My daughter came home one evening after three weeks of reading and rereading her maps book
‘Dad, today I answered all the questions on maps and all the pupils were mouth agape wondering where I learned all that’, she says excitedly.
‘Thank you for buying me the books’.
Author Catherine ‘Cate” Njore started teaching young children cartography over 3 years ago.
Without her, and the affordably priced books, my daughter, wouldn’t know about maps.
Ms Njore observed that the average Kenyan child interacts with maps at high school. Even then, the interaction is limited to interpreting physical features maps.
“Most of our children only encounter an atlas or mapping in secondary school, which is unfortunate because maps are a critical part of everyday life. Sadly, only a few people are getting into the field of cartography,” she says.
This, she vowed, needs to change; she went on to pen three important books to guide children in map reading.
The well-written books, with beautiful pictorials, make them hard for kids to put down.
To make the cartography fun for children, Njore’s books has pullouts that one can hang on the wall in the children’s study area or in their bedroom.
Fun with maps
According to Cate Njore, the importance of equipping children with maps include:
Maps are used to reflect reality as it is on the ground (earth).
Creating a map use culture in our children will introduce spatial thinking at an early age which is crucial in learning how to use maps as decision-support tools.
Maps are used to address so many life issues. Introducing children to maps at a tender age will enable them to develop an interest in interacting with maps and be excellent map readers and users as they grow.
Developing cartography skills will make it possible to develop excellent maps that will enable us to appreciate maps and boost cartography as a profession.
The continued use of children-friendly maps and map activities will create maps users and grow the interest in surveying related professions.
The following books, Compass Book, Kaunti za Kenya, and Mappy Maria: Learn about maps by Catherine Njore are sold as a package at Sh700, and have been very essential in furthering necessary knowledge of maps in children’s lives.
Buy the books using this link:
Catherine Njore is a member of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commission on Cartography and Children