Camilla, Cartographer by Julie Dillemuth and Laura Wood


A cartographer is a person who draws or produces maps. Warthogs can draw maps, too. Well, only in the pages of this illuminating book about tracking your path. The story opens on a wintery day. A blanket of snow covers the forest. Camilla, a warthog, surrounds herself with her favorite collection of maps. When Parsley, a porcupine, can’t find her way to the creek, she asks Camilla for help. A map of the forest and a compass gives them direction.

Author Julie Dillemuth engages readers with playful text. Her use of alliteration and occasional rhyming words makes the story a fun read-aloud. The illustrations, by Laura Wood, will give readers solid examples of what is featured in a map. The double-page spread below shows the legend, a compass rose, the scale, and the title.

Response to Literature

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: I.B.2 Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.

Camilla uses a compass and a compass rose to follow and create maps. Ask learners to consider how these tools help her.

Next, pass out compasses for learners to explore. Don’t have any? Send an email to staff asking if they have some you can borrow. Sneak in a blurb about how you will use the compass for a lesson that supports the NGSS Standards by asking questions and defining problems.

Invite learners to wonder how a compass works. Watch Make Your Own Compass. Ask learners what questions they have about what the experiment. Write the questions on chart paper.

Discuss how learners can find answers to their questions. Once they develop a plan to investigate the workings of a compass, give them time to research the answer.

If you like this lesson idea, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

Click here to purchase a copy of Camilla, Cartographer from

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