This nighttime adventure teaches children about different types of maps.
In the days of GPS software and smartphones that tell us where to go, essential learned skills such as reading maps may not be passed along to younger children. Hesselberth takes on this challenge of instruction through the story of Sam, an orange cat who exudes attitude. Each night after her human companions are safely in bed, Sam slips out of their house and begins an adventurous stroll around her community. Every few pages, Sam’s journey is explained using a map and map-based terminology. Important terms, such as “compass rose” and “blueprints,” are explained in pop-up boxes that accompany Sam’s story, but the focus broadens beyond simple geographical maps. As Sam explores, other types of pictorial guides are also explained. Anatomical maps, cross-section diagrams, constellation charts, and many others are described and pictured. The flow of the story is smooth, and the introduction of each new piece of cartography feels organic. Hesselberth’s artwork, a combination of acrylic, gouache, and digital manipulation, is clear and will show well in large groups. The added backmatter further defines the cartographic styles used throughout the story. Educators will find this a useful tool for introducing new concepts of space and location.
A winning choice for just about anywhere that’s on a map. (Informational picture book. 6-8)