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How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
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How I Learned Geography (2008)

by Uri Shulevitz

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
A story that seems simple yet holds great meaning, especially when considering the author's note about growing up during and after WWII. He includes a photograph of him as a child and two drawings he made at 12 and 13. These details bring life to the story. I'm not sure I would have this as a read-aloud for any specific topic, but it is a wonderful example of creative nonfiction and a window into both the inner world of imagination and the outer world of geography.
  Stewart24 | May 22, 2018 |
It is a good example of realistic fiction because it talks about the real story of the main character.
The main character learns geography by visiting different places and looking by her eyes.
It is good to teach geography and illustration is unique; however, I hate geography.
Good for elementary ( )
  Zhaoying | Feb 28, 2018 |
This is a good example of a historical book because it is based on the author's real experience. Escaping from the war, the boy was hungry waiting for his dad to bring food back. However, his dad bought a map instead of food. The boy was mad at first but gradually fell in love with the map and learned and experienced a lot from the map. Teachers can use this book to teach people's lives in the war and the importance of having a habit. The book is suitable for students from third to sixth grade. The media of the book is watercolor. ( )
  lolatong | Feb 25, 2018 |
This book is a fantacy fiction which talked about a poor family was escaped from their own country and vagabondage, they had nowhere to live and no food to eat. One day, the father ran out his money for bread in bazaar but brought a map back, his son was too hungry to understand what his father did, but he finally forgave him because he learned geography bu this world map and found out new life. This book is quite interesting and meaningful which is appropriate for elementary school students. ( )
  LUOLINLIN | Feb 19, 2018 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (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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In memory of my father
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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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