Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Little Man in the Map

A box came in the mail one Friday just as my husband was beginning his Friday night taco-cooking-ritual. He's pretty busy during that time, as he chops, stirs, preps a veritable taco frenzy, especially when he's flying in from a late work night. Well, apparently he was feeling pretty confident on this particular night, because he pulled out the book that came in the box and began to read, as he stirred his taco meat. Pretty soon, we sat down at the table and began to eat, and to stimulate our dinner-table conversation, he began to recite the 50 states. All of them... with a seemingly-nonsensical story to accompany his recitation. I'm pretty sure he didn't know the 50 states consistently before this.

The book we received was The Little Man in the Map, written by E. Andrew Martonyi.
"A blank map of the U.S.A.
plus your imagination
are all you need to learn the states
all fifty in our nation,"
the cover says.

The imagination part is not exaggerated. This book is fun and lighthearted, and full of bright, colorful illustrations. The promise that you can learn the states this easily is founded, as well - Anna and each of the boys were spouting off the states and the story from this whimsical book.

Although it's not necessary, and there are plenty of "just do it" parts of our schooling experience, I'm all about a product that teaches a vital aspect of my children's knowledge base with little-to-no effort on my part, no assignment-giving, and just interest-motivated learning!

I love that the book is well-illustrated, that it is hardbound (we keep the books that others, especially in our family, might enjoy), and that it has an accompanying website with lots of extras. The book is $19.95, but I think it's a keeper.

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