I’m happy to be participating in this year’s Booking Across the USA project hosted by Jody from Growing Book by Book. Last year’s event was a huge success and showcased many amazing picture books based on the individual states of the USA. This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for full details.
This year I had the pleasure of reviewing a book from the Travels with Charlie series by Miles Backer and illustrated by Chuck Nitzberg. Blue Apple Books published this four book series about a dog named Charlie and his travels across the states:
Since my family lives in the warm and sunny state of Florida we reviewed Travels With Charlie Down South. My daughters were immediately drawn into the colorful illustrations filled with fun details, history, and trivia facts.
As a homeschooling mom, I really appreciated the book’s layout. The playful illustrations are engaging and draw children’s eyes. The main text of the page is simple enough for young readers to enjoy and its search and find format combines a fun blend of looking and learning. Additionally, the “Did You Know” section in the margins of the pages are perfect for older children or for parents to read and relay to younger children for adding a deeper layer of information on each state.
While enjoying our book together, my oldest daughter Mira made a request. She asked if we could draw our own map of Florida. I can only assume her passion in maps is stemming from our attempt at learning how to free-hand draw a world map. (You can see my short how-to video tutorials here.) We’ve made some strides on that front and have recently moved from “blobbing” the continents to actually trying to draw accurate depictions of the world’s large landmasses.
Create Your Own “Search & Find” State Map
So when Mira asked about drawing a map of our state, I was only too happy to comply. I grabbed our copy of The Shaping of a Nation by Terri Johnson over at Knowledge Quest in order to pull a reliable map of Florida. You could also do an internet search on your state to find a map that works for you.
Next I used our Light Up Tracing Pad which allowed Mira to easily trace Florida.
Then she created her own Search and Find map by adding the landmarks of places she loves. (After taking this picture, we added our home and Nanny and Grandpa’s house. Because those are our favorite places!) You could easily add favorite parks, museums, and even stores and restaurants. Personalize your map as uniquely as you can for your family. Another fun way to add to this lesson would be to add the places you hope to visit one day. We added the Everglades to our map even though we haven’t been there yet.
We enjoyed this book so much that I’m determined to pick up the rest of the books in this series to complete our set.
Travels With Charlie is definitely parent, child, AND dog approved!
Enter for your chance to win the WHOLE set of 4 Travels With Charlie Search and Find Books!