New #Kidlit Mapping My Day Teaches Important Spatial Skills

Today’s the launch day for the new nonfiction picture book Mapping My Day by Julie Dillemuth and illustrated by Laura Wood.

Mapping My Day introduces basic map concepts and vocabulary by following main character Flora through her day. She wakes up to a lesson about cardinal directions, races to the bathroom while learning about map scale, and goes outside to use a treasure map full of landmarks. And that’s all before breakfast.

The back matter includes a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” which encourages children to participate and reinforce learning with suggestions for hands-on mapping activities.

You might wonder if, with the advent of the Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping might be becoming obsolete. Nothing could be further from the case. Maps are ways to present information visually, not only for geography, but also for many other fields including STEM. Plus, spatial skills learned from developing an understanding of maps are important for many careers.

All in all, Mapping My Day is a tool every educator of young children should have in their toolbox.


  • Download the activity pages from the back matter for free at the Magination Press website (which is the publishing arm of the American Psychological Association)
  • See a list of children’s books for preschoolers that cover spatial concepts.

For older children, tomorrow (3/14) is Pi Day. Check out the Pi Day information and activities at Growing with Science blog and the list of Pi Day books at Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Magination Press; 1 edition (March 13, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1433823330
ISBN-13: 978-1433823336


Disclosure: This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

#Kidlit: Into the Field Guides To Explore Nature

For Nonfiction Monday we are featuring two children’s books provided by Downtown Bookworks Publishing. They are part of a children bird science book giveaway offered at our sister blog, Growing With Science, starting today and running until 12:00 a.m. EST February 7, 2017.

These Into the Field Guides are lightweight and a perfect size to carry along on a hike. They won’t take up much room in a backpack. The guides feature color photographs and clear, simple descriptions to help youngsters learn to identify common animals, plants, and even rocks. They also include an introduction to some basic scientific concepts and facts. For example, the description of the stick insect explains how it uses camouflage to hide from predators.

A Walk in the Woods: Into the Field Guide by Emily Laber-Warren

A Walk in the Woods has descriptions of animals, plants, and rocks found in Eastern deciduous forests. For example, the bird section highlights American robins, Northern mockingbirds, chickadees, goldfinches, etc.

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks (June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703269
ISBN-13: 978-1935703266

A Walk on the Beach: Into the Field Guide by Laurie Goldman

A Walk on the Beach helps young readers learn about common animals, plants, rocks, shells, and even debris found on the beach. The bird section includes information about water birds ranging from great blue herons and seagulls, to eagles and ducks.

Age Range: 5 and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Original edition (June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703277
ISBN-13: 978-1935703273


These field guides would be perfect to accompany the The Great Backyard Bird Count citizen science event.

What is the Great Backyard Bird Count? Basically all people need to do is count the birds they see over 15 minutes during the weekend of the event and then report the numbers on the website. Although it is called “backyard,” people can count anywhere birds are found, including parks, preserves, or fields. There is plenty of information and instructions about getting started at the website. It is a wonderful project for kids to participate in.

See more children’s bird science books, related activities, and a giveaway at Growing with Science blog.

Disclosure: These books were supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

#ReadYourWorld #Kidlit: I am Rosa Parks by @BradMeltzer

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 has arrived. It’s a huge, fantastic celebration of diversity. Be sure to check the pages that gather links for many, many more wonderful books.

Disclosure: This book was provided by Penguin Group for review purposes. You can find out more about the Ordinary People Change the World series at their website.

About the Book:

I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos is a picture book biography that introduces the reader not only to the life of an important historical figure, but also encourages children to stand up for themselves.

Brad Meltzer chose to tell Rosa Parks’s story from childhood and in first person, which immediately draws in young readers and makes her life relatable. He reveals an event from when she was young where she was knocked to the ground by a white boy on roller skates. The way she remains calm and assertive parallels what happens later in life when she refuses to give up her seat on a bus with segregated seating. In Meltzer’s hands, Rosa Parks is a role model for the ages.

In addition, Christopher Eliopoulos’s lighthearted cartoon drawings appeal to children, particularly reluctant readers. He emphasizes Rosa Parks’s diminutive statue, keeping her more childlike even as an adult.

I am Rosa Parks is an excellent addition to any bookshelf. Of course, it is a wonderful choice to have on hand for both Black History Month and Women’s History Month. However, it’s also a book to have on hand for a child who has difficulty speaking up, being assertive, or who is being bullied. Who can’t benefit from something like that one time or another in their lives?

Want to see what’s in the book for yourself? See the author reading to book in the video below.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Dial Books (June 17, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0803740859
ISBN-13: 978-0803740853

Activities Inspired by the Book:

  1. Rosa Parks’s Bus

In the book we learn Rosa Parks encounters a bus driver who tells her to “Get off my bus.” As she points out, the bus really belongs to everyone. What do you think she’d say if she found out that these days people call it the Rosa Parks bus? (See a photograph of the Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum.)

Read the book or another biography of Rosa Parks. Encourage the children to draw or make a bus to honor her. Projects can ranges from cut out shape collage to paintings, depending on the age of the children. Look on Pinterest for tons of craft ideas, for example here.

2. Public Transportation

Not only was Rosa Parks a hero, but all the people who boycotted the buses for months afterwards were heroes, too. Depending on the age of the children, have them explore methods of public transportation in your community. Challenge older children to try alternative transportation to school for a day, such as walking or biking. If they come to school in a car, perhaps they could try taking a bus or train. Always keep safety in mind, though.

About the author:

Brad Meltzer seemingly does it all. He hosts TV shows, writes novels for adults, and still has time to pen children’s book biographies. The one thread that ties them all together is his love of history. See more at Brad Meltzer’s website.

If you have a few minutes, watch  Brad Meltzer’s hilarious video storytime. In this episode he reads and discusses I am Rosa Parks. Can you imagine having this guy for a dad?


About Multicultural Children’s Book Day:


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawDelores Connors, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

See our previous post for more about the event and free stuff you can get by participating.