April 5 – National Read a Road Map Day

Maps by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

Sure, GPS can get you where you want to go—even with voiced directions—but how do you know where you want to go? How do you discover what’s out there in your neighborhood, town, state, country? You can read a road map! It’s fascinating to see how roads snake along the terrain, around lakes, and over hills as well as crisscross in dozens of places but still get you where you want to go. And if you want to see how a place has changed over time, compare an old road map to a current one. So get out your road maps and start investigating!

Maps

By Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizielińska

 

The world is a big and intriguing place in this oversized picture book. Forty-two countries are represented within its pages and populated from border to border and even from page edge to edge with cultural, historical, zoological, economic, agricultural, culinary, and linguistic information, all illustrated in stunning thumb-sized detail.

Whether you’re casually flipping through the book or examining each page, a colorful or unusual detail will capture your attention and demand a lingering look, which leads to discovering more and more intriguing facts. Opening the book to Switzerland, I noticed the Appenzeller sheepdog then the Appenzeller cheese round, both from the town of Appenzell. But what’s this? Schwingen? And why are the two guys wearing their shorts on the outside of their pants? It’s Swiss Wrestling! A quick Google search tells me that the wrestlers wear special “breeches” with belts for getting a good grip for tossing opponents!

Another flip of the pages brings me to Nepal, which is so mountainous! It’s home to the Himalayas which include Mount Everest (the tallest peak on earth), as well as Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu (the third, fourth, and fifth highest peaks). As you might imagine you can engage in mountain biking, but beware of the Mugger Crocodile!

G’day, Mate! Welcome to Australia! Here you’ll find a Superb Lyrebird with a phenomenal tail, sneak a peek at a short-beaked echidna with a spiky coat and a mole-like snout, and learn to duck for a gliding possum. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll be interested in the didgeridoo, and remember vegemite? This is where it’s from!

I could go on and on! There are so many amazing animals, monuments, people, and structures around the world just waiting for you to discover them! The thick, matte, softly muted pages of Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielińska’s Maps are reminiscent of fine cartographers’ volumes. This book is a fantastic resource for teachers, homeschoolers, and students with curiosity or a report to write. Just a glance will give readers ideas, and a more thorough examination will open up a world of possibilities! Maps is a must-have for any young person’s or armchair traveler’s bookshelf.

Ages 5 and up

Big Picture Press, 2013 | ISBN 978-0763668969

National Read a Road Map Day Activity

CPB - Map Day II

Map Jigsaw Puzzle

 

Sometimes reading a map is like putting together a puzzle—so why not make a puzzle out of a map? It can be fun to use a map of your town or state or to use a map of a state or country you’d like to visit!

Supplies

  • Small to medium size map (maps are often offered free at tourist stops, town halls, or other tourist information offices or racks)
  • Poster board
  • Glue
  • Scissors

CPB - Map Day

Directions

  1. Use the entire map or cut a desired-sized section from a map
  2. Glue the map to the poster board, let dry
  3. Cut the map from the poster board
  4. Cut the map into puzzle sections, these can be straight-sided sections or ones with interconnecting parts

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