Minneapolis in Maps, Facts and Figures

Playful layout makes local history and geography fun for all ages.

There’s a new book in town featuring our town—Minneapolis—along with 49 other great U.S. cities, in a format sure to please the atlas/map/fun-fact lover in your household. “We wanted it to be in a form where you could dip in and dip out,” says author Gabrielle Balkan. And dip in and out we do: On the Minneapolis page of 50 Cities of the USA, there’s a map including the Mississippi river, a “Welcome to the City of Lakes” (home of Prince and the Pillsbury dough boy), a 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. “day in Minneapolis” (including a trip to Wild Rumpus bookstore) and facts about historically significant Native Americans, feminists and sports figures as well as hot dish, loons and Minnehaha Falls.
Balkan herself selected the 50 cities featured in the book. “I tried to find something unique in each city I chose.” In Minneapolis, for example, she was entranced by Charles Schulz, who, after occupying a significant percentage of Balkan’s self-allotted four days of research about each city, ended up getting about a postage-stamp’s size of press. Add that to another 25–30 stamp-sized entries, plus standard atlas “Key Facts” and a visually stunning presentation, and you have just one city of 50—albeit our favorite—in a book kids and adults will return to, over and again.

50 States and 50 Cities (plus two activity books) are published by Wide Eyed Editions, an imprint of Quarto (quartoknows.com). Balkan recommends looking for the book at local bookstores, which can be found through Indie Bound (indiebound.org). All of her books are available at Wild Rumpus in Linden Hills.