Last summer I went to the Edward Tufte design seminar in Denver, where he discussed design principles as they relate to presenting information and data. Now this is the second book I have seen that uses the infographic style for a whole children's book. While I see some of the most basic techniques developed by Otto Neurath and Gerd Arntz, I wonder whether this book would hold up to Tufte's critiques. One of Tufte's ideas is that the information needs to be as clear and simple as possible, and this book really over-uses color and some of the information is more difficult to follow because of the complicated design.
But at the same time, the use of the full page to organize a flow of information in different graphic ways is unusual for children's books, which are usually dominated by a template-like approach to each double-page spread. This book at least owns up to the fact that each double can offer a new kind of visual experience, which is unusual for informational books. Richards and Simkins in this series of four books realize that the nature of the information should determine the layout of the page. Richards worked for DK in the past, so this is an interesting departure from the template-style he must be familiar with from working there.