Uri Shulevitz shares the true story of his childhood years living as a refugee in Kazakhstan, after fleeing Poland with his parents at the start of the second world war.
How I Learned Geography shows the reader that while food is necessary for survival so are dreams and hope. When Uri’s father spent their small bit of money on a map rather than bread, he and his mother were furious but Uri eventually realized that the beautifully coloured map and the hope and inspiration it brought were worth so much. It allowed him to escape his dreary existence living in poverty in a foreign land and instead use his imagination to dream of all the wonderful places he could one day go.
Shulevitz’s beautiful illustrations convey the transformation of young Uri’s perspective from the drab, earth- toned drawings of the refugee camp to the multicoloured vistas of foreign lands. You can almost feel the emotions as he remembers this chapter of his life.