Monday, December 15, 2008

TOS Review: The Little Man in the Map

The Little Man in the Map with Clues To Remember All 50 States is a rhyming book that tells the story of a class trying to piece together a map of the United States. The children begin by putting together the man in the middle of the map (states) when he (magically) comes to life and teaches them how to find/name the rest of the states as it relates to the man in middle.

The man in the map is made up of the 5 center states: Minnesota (giant hat,) Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana (boots.) The united states is then divided into 5 different sections (Northeastern, etc.) to help learn one section at a time using rhymes, acronyms, and picture clues.

One thing I found missing in the book, which I would have found helpful, would have been a completed map of the US with states labeled. Sometimes it was not clear by reading the book what states were what. This was particularly true when it came to the western states. My children were a little confused with that. We do have a map in the living room where we read, so we used that.

My children (6,7, & 8 years) were better able to distinguish many of the states after reading this book. I do believe with repeated readings, naming the states locations will be a cinch. They are always pointing out the man in the map whenever we see a US map and all the states they know.

If my recommendation is not enough, this book comes with several awards: Moonbean Children's book awards, Independent Publisher Book Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist, and ForeWord Magazines Book of the Year Finalist.

The book is published by Schoolside Press. An activity book to accompany this book and a new book to help learn the state capitals is also in the making. A preview of the activity book includes writing activities, math problems, a sing along song, games, art, and of coarse geography. Just for your info: there are some pictures of elves for a few of the states, if you don't like that sort of thing.

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