cover image The 50 States

The 50 States

Gabrielle Balkan, illus. by Sol Linero. Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions, $30 (112p) ISBN 978-1-84780-711-3

This trivia-stuffed U.S. atlas offers simplified state maps peppered with crisp, iconlike images of local monuments, wildlife, foods, and more. Balkan provides conversational, incisive introductions to each state, focusing on its history and cultural essence: “Oregon is... original. Way back in 1971, the 33rd state passed the first ever Bicycle Bill, which said that all new roads must include areas for bikers and walkers.” Notable historical and contemporary figures of note appear in small golden frames (there’s a heavy emphasis on artists and authors, particularly children’s book creators), while sidebars show time lines of wide-ranging moments, such as Minnesotan Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal win for The Tale of Despereaux or when woodpeckers delayed the launch of the Discovery space shuttle in 1995. A stylish atlas that evokes the character and diversity of the country, equally suitable for coffee tables or family vacations. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)