What a Map Can Do

by Gabrielle Balkan (Author) Alberto Lot (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
An accessible and humorous introduction to maps for budding navigators.

A raccoon narrator embarks on a big adventure in this exciting exploration of maps for the youngest readers. Traditional maps of cities, roads, and parks are joined by some less conventional ones such as inside the body, each one methodically introduced with humor and clear explanation. A clever, colorful, and engaging first look at constructing and decoding maps.
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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Incorporating a dozen maps into a cohesive, well-paced tale, Balkan creates a clever instructional volume that helps young readers acquire the art of map reading. Throughout, a baseball-capped, backpack-wearing raccoon demonstrates how a map "can show us a bird's-eye view of a place." First exhibiting a map of their bedroom, their house, and their neighborhood, the animal next discusses city and bus maps that introduce key symbols and corridors. Interior maps of a museum and the raccoon's physical body follow before readers move to a road map, which explains the difference between slower and faster roads, and a layered forest map, which reveals route variations. Lot turns pencil-sketched images into bright, clean digital graphics that include trail, weather, and star maps. The result is a useful, playful seek-and-find basic-skills book--and a primer for how to survive without GPS navigation. Ages 3-5. (July)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"So many places to go. How to explore them? With maps! A standout picture book that both entertains and teaches." (STARRED REVIEW) —Kirkus

"A a useful, playful seek-and-find basic-skills book—and a primer for how to survive without GPS navigation." (STARRED REVIEW) —Publishers Weekly
Gabrielle Balkan
Gabrielle Balkan is best known for non-fiction books that delight readers ages 5-12 with curious and essential facts about the United States and animal record-breakers. Her books include The 50 States, 50 Cities, Book of Bones, and Book of Flight; Whose Bones? An Animal Guessing Game (Phaidon, Fall 2020); Megafauna: The Gigantic Beasts That Once Walked Among Us (working title) (Workman, Fall 2021). She lives, works, and rides bikes in Brooklyn with her twin 5th graders, two cats, and a writer husband. In 2020 she was nominated for an Indiana Author Award.

Josy Bloggs Based in Yorkshire, U.K. Josy began her initial career as a graphic designer. After graduating from the University of Huddersfield in 2009 with a MA in Spatial Design she went on to work as an interior designer for commercial clients. She loves working with layout and color to create impactful illustration and enjoys combining illustration with type and font selection, to create a balance between text and image. To counterbalance this when she is not creating she likes to take her dog for long walks, or cycle in the Yorkshire countryside.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Rise X Penguin Workshop
Publication date
July 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JNF038000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | General
JNF058000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Travel
JNF048020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Reference | Atlases
Library of Congress categories

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