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Book Review: The Little Man In the Map by E. Andrew Martonyi

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I loved geography as a child. In some boxes I recently came across in my parents' attic, I found a certificate from my junior high 'National Geography Olympiad.' I must not, however, have been as brilliant in geography as I thought, though, because the certificate is for "participation with distinction." I think that means we lost.

Sadly, it's long enough ago that I don't have any recollection of the event. Or maybe I've blocked it out due to the defeat.

Either way, I'm happy to say that today's students have a much better chance at acing their geography lessons, and therefore the Olympiad as well, due to a great book, The Little Man In the Map. The book is a step-by-step system to remembering the fifty states of our great nation. In fact, they claim that all a student needs is "a blank map of the U.S.A. plus your imagination."

This book, full of wonderful illustrations, takes kids through the different regions of our country and gives them visual clues to aid them in remembering the states in each region. It's told in story form with a classroom of kids helping one another find clues on the map to help each other remember.

They begin with five states in the middle of the US that they realize look like a man with a boot on his head. How can you forget a man with a boot on his head? From there, the 'Little Man' in the map takes them on a journey through the other 45 states gives clues and rhymes along the way.

I've enjoyed reading this with my kindergartner as a great introduction to the geography of the nation. The bright, vivid pictures help catch her interest and she enjoys learning in this creative format. This is a cute book and perfect for kids who are studying geography and particularly those who might be struggling in the subject.

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About cwahmjill

  • Hi Jill,
    I am the author of The Little Man In the Map, and I would like to thank you for your wonderful review.
    You might be interested to know that The Little Man In the Map won silver in the Moonbeam Childrens Book Awards and is a finalist in:
    The ForeWord’s Book of the Year Awards,
    The Indie Book Awards in both the Children’s Picture Book Category and the Education Category, and in the IPPY Book Awards for Outstanding Book of the Year in the Most Original Concept Category.
    Thanks again for the review.

  • Nicole Sanchez

    Mr. Martonyi,

    I recently was contacted by your son and he told me about your book. Congratulations…I am going to purchase it this week for my nine year old and we’ll get back with a review. Happy Holidays to you and your family.


    Nicole Sanchez