The Boy Who Loved Maps by Kari Allen, illustrated by G. Brian Karas


            The Boy Who Loved Maps by Kari Allen, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, anne schwartz books/ Random House, 2022. 9781984852304 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book?  “There once was a boy who loved maps. He loved to collect them, he loved to study them, and most of all, he loved to make them.”  He made small maps and big maps; he drew cities and countries and continents. He became known as the Mapmaker. One day a girl showed up and requested a map.  She wanted a map of a “perfect place”.  She had lots of criteria: it needed to be warm, she wanted surprise places, a place that “smells like birthdays”, where there is sunshine that finds her.  The Mapmaker was stumped so the girl suggests they explore.  And the result is finally a map of her neighborhood with a bakery and a library and her home and a park. Karas’s illustrations are done in gouache and pencil, simple and soft, yet well detailed. An Author’s Note is included along with a glossary of Map Words, What is a Map?, How to Make a Map of Your Neighborhood and Map Activities.  Both children are white.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a great tool for teachers who wish to explore mapmaking with their students.  It could even be used as an alternative to book reports, a “book map.”  As a choice for a library book, one could design their own creative maps of make-believe, stories, home, far-away places.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries and K-2 grades

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: July 23, 2022

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