Geography Introduction: Here's Why
Drawing a map, like reading, or algebra, is a difficult skill to learn and if one sets an 8-year-old down with a map of the US and says "draw this," the child will be as overwhelmed as if he were confronted with reading Shakespeare before he could read The Cat in the Hat, and will quickly abandon it. Sure, a child could understand and appreciate the story of Hamlet as well as read a map at the age of 8, but if you ask her to READ Hamlet or DRAW a map, that is another story. The intellect of a child far outpaces her skills and if you ask too much too soon from her skills you can forever extinguish a desire for more.
In this series of books I simply want to introduce children to geography by giving them a primer in the borders and locations of states, provinces and countries. By doing so I hope to invite them further into the beautifully complicated world of geography.
Are these drawings cartoons? Absolutely they are, and in the best sense of that word. The word "cartoon" originated in the Middle ages and meant what we would today call a "sketch," something that the artist drew as he thought out, or prepared to draw his masterpiece. By engaging students in drawing "cartoon" maps I hope to give them enough self-confidence to someday give the real thing a try.