This season, if you visit Minneapolis’ Midtown Farmers Market, you’ll stroll by a harvest of picture books by Minnesota authors. Picture Book Parade — a new initiative by children’s authors Sarah Warren and Catherine Urdahl—will present a different story stroll each Saturday, from May 1 through October 30. The strolls are set up at the entrance to the market, and readers walk by a row of signs, each with a two-page spread of the featured book. These diverse exhibits invite reflection, conversation, celebration, and pride for all families.
The strolls are self-guided and will be available during the regular hours of the market — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Many of the strolls will include a visit from the author, along with a variety of fun activities. Families can pick up special BINGO cards to track their participation in the season’s strolls — and receive prizes!
Sarah and Catherine want to reach readers where they are, by bringing books into non-traditional public spaces. They hope to connect artists with their readers — a challenge in the era of COVID, when libraries and bookstores have been unable to host traditional events. Sarah and Catherine credit Hennepin County librarians for helping spark the creation of Picture Book Parade. They plan to continue working with librarians on future initiatives.
Most of the strolls are funded by a grant Sarah received from the Minnesota State Arts Board. A local outdoor sign company prints book spreads directly onto signs. Picture Book Parade worked with individual artists to secure permission from publishers.
For more information and a schedule of Midtown Market story strolls, visit www.picturebookparade.com