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How I Learned Geography

by Uri  Shulevitz

Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008
32 pages
ISBN: trade 978-0-374-33499-4

Ages 4-8

In an autobiographical story, Shulevitz describes his early childhood in Turkestan. At a time when his family was very poor and hungry, his father spent what little money they had on a map of the world instead of on food. After getting over his initial anger and disappointment, young Uri developed a fascination with the map, at first for the bright colors, and then for the details that would spur his artistic imagination, as he dreamed of far-away places he could visit vicariously. The artistís whimsical pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations show the places in the childís imagination coming to life as he flies over continents, picturing what they would be like. An authorís note at the end includes a photograph of the author at age seven, as well as two drawings he did while he was a child: a map of Africa, drawn when he was ten, and a marketplace in Turkestan, drawn when he was 13. All in all, itís a wonderful tribute to Shulevitzís father who obviously understood that sometimes itís more important to nourish the soul than the body. (KTH) ©2008 Cooperative Childrenís Book Center

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