Author: Julie Dillemuth
Illustrator: Laura Wood
Publisher: Magination Press
Publication Date: March, 2017
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
Summary: Follow Flora and her family as she takes us through her day with maps — from breakfast, to school, and even through a dog agility course!
Kids love maps! Learning to read and draw maps is a fun and natural way to develop spatial thinking skills — how we think about and understand the world around us and use concepts of space for problem solving.
What I Think: I remember digging up a plastic bag with shells in it in the woods near my house and thinking I had found buried treasure. I also remember waking up with the sun streaming into my window because my bedroom was on the east side of of our house. I loved reading Mapping My Day and remembering these little bits of memories from my childhood. I anticipate young readers will make lots of of connections to Flora in this story just as I did. But if not, I'm guessing they'll be captivated by her world and will get a little more curious about their own. Map creation and map reading skills are important even though we live in the day and age of technology and GPS. As a mentor text, I would read the book with students and ask them to create their own maps about their day. Just like Flora tells about her maps, I would invite students to write and explain about their maps.
I also love this book as a mentor text to get students started thinking about a topic for a personal narrative. They can think of a time when they were given directions and how useful they were in helping them navigate to their destination.
Snatch of Text:
"To find my treasure you need to know exactly how far to go from the biggest tree in the yard. Starting there, you walk seven steps east, then three steps southeast. 'X' marks the spot!"
Writing Prompt: Write about a time in your life when you had to follow directions to get somewhere. Who gave you the directions? What do you remember about the directions? Were they easy to follow? Did they get you to your destination?
Additional Resources: The author, Julie Dillemuth, was mystified by maps until she figured out how to read them and make them, and it was a particularly difficult map that inspired her to become a spatial cognition geographer. She lives with her family and writes children's books in Santa Barbara, California, where the west coast faces south. Visit her at her website and check out the fun activity pages there.