On Our Shelves Now
From routes to scale, a young child and her dad explore the world of maps in a charming story encouraging readers to chart their own neighborhoods.
One day, Anna’s friend Zane sends her an invitation to come over to play, and inside the envelope is a map. But Anna is convinced the map can’t be right—why has Zane put his house in the middle and hers on the edge? So Anna decides to draw a map of her own, and Dad joins in as well. With an inviting narrative, child-friendly illustrations, and running commentary about various aspects of maps, aspiring cartographers are introduced to everything from symbols to point of view, road maps to family trees—and even a special “cat map” of Anna’s pet’s favorite spots. A final spread spurs readers to try their own hand at mapmaking.
About the Author
Vivian French has written more than 250 books for young readers, including Growing Frogs and T. Rex, both illustrated by Alison Bartlett, as well as Hello, Horse, illustrated by Catherine Rayner. She lives in Scotland.
Ya-Ling Huang has an MA in illustration from the Cambridge School of Art, in England. From Here to There is her first book of nonfiction. She lives in Taiwan.
Delightful . . Engagingly naïve but legible illustrations of the children’s efforts meld beautifully with Huang’s simple but expert watercolors. . . Throughout, the warm connection between Dad and daughter comes through clearly. This winsomely illustrated exploration of maps is the perfect entry to understanding—and embracing—cartography.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Enthralling. . . . Playfully illustrated by Ya-Ling Huang in vibrant pastels, watercolors, gouache, and colored pencils, this delightful story featuring diverse characters is just right to use as an introduction to maps and map concepts.
—School Library Connection (starred review)
Along with the simple story, most of the book’s double-page spreads include a few sentences of map-related information, such as the value of small-scale maps to show large areas, and the space-saving use of symbols instead of words. The mixedmedia illustrations are cheerful, and those representing Anna’s maps and drawings have a childlike look. For children who enjoy a bit of narrative context along with facts, it offers a visually appealing approach to the topic.