cover image Me on the Map

Me on the Map

Joan Sweeney. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $12 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-517-70095-2

Simplifying the abstract nature of maps, Sweeney encourages the cartographer in every child. Step by step, moving from a personal to a global scale, a girl explains what maps are by giving clear, easily grasped examples. First, standing in a cheerful bedroom, she tells readers, ""This is me in my room."" On the facing page, she has drawn herself in a childlike overview layout of her bedroom. ""This is me on the map of my room,"" she says, proudly. Next, a framed painting of her house is faced by a blueprint ""map"" of her house. The pattern continues throughout the book, with scenic views (a picture of her town, an impression of her state, a Steinberg-esque vision of the U.S.) followed by maps of each area. Debut artist Cable's clear, crisp renderings show a wealth of detail on the scenic illustrations, while her creative progression of maps includes handmade examples, a souvenir state map, an elementary classroom map of the country and, finally, a ""flat"" map of the world. An admirable effort, and one that kids will enjoy replicating. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)