Saturday, December 13, 2008

7 Reviews/ 7 Giveaways- Day 6

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion. This week I will post one review and host a giveaway each day. Please read this review and make sure to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway.

In case you haven't figured it out already, I am always a little overambitious. As I was finishing up the school year last spring, I decided that I wanted to use the summer to teach our children about US Geography. I had recently discovered that when I asked the children what state we lived in, they would promptly answer with the name of a neighboring city...yes, neighboring... not even the city we lived in. So, I created an entire US Geography unit complete with story books, notebook pages, lapbooks, puzzles, games, flash cards, and even an inflatable globe. We were ready to learn all about the 50 states and their locations. There was one tiny problem however. I was due to deliver our sixth child at the beginning of June. Well, the kids did finally learn what state we lived in, but that was pretty much all they learned about US Geography this summer.

Fast forward to about a month ago and you will find this happy Mama jumping for joy over a colorfully illustrated storybook that had just arrived in the mail. The Little Man in the Map by E. Andrew Martonyi makes learning to recognize and locate the 50 states joke, easy. Want proof? I just quizzed my two oldest (ages 8 and 6) with a blank map this morning. We've casually read The Little Man in the Map about 4-5 times and the only state they could recognize before reading this book was our own. This morning they were able to identify 31 states! That's pretty incredible!

Watch this short video to see how it works:

MIM is the name of the Little Man in the Map, which is short for his full name MinIow really have to say it a few times to get the pronunciation straight. It's the first three letters of each of the five states that make up his frame. I'll be honest, the first time I read it I was quite skeptical that my kids could remember a name like that or what it meant. But the kids picked it up right away and have no problem locating and rattling off the names of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

The entire book is written in rhyme with fun pictures to use as memory aides to help remember each state. You and your children will have to stretch your imagination a bit to "see" some of the memory aides, but my experience is that this isn't such a hard task for the kids to do. The kids will catch on to some of the states immediately, while others will take a bit more work.

The Little Man in the Map is decorated with the Moonbeam Children's Book Award, Foreward Magazine's Book of the Year Award Finalist, Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist, and an Independent Publisher's Book Award. It retails for $19.95 and can be purchased at several places including the Schoolhouse Store. If your children do not know the shape, names, and location of the 50 states then I encourage you to put this book on your wish list....or better yet under your Christmas tree!

So what would you like me to give away today?

Any suggestions?

Oh, okay....YOU GOT IT!

I've just ordered a copy of The Little Man in the Map from the Schoolhouse Store and its ready to be shipped out next week to our winner! Andrew Martonyi, the book's author, is even throwing in a free Downloadable Teacher's Guide and MIM Word Puzzle to the winner!! The Teacher's Guide is not even available for purchase yet, so our winner will be one of the first people to have it!

Just leave a comment to this post no later that 8pm (EST) on Wed., Dec. 17th (making sure to include your email or blog address) and you are entered! You can grab the 7 Reviews/7 Giveaways button and paste it on your blog to get two EXTRA ENTRIES into EACH of the 7 giveaways as well.

Oh, I hope you win!!!

Our last giveaway will be tomorrow, so don't forget to come back and check it out. You can also read more reviews of The Little Man in the Map at the TOS Crew blog.

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  1. What a neat little video. Sure makes a teacher want to get it for every age! We all need to learn a bit more geography. Love to have the State Capitals, also!
    800-719-8268 ex 29218

  2. Oh, I would love for you to enter me for this give away! How exciting! Oh, and thanks for helping me be able to "grab the botton" from your blog. It worked perfectly once I knew what I was doing!
    Becky Soyster

  3. Oh, PLEASE, enter me in your contest. The video is cool and the book looks like a great way to learn the states. I never heard of the program before reading about it on your blog.
    Many thanks!!!

  4. Don't enter me - I'm just popping in to say that we have this book and it is SO cute! :o)

  5. What a neat way to learn the U.S.A.! We would love this :)


  6. What a great resource! Please enter me in the giveaway . . . my son LOVES maps and geography and would think this is the best book ever!

  7. This looks so well done. After the headache I had trying to teach the states and capitals to my oldest son I've been putting off doing it with my 3rd grader. This would really help, and maybe refresh my 6th grader some.
    Please enter me, and thank you for the contest.

  8. I've been wanting to teach the states and their locations, shhh..don't tell anyone but I'm not sure I could place them all correctly on a map! This looks like a fun way to learn! Thank you for the review and the chance to win!

  9. Shanna, please enter me in the give-away for The Little Man in the Map. have seven chldren who have learned at/from home their whole lives. This would be a great addition to our children's library, an especially useful tool for the younger ones!

    Thank you.

