Mapping My Day
by Julie Dillemuth
illustrated by Laura Wood
I love maps, so I was very excited to win a copy this book in a giveaway contest! I use maps quite a bit in my libraries – when we do Mystery Skypes my students use laminated maps to help them keep track of places we have eliminated and to guide their next questions. My 3rd graders, at the beginning of the school year, create a map of the library detailing the different sections and corresponding call numbers. In a time where many (including me) rely on GPS to help us get around, I often worry that knowledge of how to maps will decline, which is why I try to incorporate use of them whenever I can!
The story starts with a sleeping young narrator Flora, waking up with the sun shining in her face, asking the readers which direction her window must face. The first pages show a map of the home she lives in, including an explanation of map scales. Later we see a treasure map she has created to lead the readers to her treasure chest, as well as maps of their dining room table, town they live in (which shows the routes her parents take) and many other maps of places she goes. Each hand-drawn map includes important map features – legends, compass rose, etc – and explanations of what these features are. At the end of the book are several map activities, including a place for the reader to draw his or her own map. Web addresses to download these activities are provided.
The fun, informative story, combined with the activities provided, will make a good resource to use with a class learning about mapping skills. It is full of a variety of maps as well as different map features. I will likely use this as a read aloud for my 3rd graders at the beginning of the school year before having them create their library maps.