cover image My Map Book

My Map Book

Sara Fanelli. HarperFestival, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-026455-0

In non-narrative form, Fanelli (Button) challenges the concept of ``map'' as she earnestly demonstrates that places aren't the only things that can be charted. Exploring everyday aspects of a child's world, the author mixes the expected, such as ``Map of My Neighborhood,'' with more conceptual subjects: ``Map of My Family,'' ``Map of My Day,'' ``Map of My Heart'' and even ``Map of My Dog.'' In some ways, the volume resembles a kit: the dust jacket unfolds, revealing a poster of the contents, and empty areas on most spreads encourage readers to personalize the book (on ``Map of My Tummy,'' space is reserved under the heading ``my favorite foods''). Fanelli's abstract, mixed-media art includes heavy, blended oil pastels, waxy crayon lettering and snippings from printed matter. Fields of rich color and easygoing disregard of perspective make the work seem approachable and sophisticated at the same time. Ultimately, Fanelli frames a sort of Everychild existence, and although she suggests that her mapmaker is a specific character (with, for example, a sister and a pet dog), she welcomes outsiders' interactions-and possible contradictions. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)