The Little Man in the Map is a gem! Using rhyming text, this picture book helps your child to know and locate all 50 states in the USA. Colorful illustrations will draw your children into the book, while the cute storyline will keep them reading. By the end, you’ll be shocked at how many states they can remember when looking at a blank map of the United States.
It all starts when a classroom teacher tells her students they will be memorizing each state’s name and place on the map. The children are worried that the assignment will be too difficult. The teacher goes on to tell them that the map holds wonderful clues that will help them. The children start picking up pieces of a puzzle, and each piece is one of the states.
“Look, a hat!” says one child, holding Minnesota. “Look, I found a boot!” says a child holding Louisiana. And so it goes until they’ve found five pieces: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. When put together on the puzzle board, the five states look like a little man. The children make up a little rhyming verse to help them remember the states that were put together to form the little man.
And thus goes the rest of this 64-page book. Wonderful stories, clues, visual aides, and mnemonic devices will have your children forever painting pictures in their heads of what each state is named and where it’s located on the map. The way the author has put together the clues is genius! The illustrator is also to be commended for creating such catchy, colorful, and fun illustrations.
If you have a visual or auditory learner, this book will most likely work wonders in helping them to memorize the states. Other learning styles should still enjoy the unique look at our nation’s map. I guess I should mention that the rhyming text got on my nerves a bit (remember, the book is 64 pages long!). But the text is really very necessary to the purpose of the book. My children never mentioned the rhymes getting on their nerves--and we’ve read the book many times over.
The subtitle of this book, "With Clues to Remember All 50 States," says it all. This 64-page hardcover picture book teaches, through rhyme and mnemonics, the locations of all of the United States. Aimed at second through sixth graders (I think you could go as young as kindergarten), the book begins with a classroom teacher telling her students they will be memorizing all 50 states. Needless to say, the class is daunted by the thought.
Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana all make up "The Little Man in the Map." They are his hat, head, shirt, pants, and boots respectively. His name, MinIow MisArkLou, doesn't really work for me. I don't find it that easy to remember or easy to say, for that matter.
The rest of the United States, according to region, is learned in relation to the little man in the map. Some of the objects "formed" by the states are more intuitive than others, but many just have a person or object squished into the state's shape and may be harder to remember. Of all the state-pictures, less than half help you remember the name of the state as well as the location.
There are some great tricks for remembering some groupings, such as the "four corner" states: UCAN for Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, reading from left to right, row by row. The four state initials above Florida spell MAGS: Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
I love the way the author weaves in the names of two of the Great Lakes. I wish he would have gotten them all in there. Montanans may not appreciate that their state is depicted as a monster's spooky head.
For children who are having trouble learning their states, this may be just the key they need to get the locations and some names under their belt. It certainly makes it fun!