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Making Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s history, people, landscapes, wildlife, and culture in this fun—and free—activity book!

Text by Patricia Bauer
Illustrations by David Geister

Full of information and activities for kids of all ages, this celebration of all things Minnesota highlights the people we live with, the parks and waterways we play in, the animals we observe, the places we love to visit—and the history that made it all possible. The book offers activities to help readers aged seven and up engage with Minnesota’s history, people, and places—by making their own illustrations and drawings, maps, lists of favorite places, and other ways to make Minnesota great!

The book is produced with funding from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, passed in 2008 by Minnesota voters. The Legacy Amendment, including the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, provides funding to protect Minnesota’s drinking water sources; protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; support parks and trails; protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater; and preserve Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage. Making Minnesota helps readers to better understand the state’s natural and human history and the importance of the Legacy Amendment in preserving those aspects of our communities.

Author Information

Though Pat Bauer and Dave Geister both grew up in Wisconsin, they have lived in Minnesota for a combined total of more than seven decades. They met and married at Historic Fort Snelling, where they worked as costumed historical interpreters. They are definitely “history people”!

Pat was a teacher for almost four decades and taught thousands of elementary and middle school students about Minnesota and American history. Dave, a veteran of the Marine Corps, is an artist who has created countless historical and landscape paintings. He is also the illustrator of more than 20 picture books, including B Is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet, which was written by Pat. 

Pat was honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies in 2017. In 2019, Dave was honored with the Friend of Social Studies award from MCSS. For several years, they taught a course for teachers through Hamline University entitled “Using Historic Sites to Teach about Minnesota History.”

For questions or additional information about Making Minnesota, please contact us at MakingMinnesotainfo@mnhs.org.

To request an in-person appearance or presentation by the authors, please contact them directly at www.davidgeister.com/contact.


  • Paperback
  • 44 pages
  • 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Fully illustrated
  • Ages 7+
  • ISBN: 978-1-68134-261-0
  • 72 per carton

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