Ultimate Mapping Guide for Kids by Justin Miles

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Ultimate Mapping Guide for Kids by Justin Miles

Buy Ultimate Mapping Guide for Kids by Justin Miles at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Being able to read a map - or make one of the most basic kind is a skill which is useful throughout life. Justin Miles provides us with a user-friendly how-to guide.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: May 2016
Publisher: QED
ISBN: 978-1784934644

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I've always been fascinated by maps: diverse features can be converted into symbols, drawn on a piece of paper and then passed to someone else to interpret. Making or reading maps are skills which stay with you throughout life and learning 'how to' is relatively simple and great fun. Author Justin Miles has a car accident in 1999 and brain injuries meant that he had to learn to walk and talk from scratch. Whilst he was doing this he decided to become a full time explorer and to support charities which inspire children to learn. He raises funds by taking on daring challenges, which have included climbing mountains, exploring the Arctic, crossing deserts and cutting his way through the jungle. If a man knows about maps, then it's Justin Miles.

The book is aimed at children but adults are not going to find it childish or patronising. The language is clear, helpful and - best of all - encouraging. There are basic explanations about using maps and the different types of maps which are available, even down to distinguishing between topological and topographic maps. It's bang up to date and recognises that a lot of people are going to be looking at maps on phones. There's early encouragement to begin map making - starting with a map of your desk, your home or your garden - and goes on to explain about the symbols which you'll regularly find on maps.

In making your own maps there's encouragement to make the scale accurate and ways to get around such problems as not having a tape measure. Grids have always confused me, but the explanations here are clear and my mental block seems to have cleared! Another problem which people regularly encounter is how to convey the height and depth of land and there's an explanation of the advantages and limitations of the various maps available. I loved the practical demonstration of how to draw your own contour map, using a bucket, a rock, chalk and water, which neatly takes us on to the problems with mapping the seabed.

Having gone through the basics we now get outdoors and there are all the warnings about having the right kit, food and water which you could wish for, along with warnings about what you should and should not do - and these apply to adults as well as children. There is a compass with the book, which works reasonably well, but does only work accurately on a flat surface. A slight incline had the sun setting in the north! (Later in the book you're shown how to make your own compass.)

Moving on from 'going for a walk in the countryside' type walks, we move into the more complex realm of navigation: a little history sets the scene well and the information on using a compass is informative - although you might need to consider something a little more advanced than the free one which comes with the book if you're going to do this seriously - and the introduction to Orienteering had me considering a trip onto Ilkley Moor.

The book quietly impressed me: even as an adult it was great fun and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then 50 Things You Should Know About: Wild Weather by Anna Claybourne might come in handy and you should have The Nature Explorer's Scrapbook by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington ready for when you get home. City Atlas: Discover the world with 30 city maps by Martin Haake and Georgia Cherry might come in handy. Those going on a very long journey might need Serious Survival: How to Poo in the Arctic and Other Essential Tips for Explorers by Marshall Corwin.

Buy Ultimate Mapping Guide for Kids by Justin Miles at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Ultimate Mapping Guide for Kids by Justin Miles at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Ultimate Mapping Guide for Kids by Justin Miles at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Ultimate Mapping Guide for Kids by Justin Miles at Amazon.com.


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