Friday, 25 November 2011

Guest Top 5 - Children's Books with Maps by Alicestronaut


This is a bit of a first in that I have shamelessly stolen it from someone else's blog. I'd been struggling to find enough time to write a new top five when my Twitter friend Alicestronaut popped up with a link to this wonderful entry on her blog. My job has changed dramatically since I started work but I'm still, officially, a cartographer and maps have always held a certain magic for me. Reading this I wondered whether the appearance of maps in some of my favourite childhood books may actually have influenced my choice of career.

After I stopped kicking myself for not having thought of it too, I began to consider my options for getting this topic into my blog. I pondered doing my own top 5 but really Alice has got this spot on. Alice has been very kind in letting me reproduce it here but you should also take a look at Alice's "Stuff & Things" blog or follow her on Twitter here. I think this could be my favourite top five of the year, over to Alice.


I spent a lot of time drawing maps, floorplans of houses and designing the layouts of new libraries when I was younger (I'm not fibbing, I spent hours and hours over a layout for my ideal library and sent it in to the one I used to go to. They never wrote back. I'm beginning to suspect my Mum never sent the letter). I'm not going to subject you to my top five favourite house layouts (yet) but how about some maps?

Here you are then.

Lord of the Rings - Obviously. Although you can argue over whether this is a children's book, I read the first one when I was that age so it is to me. I've still never read the other two all the way through but I'm sure I will one day.



Miss Jaster's Garden - Plot the route of a garden stealing hedgehog. Miss Jaster could benefit from a bit of laser eye surgery.



Winnie the Pooh - The first book that had me flipping back to the endpapers every five minutes. [aside - who is the best poet of all?]



Milly Molly Mandy - Another endpaper flipper. If you read these when you were small, you'll know how I feel about these books. If you didn't then buy a set for your kids right now - don't let them miss out too!



Treasure Island - The inventor of 'x marks the spot' and another of my favourite books, although more recently discovered.



Any more I should be including?

.

6 comments:

Mr. Fatuous said...

I've got a Famous Five game book which was a bit like a glorified choose your own adventure. It came with a map, compass and various other little trinkets.

There are samples of the books here

The Equalizer said...

I'm surprised to see that The Hobbit wasn't included. This also has a map hand drawn by Tolkien, and is definitely classed as a children's book (it was written for his son).

Chopper said...

Mr. F - Wow, I've never seen those before. Very cool.

Mr Eq - It's Alice's Top 5 but I think it had to be either one or the other as far as LOTR & The Hobbit goes. Both very valid contenders. I love JRR's map work (there's one in the Silmarillion too) really helped feed my imagination.

alicestronaut said...

Thank you for your lovely words, Chopper!

Mr Fatuous - oh my god, I had those books! I'd completely forgotten about them until now. I remember them being slightly over complicated but ultimately brilliant fun, getting even more involved with the world of the Famous Five which I was already obsessed with. Thanks so much for reminding me.

The Equalizer - The Hobbit wasn't included because I've never read it! These were just off the top of my head the maps that had a big impression on me. I've had lots of good suggestions of other maps in books I might like, so I shall be making an effort to read them all!

The Bookselector said...

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Great maps

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mando_gal/4164966402/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mando_gal/4167868442/in/photostream/

Links to a couple of them there...

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