My kids’ enthusiasm about maps has surprised me, but perhaps it should not. Learning about maps has enabled my kids to create treasure maps, help navigate on road trips, and dream about all the places they may someday visit.
Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen Leedy. In this introduction to maps, a girl named Lisa makes maps of various places her dog Penny hangs out, from her bedroom, to her neighborhood, to a park. This book concludes with a map of the world, with all of the places Lisa and Penny plan to visit. Mapping Penny’s World has been one of my son’s favorite books for the past year. He enjoys the little jokes about Penny as well as the information about maps. Ages 4+
Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney. Me on the Map is useful for explaining to kids how big the world is. The narrator begins by showing kids how she draws a map of her room. She then pans out to draw maps of progressively larger areas — her house, her street, her town, etc. Near the end of the book, there is a map of the world, with drawings of kids from different countries on the map. The narrator explains “…in rooms, in houses, on streets, in towns, in countries all over the world, everybody has their own special place on the map.” Ages 4+
Beginner’s World Atlas: A First Atlas for Beginning Explorers by National Geographic. This is a wonderful atlas for young kids! For each continent, this atlas includes a brief written introduction, a greeting from a child, a physical map, and a political map. National Geographic also publishes excellent atlases for younger and older kids. Ages 5+