Sometimes getting there is half the fun!
Pablo and his friends Henry, Lily, Mei, and Padma (the kids present as Latinx, white, black, Asian, and South Asian, respectively) decide to go to Coney Island as a fun way to end the summer. Pablo’s dad, who, like his son, has brown skin, agrees to accompany the children. “But how do we get there?” asks Lily. Pablo suggests that they use maps, and then he excitedly plots out their journey: First they will walk to the bus stop; then they will take a bus to the subway; then they will arrive at Coney Island. A true cartophile, Pablo experiences a moment of worry that his friends won’t “think it [is] fun to follow a map,” but his map-reading expertise ends up helping the children be patient as they traverse the city. The best map of all is the one that shows all of the fun rides on Coney Island. An activity suggestion in the backmatter prompts readers to make maps of their own neighborhoods, potentially extending this title’s use beyond its accessibility and support of emergent-literacy skills and into the realm of map-reading, too. As in her other work in this series, Ng-Benitez’s warm, engaging illustrations help define the individual, diverse characters while creating a sense of vibrancy and excitement in the urban setting.
For readers who are going places. (Early reader. 5-7)