Sunday, June 28, 2015

Henry's map by David Elliot

In Henry's Map, Henry decides he needs a map as a way to get a little order into the farm.  He trots off with his pencil and a large sheet of paper and beginning with his own sty he draws the farm and its inhabitants. Even the youngest reader will pick up on the complication with this. Henry draws the sheep beside their wool shed then they follow him across the meadow to a shady oak tree where Henry adds Abigail the cow to his map. The journey continues and now Maisy, Daisy and Clementine - the sheep - along with Abigail all follow Henry over to the stable and Mr Brown the horse.

Finally the farm map is complete and all the animals stand on a nearby hillside to compare the map with the scene in front of them. "All the animals looked at the farm. Then they looked at the map. And then they looked at the farm again."

This book has echoes of the wonderful concept books by Pat Hutchins such as Shrinking Mouse.  Another book to explore in our library is As the crow flies by Gail Hartman which explores the idea of perspective.  Little Henry himself also reminded me of two favourite characters - Toot and Puddle. If you want to explore the topic of maps and map making even further make sure you look for My Map book by Sara Fanelli. We have five books in our school library illustrated by David Elliot including the wonderful anthology The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy.  We now need to add the sequel to Henry's Map - Henry's stars.

One more thing - do take a minute to compare the end papers.  Young readers will enjoy finding all the differences between the morning and afternoon scenes.

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