Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Where will I be?

At fourteen, when I heard I was going to Costa Rica,  I pulled this book down to make sure I knew where in Central America I was going. At 22, I found out I was accepted to a volunteer program in Oregon. I pulled out my dad's road atlas to figure out how far I would be from Portland (26 miles) and Seattle (172 miles).

When I got my placement letter for the JET Program, I did an Internet search for Ka-mi-ya-ha-gi. However, this being 1999, the only site I pulled up was written in Japanese, cheerfully festooned with a smiling yellow flower, but no map. Since this site did not exist yet, I went to the library and sought out the atlas stand to find out where exactly I would be living for the next year. Eleven years later, one of the first Christmas presents my husband picked out for me, the Oxford Atlas of the World, was spread out on the floor so we could figure out how many states separated us from Michigan.

I'm not sure what our next destination will be, but I may have to dust off the atlas and unplug the GPS. I also want to make sure the kids have a copy of this book in the backseat. 

A Child's Introduction to the World by Heather Alexander caught my attention as soon as I opened it to find a paper pop-up globe tucked in an inside pocket. After that discovery, I was eager to flip through the introductory pages explaining everything from the earth's formation to how a GPS works. Enchanting illustrations by Meredith Hamilton explain topography with different heights of fancy hairstyles and scale with dollhouses. The book's second half includes sections on the continents. And more enticing maps.

So, where will it be?