A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang illustrated by Seo Kim

“I started my picture with a teardrop. And then I made it splatter like sunshine.”

At the beginning of October this caught my attention while Twitter browsing:

Completely intrigued, I kept reading.

And, in true If You Give a Mouse a Cookie form, was led to this:

Then this:

So, I requested A Map into the World from my library.

Read it, loved it, and knew I would be sharing this beautifully illustrated book about family, friendship and caring for each other with my fifth graders.

Teacher Thoughts:

  • The possibilities for using A Map into the World as a mentor text with readers and writers are endless. I know I’ll be using it next fall when we create our writing heart maps.
  • I shared the book with both of my classes two days before our holiday break. Which, let’s be honest, could have gone either way. I was hopeful that students would love the book, and the story behind it, as much as I did.
  • Students were engaged and mesmerized by the book, the back story and a video of author Kao Kalia Yang discussing her book. After reading the book a second time, they wanted to talk about it all. I sat back and listened to the conversations. Simply put: It was awesome!
  • I asked students to jot down their thoughts about the book. Read on to find out what they had to say.

Students Said:

I think the author is saying that we all have a map inside our hearts. Sometimes we need help finding it again. I’m glad Mrs. Doyle shared the story behind the book with us because I felt more connected to the book and the story.

This book is a heart touching book. I noticed “again and again” moments when Paj Ntaub keeps trying to give her little brothers things. I think she is trying to show them there is a big world out there. I also think that she drew with the chalk to show Bob that he is not alone, and there is a big world waiting for him too.

I think the book “A Map into the World” shares a message that even though something is gone, it doesn’t mean that it’s not still with you which makes me love the book.

This book is a very heart warming story. Bob was all sad because his wife died but Paj Ntaub made him feel better by drawing a map into the world which shows that she is kind. And that’s just what the world should be about. Being kind to other people can change the world.

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