 31 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 3 Aug 2023

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What happens after we die? This difficult question has fascinated people for thousands of years.

An Atlas of Afterlives sets out to explore and explain the many underworlds, otherworlds, heavens and hells believed in by cultures from across the world, throughout history. From paradise gardens to fiery kingdoms, from shadowy isles of the dead to ghostly galleons on an eternal voyage, these visions of eternity are fascinating examples of human creativity and storytelling.

Organised by continent, this book will take you on an eerie journey to discover legendary places from different mythologies. Each lavishly illustrated spread invites you into a different realm of the dead, with deities, demons and other details drawn from historical sources ranging from ancient Egyptian scrolls to Chilean folklore. With wonder, curiosity and sensitivity, every one of these awe-inspiring places is presented in its cultural context, combining real, historical fact with the magical atmosphere of the unknown – and unknowable.

Discover afterlives from all over the world, including:

  • The gloomy kingdom of Hades, ancient Greek god of the dead
  • Valhalla, mead hall of fallen Norse heroes
  • Duat, ancient Egyptian River of Death
  • Jannah, the beautiful Islamic garden of heaven 
  • Kakuriyo, the invisible realm of spirits in Japanese Shinto beliefs
  • The Gates of Guinee, the Voudou portal said to be hidden in New Orleans
  • The Lakota Trail of Spirits in the Milky Way
  • Kibu, island of ghosts to the Torres Strait Islanders of Australia
  • Many, many more.

With stories, histories and mapsto get lost in, An Atlas of Afterlives is a truly unforgettable departure from our everyday lives into the depths of world mythology, exploring a fundamental question in an accessible, respectful and totally unique way. This lavish volume will fire the imaginations of curious explorers aged 9-12 keen for a glimpse of what lies beyond.

What happens after we die? This difficult question has fascinated people for thousands of years.

An Atlas of Afterlives sets out to explore and explain the many underworlds, otherworlds, heavens and...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780711280861
PRICE US$30.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 32 members

Featured Reviews

I loved this book! The art was gorgeous and the different afterlife explanations are amazing. Great way for kids to learn about other cultures/religions

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Wonderful book! I loved all of the illustrations and information. The different beliefs on the after life are shown in an easy to read format. The book is set up by continents in each section. Very interesting and would make a lovely hardcover book.

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This is a beautifully illustrated book taking children on a tour through different afterlife beliefs across the globe. There is a well-balanced mix of ideas covered, and it isn’t excessively gloomy or morbid - there’s an undertone of comfort throughout many of the pages. Each belief is summarised on a double-page spread, with small paragraphs of text as well as short notes accompanying the images. There’s obviously much more that could be said about each idea, but I think the author has done a fantastic job at summarising and picking out the most engaging parts for the intended audience.
It covers the usual suspects like Hades (Ancient Greek) and Duat (Ancient Egyptian), as well as lesser known destinations like Mictlan (Aztec), Lua-O-Milu (Hawaii), and Adlivun (Inuit). There’s also a blend of world religions, including Jacob’s Ladder (Christianity), Jannah (Islam), and the Buddhist Underworld. My little one (6yo) loved the stories about the different ghost ships and boats, despite these sometimes having the spookiest illustrations spreads!

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I love a multicultural approach to religious education! Very beautiful artwork, and very informative for young kids.

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An Atlas of Afterlives is a book all about the different beliefs from various cultures and religions from all around the world regarding what happens after death, and where we go when we die. I felt that this was a very interesting topic for a book, especially one aimed at a younger audience, as it is not a topic commonly approached with children and yet it is one we are all somewhat curious about. I found it to be very well-written and informative and I loved learning all about the different afterlives around the world! The illustrations were really beautiful and I loved the layout of the book and how it took me on a journey. I would definitely recommend this to friends and family, as it is a beautiful book and was very interesting to read.

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This book just blew me away. I love it. It is packed with interesting information and stunning illustrations. The topic though is a tad heavy for use in class, so maybe better as a book for reading for pleasure.

Definitely buying a copy when it is out.

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This book is so unique and was such a fun journey for both myself and my kids! It take you through the lands of afterlife on each continent. Some I was familiar with, but many were new to me! Hearing these tales and seeing the ways the world handles life and afterlife was really intriguing and we can’t wait to add this to our home library!

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What an enthralling read! This is a beautiful exploration of worldwide beliefs of life after death.

I love that it covers such a wide range of afterlife beliefs, both ancient and modern, religious and cultural. Each double page spread is a piece of art adorned with fascinating facts about the afterlife under scrutiny.

With a multitude of uses in the classroom, as well as being a stunning pleasure read to dip in and out of, this is a must have for school libraries.

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The previous book, An Atlas of Lost Kingdoms, was so delightful I just had to grab this one as soon as I saw it.

And I am so grateful I did! The absolutely gorgeous art continued in this book, and the airy watercolor style really lends itself well to the portrayals of various afterlives.

The locations are grouped by continent and each area is treated with respect. There is no raising up of any culture’s belief over another as the correct way to believe.

In addition, this is a heavy topic and death and what can come after was treated with dignity and a gentleness that I really appreciated. The afterword was particularly lovely.

I will be adding this to my library of books to share with my nephew as soon as it comes out!

Thanks to Quarto Publishing Group and to NetGalley for this advance reader’s copy!

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Stunning! A fascinating look at life and death through the eyes of people and cultures around the world.

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Amazing! A stunningly illustrated journey into the lands of the unknown, as visioned by peoples and cultures from all around the earth. Glimpses of eternity with captivating and vibrant examples of spirituality and humanity 🪽✨ 🌈

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An Atlas of Afterlives is truly a magnificent journey through the underworlds of different cultures from around the world. It starts with the Greek and Nordic ideas of the afterlife, which most of us are familiar with, then touches on other European cultures. After that, we move to more (generally) unfamiliar territory to Africa, Asia, the native cultures of the Americas, and finally, Oceania.

The illustrations and storytelling in this book are phenomenal. Excellent resource for adults and kids alike who are interested in learning more about the ideas of the afterlife and underworlds of different cultures! Fascinating!

Thanks Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this eARC in exchange for my honest review on the book!

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I found An Atlas of Afterlives fascinating. Set out by continent, each page covers a different culture and their view on what happens when you die. Each page is beautifully illustrated and engaging with succinct summaries of key characters and beliefs. It’s enough to get you interested without being overwhelmed, so the perfect balance for children. I found it fascinating how many similarities there were between different cultures, even if they were at opposite ends of the earth. This book belongs in any classroom or coffee table.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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This book is amazing! I've had so many children in my class this who had questions about the afterlife following our studies in history and this book will answer so many of them and no doubt prompt so more. I love how the book is organised into different regions of the world as this makes it perfect for dipping in and out of. Many of the familiar religions and cultures are covered along with some which are less familiar which makes this ideal for curious children. There is just the right amount of information on each double page which is set out in sections making it even more accessible. The illustrations and use of colour just add to the delight you experience as you turn over each new page.
This is definitely going on my to-buy list.

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