I choose to give this product 4 1/2 out of 5 Gold Teacher’s Stars!
I remember learning the 50 States and where they were on a map in 4th grade. We had a blank map that we had to fill in the names of the states as fast as we could in a timed test. When we mastered all 50 States, then we took the same test, only then we had to begin filling in the State Capitals as well. It was a practice of rote memorization and I hated it. I hated the pressure that was inflicted upon us and we only learned the states by studying a map on our own and eventually getting them all correct. It was boring.
Now fast-forward several years, (I won’t tell you how many…) and along comes book titled “The Little Man in the Map.” This book is absolutely delightful and if I had had this book to learn my 50 States, it wouldn’t have been such a drudgery! I found this book to be fun with it’s colorful illustrations and rhyme. In fact, there were two smiles as I read this to my son. In fact, there were even a couple of giggles. We loved it!
Although my son has already memorized the 50 States, by name and location, this book emphasized the importance of having an imagination. That is something that as a parent of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, I continually try to teach and nurture. This book helped both of us look at geography in an entirely different way and we liked it! It reminded me of the Cloud Game, where you look up into the sky and try to figure out what shapes the clouds are forming, thus exercising your imagination. We like that game, so that is probably why we were so taken with this book.
There is a Teacher’s Guide that is available and I think that it would make a fantastic addition to a unit study on the 50 States along with The Little Man in the Map book. There are even free coloring pages that go along with the book available for download at the Schoolside Press Website.
At the end of the book, there is an page that announces a book to help learn the State Capitals. My son saw this and immediately asked for it when it is available. I think this would be fun, so we will be adding this to our library in the future.
This book is a delightful and imaginative way to learn the geography of the United States of America. We highly recommend it and hope you will consider it for your own homeschool.