Mouse Views: a Mapquest

April 5, 2013

Dear Tam,

I thought of you when I spotted this book by Bruce McMillan. I guess the photo of a pet mouse made me think of your book character. I also thought your grand kids would like this book. The pictures are photographs, magnifying articles found in a classroom. The name of the book is Mouse Views: What the Class Pet Saw. Each picture gives you a visual clue where the pet mouse is. Eventually, the mouse returns to the children.

In the back of the book, the author explains he thought of the idea after having lunch with some teachers. Map skills is hard to teach when introducing the concept in first and second grades. A map of the school is in the back, diagramming each place the mouse went. I could visualize classes doing this. Your grand kids to map out your house, backyard, or their home even.

My friend, Michelle, has a class guinea pig, and the door of its cage was left open just like the first page of this book. It made me think that classrooms could make up their own stories of a pet traveling around the school and make a fun map for new kids who come to school. Kids love taking pictures, so that could be added in as well. Just an idea.

Happy map making,

Mary Helen

Savorings for reading and in writing for Mouse Views: What the Class Pet Saw:

  • Map Skills
  • Prediction
  • Story prompt
  • Visual perception

Steve Jenkins

August 24, 2009

Steve Jenkins brings nonfiction concepts to life.  He often uses cut-paper collages to create his illustrations.  His author/illustrator’s fingerprint is the life-size pictures.  Steve often focuses in on some particular feature that captures a child’s curiosity.  I’m curious. Looking Down

I just found the book  Looking Down(1995).  It is a wordless book that space and map skills.  I love the way he zooms in starting from outer space.  The reader begins on an asteroid or rock looking at the moon and earth – both small in back ground.  The next page, the reader is on the moon, looking at the earth.  As you continue to turn each page, the focus zooms in on a smaller section of the page before.  On the back of the book, Steve states that the map is not of a real town but resembles one that would be on the East Coast between Maryland and South Carolina. 

I think this book would be a good background book for any age, high school included, when studying geography.  As a teacher, this books brings an airplane experience to life.  The book ends with a child looking through a magnifying glass at a ladybug.  It brings new meaning to observation of our world.

(PES Library)