Review: The Fifty States

Randomly receiving books in the post is something that happens to me with distressing infrequency, so it was nice to get this rather gorgeous book to review, courtesy of Mumsnet.

The Fifty States is a beautifully produced coffee-table hardback consisting of fifty quirky illustrated maps, one for each of America’s states. The idea is that instead of using conventional cartography, each map shows several facts about the state. So Alaska includes a picture of musk oxen, a gray wolf and a note about Sign Post Forest, where homesick people make signs showing the number of miles to their hometowns. And Montana’s map reveals that the state possesses a garden of 1,000 buddhas, where locals go to meditate.

Each map includes a summary of the state’s history, a list of moments to remember and some key facts. It’s informative, but the real beauty of this book is in the presentation: the illustrations and design are really lovely. My two year old daughter enjoyed looking through it and an older child would find it an engaging way to learn about the US.

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