One Nation, Fifty States

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Let’s continue looking at pretty books about travels and dreaming about all the travels we’re currently not undertaking. Most of our illustrated guides seem to focus on Europe (and more often than not Paris) but this time how about we jump a continent and explore an entirely different country: the USA with the book The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan and Sol Linero (here on Amazon).

Each spread shows an illustrated map of a state with local curiosities, characteristic animals, famous people and other goodness. There is plenty of information, sometimes unexpected, on things that happened in each state and things you can see if you’re lucky enough to visit it. There are also key facts, symbols, mottos and, most of all, wonderful pictures of all things connected with the state. We haven’t yet read the whole book (it’s a newish addition) but what we have is actually educational.

Visually, the book manages to combine the modern simplicity of flat illustrations with a bit of whimsy and squeeze quite a lot of text in between. The choice of colors is careful and consistent. And when you think about designing the book you realize inherent difficulties in showing all the states with their different sizes in the same manner – but the authors succeed. It’s a pretty, fun book and it tells you about the world’s biggest ball of stamps and about Bonnie and Clyde festival.

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Alaska…

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…has the best dogs.

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All the state flags together.

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4 comments
  1. I have had this book sitting on my wish list for a couple of years now. I have not purchased it (yet) as I suspect my kids are too old for it now (the youngest is 8.5) and we already own a few books about the states. Really it is me who wants it.

    • Honestly, I’m excited to read it and I’m way over 8. Of course, the stuff about the States is probabaly less obvious to me than to people who actually live there:)

  2. Now if only our school books were this pretty – we’d actually have loved to study

    • You’re so right. I only remember having half-decent English books (nowhere near this pretty but I still learned English best).

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