    Jeana Miller <><
    Luke 12:34

  10. I have seen this in TOS magazine and would love it! What a cool way to learn the States!

  11. This looks AWESOME! What a great way to teach geography to the elementary crowd. If I don't win, I'll probably put it on my list to buy! Thanks for all the great reviews!

  12. How clever! I would love to win this one!


  13. Too cute! And we're even working on US Geography right now. this would be a fantastic addition.

  14. We're studying American History this year, and this book would be such a help for my younger children, ages 8 and 6, who struggle to remember the names of states.

    Thanks for this opportunity! I've posted the button on my own blog, too.

  15. What a neat product. I love the way the states form the shape of MIM. I love products that teach subjects with creative methods-- this is one of they ways my daughter learns best. Thanks for putting this up on your blog. I would love to win this!

  16. Sorry, here is my e-mail address:

  17. I am just planning for a summer unit on US geography. How timely!!
    Please enter me in the giveaway,
    Julie C. at

  18. Thought this was good for my daughter to reinforce her understanding of where all the states are located. Thanks for the entry and for having such great giveaways!

  19. My son loves geography. I would love to have this for him! What a great giveaway.

  20. WOW! You have been having a bunch of wonderful items in your giveaway.
    This is awesome.
    I swear the kids will never learn the states. I still don't seem to have all the capitals.
    I think teaching at home has been great because I learn everything I didn't in public school.

    This is a great blog too.

  21. Very cool! I think that would be great to teach the first time around as well as a refresher course for those of us who once knew stuff! LOL
    Thanks for putting me in the drawing for this awesome item as well!

  22. Oh, this sounds just like something my boys could use. We have barely started any geography. But, with this it could really get them interested...
    Bless you for your awesome reviews!

  23. Awsome! I've been looking for a fun interactive way to teach my 6 year old to think outside our neighborhood. Or even that we live in Charleston, WV not WV, Charleston :)

    Thanks for the contest.

  24. I've posted your button on my blog at

  25. This looks like a great book to help my boys learn the USA map!

  26. Oh this looks so neat! Would love to use it in our homeschooling!

    Thanks for all your great reviews!
    Alexis (

  27. That looks like a great little book. It would be great as a video also I think. Please enter me in the drawing!


  28. I am always looking for fun ways to teach things that require memorization and this product sounds like it would add some excitement to learning about the states.

  29. I am really excited about this! I was just thinking about how I would start teaching my son geography! Thanks for bringing this to my attention :-)

  30. What a great book! We could sure use this. My 8 and almost-6-year-old sons only occasionally know the difference between a city, state, country, and continent. Please enter us! Thanks, Teonei

  31. What a neat book. We would love to have this book for learning about our states. My boys are 8 and 7 and sometimes get cities and states confused. Thanks for the opportunity.


  32. What a great idea! I would love to have this to teach my girls where all the states are. Thank you, Deanna

  33. ok - THAT is slick. Even my husband thinks so. And he wasn't just humoring me. (he does that sometimes)

    I would love this. Pick me Shanna!

  34. Thanks for introducing The Little Man in the Map to me. My two youngest would really like this. The almost-four-year-old would probably seem to get it faster than the almost-nine-year-old (who we think flies in the clouds much of the time). We usually find out the older one took in a lot more than we thought at the time.

    Melanie McBride

  35. Please accept my entry into the contest. We are making a 50 States Notebook and this would be a great resource for our study!

  36. We will begin state memorization after Christmas break. Thank you for the opportunity to win this!

  37. My 4 yr. old daughter is showing lots of interest in the states, our flag... geography. She would love to have fun with this book. Please enter me.

  38. We plan to cover the states next school year, and my children (4 ages 3-11) have a hard time with memorization. This sounds like an excellent teaching aide. Please enter me.

  39. This book looks amazing. I love the idea of having a Man in the Map - maybe it will help me remember those states too! Thanks for the chance to win, Beth

  40. this one also sounds great. We're hoping to cover this next year. I hope that as my kids learn geography that I can too. Somehow I missed that in school.

    Wow what a lot of work to review all of these. I admire you for doing so many!


  41. This sounds like fun. We'd love the chance to win this book.

    Hillary in Indiana

  42. This looks terrific. My first grader loves geography and this would be a very fun resource for us!


  43. My kids could use this. Thanks for funding great products for us.

  44. this looks like a neat way to learn about the states....I would be blessed to win this can reach me at
    Thank you
    Carol Jo

  45. Oh, Wow! I would love to win this book! This is the best review so far ~ I will definately check out some information about this resource. Thank you!

  46. Thank you for having this contest. This book looks great ! Please enter me for the contest. My email:



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