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How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz

How I Learned Geography (2008)

by Uri Shulevitz

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Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
This is an effective book for students who are beginning to learn geography. The pictures and language are child-friendly and will keep the students interested while they are learning where different places are in the world. The content is not too in-depth or difficult for young children and it should only be used for students who are just beginning to learn geography. ( )
  efrenc2 | Nov 8, 2017 |
A young boy's father brings home a map, at first the boy is upset but eventually he discovers he can go anywhere in the world with the map (and his creativity). This is a really fun book that brings the reader on an adventure with a subject that could be boring to some. ( )
  alan.greenwald | Sep 30, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this book. Even though it was a short story it told of a young boy and his family who live in poverty due to a war in their country. One day, the boys father brings home a map, instead of food. The boy is mad at his father at first, because he is so hungry, but then experiences the world of geography and imagination because of the map, and suddenly everything in his world became better. My favorite part about this book was the illustrations. The illustrations really helped to tell the story and bring the readers into the mind of the young boy.They enhanced the story and fit the written text well. We are able to travel with the boy through the his imagination and the illustrations on the page. As readers we are able to go place to place with him even though we don't know where they are because it is not stated in the text. The illustrations really brought life to this story. Another reason I enjoyed this book was the writing used throughout. It was so rich, descriptive and full of detail, making it engaging. It flowed so nicely as we followed the boy and the map. Lastly, the books characters were great. Like a said earlier it was a short book, but the characters were so believable because of their experiences and what happened to them. They had to move because of war and poverty and then the boy was upset with his father who bought a map, which at the time was useless to him, instead of food. I think overall this was a great way to introduce geography to young kids and to also show the importance of the little things in life.
  mscanl1 | Apr 17, 2017 |
A young boy lives in poverty due to a war in his country. One day, his father brings home a map that he bought instead of food. The boy is mad at his father at first, but then experiences the world of geography and imagination because of the map, and suddenly everything in his world became better. The illustrations really helped to tell the story and bring the readers into the mind of the young boy. We can see what exactly he is imagining about the different places on the map and can also picture those places, even though we don't know where they are because it is not stated in the text. The illustrations brought a new dimension to the story. ( )
  krista_patman | Feb 8, 2017 |
This books is about a young boy and his family who are forced to flee their home country. When they do this, they are very poor. One night, the boys father brings home a map instead of bread. At first he was mad, but then he allowed the map to take him places he had never been. This book would be a good one to help children see they can use their imagination to take them places they have never been. ( )
  Hanleighearle | Feb 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
[Starred Review] ... Driven from home by a war that devastated the land, a family flees to a remote city.... One day, the father returns from the market not with bread for supper but with a wall-filling map of the world. ... Although hungry, the boy finds sustenance of a different sort in the multicolored map, which provides... a catalyst for soaring, pretend visits to exotic lands. Shulevitz's rhythmic, first-person narrative reads like a fable for young children. Its autobiographical dimension, however, will open up the audience to older grade-schoolers, who will be fascinated by the endnote describing Shulevitz's life as a refugee in Turkestan after the Warsaw blitz, including his childhood sketch of the real map. ...
added by CourtyardSchool | editBook Links, Jennifer Mattson (Jul 1, 2008)
... Shulevitz now gives us his first explicitly autobiographical story. It is a masterpiece. ... In 1939, 4-year-old Shulevitz flees his smoking home in Warsaw.... One night the father returns from the bazaar without food — lacking money enough to feed the three of them, he has instead purchased a map. ... For the narrator ...the wall-size map begins to show him a world he can claim. ... the boy visits beaches, snowy expanses, dazzling cities, and in escaping his misery without walking one step, he at last comes to realize his father’s wisdom. ... In framing his own story, replacing autobiographical fact with archetypal forms, Shulevitz keeps the focus on the inner world that he has so consistently illuminated. Once again, he reminds us that folly is not the opposite of wisdom, but so close a relative that the two are often mistaken.
[Starred Review] Gr 2-5 Shulevitz provides a note and early drawings to source this story based on his own childhood experience. A small boy and his parents flee Poland in 1939. ... When the narrator's father returns from the bazaar with a huge map instead of bread to feed his starving family, his wife and son are furious. But... the youngster becomes fascinated by its every detail. ... The folk-style illustrations... combined with the brief text, create a perfectly paced story. ... Scenes framed in white depict the family boxed in by their desperate circumstances.... The frames disappear as the boy imagines himself released from his confinement to travel his newly discovered world. This poignant story can spark discussion about the power of the imagination to provide comfort in times of dire need.
added by CourtyardSchool | editSchool Library Journal, Marianne Saccardi (May 1, 2008)
A refugee boy learns more than geography from his father in this autobiographical memoir. A small boy and his parents flee war’s devastation.... One day the boy’s father comes home from the bazaar with a map instead of bread and the boy is furious. But... the boy spends hours studying and drawing the map and making rhymes out of exotic place names. He forgets he has no toys or books. ... In the spare text, Shulevitz pays tribute to his father as he recounts his family’s flight from Warsaw to Turkestan in 1939. Signature watercolor illustrations contrast the stark misery of refugee life with the boundless joys of the imagination.
added by CourtyardSchool | editKirkus Reviews (Jan 15, 2008)
[Starred Review] In a work more personal than Caldecott Medalist Shulevitz... has ever before offered, he summons boyhood memories of WWII and shows how he learned to defeat despair. Fleeing Warsaw shortly after the Germans invaded in 1939, the child Uri and his parents eke out a miserable existence in Kazakhstan. One day, Father comes home from the bazaar with a huge map of the world... [and] the boy is swept away by exotic place-names... picturing them remote from his hunger and suffering. As Uri taps into his artistic imagination and draws maps of his own, Shulevitz's illustrations shed their bleak, neorealist feel, and his beaten-down younger self becomes a Sendakian figure—sturdily compact, balletic, capable of ecstatic, audacious adventures. ...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374334994, Hardcover)

Having fled from war in their troubled homeland, a boy and his family are living in poverty in a strange country. Food is scarce, so when the boy’s father brings home a map instead of bread for supper, at first the boy is furious. But when the map is hung on the wall, it floods their cheerless room with color. As the boy studies its every detail, he is transported to exotic places without ever leaving the room, and he eventually comes to realize that the map feeds him in a way that bread never could.

The award-winning artist’s most personal work to date is based on his childhood memories of World War II and features stunning illustrations that celebrate the power of imagination. An author’s note includes a brief description of his family’s experience, two of his early drawings, and the only surviving photograph of himself from that time.

How I Learned Geography is a 2009 Caldecott Honor Book and a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:27 -0400)

As he spends hours studying his father's world map, a young boy escapes the hunger and misery of refugee life. Based on the author's childhood in Kazakhstan, where he lived as a Polish refugee during World War II.

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