Sunday, November 23, 2008

TOS Homeschool Book Review: "The Little Man in the Map"

Schoolside Press brings us a book for children, The Little Man in the Map, $19.95 (with free shipping according to the web site today), written by E. Andrew Martonyi and illustrated by Ed Olson.

The Little Man in the Map is an adorable book written to help children identify the United States on a map. Martonyi sees a man in the map, wearing a hat, shirt, pants and boots, and it's this "Man Inside the Map," or "MIM", who takes readers across the pages to see the states as he sees them, in a journey to learn just where each state lives on the map.

Author E. Andrew Martonyi writes,

"'...Imagination is the magic key
To help unlock the clues you need
To learn geography.'"
(There is MIM video here, and Martonyi has a blog here. For teachers, there will soon be a crossword puzzle and a teacher's guide that will accompany the book.)
We've enjoyed this book at lot at our house! We have delighted in seeing the perspectives of Martonyi and Olson, looking at the shapes of the states the way they see them. (As we continue intervention with our child on the autism spectrum, this book will be an incredible resource in growing literacy skills and in taking the author's perspective!)
My 11-year-old raced through the book the day it arrived, smiling and giggling all the way through it, turning the book so that I could see illustrations she thought were especially clever. Several times, she said to me something like, "Mom, I never thought about that state being shaped like a ________!" And she said, "Mom, after reading this book, I will never, ever forget Lake Ontario now!" She says that the book "makes you think of connections you wouldn't otherwise think of, and they stick!" We raced through the book to find the state where I grew up and states where I have lived. We thought that a couple of the shapes that MIM sees in the states are a bit of a stretch for us, although they are still fun, and the elves in the western states are a tad on the creepy side, but overall, we enjoy this book and will continue to use it!

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