Uri Shulevitz has captured in this emotionally moving tale, what the science of geography is meant to sprout in young minds— freedom, discovery and imagination. This slim book is flooded with feeling as Shulevitz’s marvelous text recalls his childhood flight from Poland; revealing the devastation of war, a forced migration and the strains of making a home in an unknown land. Uri’s father’s trip to the market yields a map instead of bread, creating dismay for the young boy and his mother. Yet, it is this action that provides the child with an escape from the chaos that has shattered his young life. The map feeds his imagination. Uri learns to love the colors and shapes, the names and the places that speak of different lives across the globe. It frees his mind and transports him beyond the walls of his present home to explore what can be possible and instills in him, the needed hope for his future. Shulevitz’s illustrations are masterful. Pen, ink and watercolor, at first portray the limited environment and display the sadness of this odd collection of people. The hanging of the map enlivens the artist’s brush and the colors pour forth describing the locations and adventures of an imaginative young man. Uri visits deserts and beaches, exotic temples, dreams of tempting foods, relaxes near flowing waters and soars through cities. The author includes a brief history of his personal journey, which adds depth to the text. Highly recommended for ages 4 – 12.
How I Learned Geography
Christine Maasdam holds a Masters in Humanities, certifications in Museum Studies and Cultural Property Protection. She is currently completing her M.L.I.S. Her interests are philosophy and the impact of art and technology on culture.
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