50 Cities of the U.S.A.: Explore America’s Cities with 50 Fact-Filled Maps (The 50 States) by Gabrielle Balkan and illustrated by Sol Linero is a fun children’s book coming out in a few weeks. Let’s celebrate by exploring one of the featured cities, Tucson, and having a chance to win a copy of the book in a giveaway (see details at bottom of post).
This book gives information-packed tours of fifty prominent cities throughout the United States, including Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boise, Boston, Burlington, Charleston, Charlotte, Cheyenne, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Newark, Newport, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland MA, Portland OR, Rapid City, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Seattle, St. Louis, Tucson, Virginia Beach, and Washington, D.C.
Each city is presented in huge two-page spread (the book is an extra-large 11 inch x 13.4 inch format). Let’s take a look at Tucson as an example of how it works.
For each spread, the location of the city is given on a map in the upper right hand corner. Interesting historical information, places to see, and famous citizens of that city are scattered over the pages. If that wasn’t enough, the illustrator has included fun visual searches to some spreads, plus the author gives recommendations for children’s books set in each city.
Selected Fun Facts from 50 Cities about Tucson:
There’s a lot to see and do in Tucson. (Note: The photographs are from my personal collection. The book does not contain photographs.)
• AGUA CALIENTE PARK Here, the cactus wren rests in the hole of a cactus, its nest protected by the prickly spines of a cholla or leaves of a yucca.
• DAVIS MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE More than 5,000 B-52s, helicopters, and other aircraft are stored at The World’s Largest Boneyard (aka airport graveyard). (Our family also likes to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum, shown in the photograph above.)
• THE DESERT MUSEUM cares for 230 native species, like the venomous gila monster, whose skull is covered in tiny smooth bumps. (These javelinas are some of the featured native animals found there.)
• THE EL CHARRO CAFE The chimichanga was invented here—by accident! Ingredients include rice, cheese, and machaca (dried meat), and avocado.
• THE SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK This tree-like cactus grows additional arms as they age, sometime growing more than 25.
• THE TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART Make your own Day of the Dead-inspired art pieces at the annual Día de los Muertos celebration, which remembers relatives who have passed away.
• THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA A collection of elegant mathematical models once used to teach concepts now live on as art. (The University of Arizona also hosts the Tucson Book Festival in March. It a fabulous place to introduce children to books.)
• TUCSON INTERNATIONAL MARIACHIS CONFERENCE In 2010, 555 mariachis broke a guinness world record when they played in honor of mariachi legend Nati Cano.
• VALLEY OF THE MOON A former postal clerk created this landscape of winding paths, stone towers, and hidden grottoes to spark the imagination.
We also enjoy the Tucson Botanical Gardens and Tohono Chul Park, especially in early spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom.
As you can see from the examples, 50 Cities is a great book to have on hand if you’re planning a trip, moving to a new place, or studying the geography and history of the United States. It’s the kind of reference book kids will return to again and again.
Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions (September 7, 2017)
Would you like a chance to receive a copy of 50 Cities? Simply login the Rafflecopter below — making sure you leave a valid e-mail address — by 12:00 a.m. EST August 24, 2017. Rafflecopter will randomly pick the winner and I will notify @QuartoKids (they have kindly agreed to ship the prize.) Their only request is that the giveaway is open only to US residents.
If you have any difficulty with the Rafflecopter form, please let me know in the comments
Want to find more children’s books with strong settings? Try our Reading Through The States website.
Disclosure: This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.
Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.