A perfect discussion starter: UMA WHIMPLE CHARTS HER HOUSE

People learn in different ways.

Some, by reading words.

Others, by listening to or watching people explain things.

And others, by looking at graphs, charts or pictures.

I’ve always learned best by reading. In eighth grade, I even taught myself to do a cartwheel and the splits by reading a book I found in the library that included step-by-step instructions.

But, I struggled with maps, charts and graphs. I remember taking some sort of standardized text and scoring horribly on the map-reading section.

I might have done better if I’d had UMA WIMPLE CHARTS HER HOUSE by Reif Larsen and Ben Gibson, which released June 15 from Anne Schwartz Books.

This book deserves a home in elementary school classrooms everywhere. It tells the story of Uma Wimple, a kid who makes charts for everything.

Want to know which shapes are in Uma’s house? The best route to take to get to her school? The trees you’ll find along the way? Which family members prefer which pizza toppings? Uma has charts for that. Pie charts, bar charts, maps, Venn diagrams and more. Uma uses them to make sense of her life.

Uma’s charts don’t get her a lot of respect. People call them “doodles.” Until … a school assignment where everyone in Uma’s class is asked to make a chart of their house.

The possible approaches are endless, and Uma almost gets derailed by them, until she remembers the heart of her house and comes up with the perfect chart.

Honestly, this book is worth purchasing for the end papers alone. They feature a variety of different charts and brief explanations. There are so many cool discussions, projects and assignments that could come out of this book.

The book also could be used as reminder about all the different ways people can learn. How could the same information be shared using text, a demonstration, a chart or a video? Which would each student prefer? What are the benefits and possible drawbacks of each approach?

The publisher has some classroom activity sheets already available, but you could totally create your own.

I hope reading this book inspires you to think of all the ways you could categorize and compile information in your life, for easy, understandable access! Here’s a look inside part of the book:


  1. Love this intriguing concept. Congrats, Reif and Ben.

  2. It’s great to show how different children learn in different ways!

  3. Great idea! Story and illustrations look adorable. :)Congrats!

  4. Interesting! This has definitely sparked my curiosity. What a great concept for a picture book! Can’t wait to read it. Thanks, Pat, and congratulations to Reid and Ben!!

  5. *Reif – darn autocorrect!

  6. Oh, this sounds wonderful! Thanks!

  7. What a great idea for a children’s book! I would have loved sharing this with my former students.

  8. Oh I know a young girl who will love this book! Thank you!!

  9. This book is a must-read for me! Thank you for the inspiring introduction.

  10. Such detailed illustrations…If I were still teaching, I would have loved to introduce this book to my students.

  11. UMA WIMPLE CHARTS HER HOUSE looks like an amazing book.

    Celebrate diverse learners.

  12. What a great concept for a book. Definitely going to check it out. Thanks!

  13. Wow! What a great concept and execution. I love maps and charts and house plans.

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