By David Krogh
Super Cities! Portland is the latest in a series of books from Arcadia Children’s Books a division of Arcadia Publishing.
The book’s author is Portland resident Cindy Collins-Taylor, a self-employed writer/editor with a Masters degree in Journalism and years of editorial experience in publishing.
She and her husband Steve moved to the Mt. Tabor area from Washington, DC in 1995 and live in SW with their two children.
Collins-Taylor’s primary incentive for writing this book was to share interesting places to visit in Portland and its fascinating history.
“Through doing online research and talking to friends I also found some quirky and new-to-me attractions that Portland has to offer, such as The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and Museum and the Portland Puppet Museum.”
Super Cities! Portland is 96 pages in length and will surprise you with how many photos and information are crammed in both a well-organized and interesting format.
A basic map starts the reader out. Multiple factoids are provided about many aspects of Portland people might not be aware of. The book lists a number of Portland’s quirks such as its naming by a coin toss and its many nicknames.
A history summation, cultural discussions, local animals, sports and suggested sightseeing locations are provided along with a Portland humor page with riddles and a listing of haunted locations.
Many of the informative tidbits are depicted as cellphone text conversations while others take on the appearance of sticky notes.
This book does not cover any site or discussion in great detail. Rather, it is intended as an overview to pique one’s interest in learning more and exploring within Portland. Also, it is a tool that can be used by all family members planning or on a trip.
While the book provides an outline of what’s here, readers need to do their own homework to ascertain what businesses/events are operating and what their business hours are in light of the ongoing pandemic.
The Super Cities series is family-friendly and intended for ages 7+. It focuses on a basic guide and history for six cities (Portland, Seattle, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, the Twin Cities) and one national park (Yellowstone).
Collins-Taylor explained how she got into writing this book.
“I had a great template in the draft of a book on Seattle (Super Cities! Seattle) written by Jim Buckley. The Super Cities books have many common elements. I also used the same lighthearted tone that the Seattle book featured.”
One of the things that didn’t make it into the book was part of the reason her and her husband moved to Portland.
She said, “The city offers such easy access to spectacular nearby destinations, such as mountains, the coast, the Gorge, rivers, lakes, forests and the high desert.
“Because of space restrictions, we couldn’t include some wonderful places in the ‘Not Far Away’ chapter.
“Specifically, I’d done short write-ups of Silver Falls State Park, the city of Bend and Mt. St. Helens that didn’t make it into the book. I also wish we’d had space to mention Enchanted Forest, the charming throwback amusement park near Salem.”
She is working on another book she said, “…a children’s storybook called Dandelion Journey. My collaborator, Rae Findley, is doing the illustrations. We hope to get it out by mid-year through self-publishing.”
Super Cities! Portland is available at local stores including multiple Powell’s locations, Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside St., Presents of Mind, 3633 SE Hawthorne Blvd., and online at Amazon.com.
For additional information on Arcadia’s Children’s Books, visit arcadiapublishing.com/imprints/arcadia-childrens-books.