Goodnight Shakopee

Shakopee artist and designer Christopher Straub wrote and illustrated children’s book “Good Night Shakopee,” which highlights some of the community’s most recognizable landmarks.

When Shakopee designer and artist Christopher Straub appeared on season six of “Project Runway,” he told producers never to say he was from Minneapolis. He wanted them to name Shakopee.

Staub’s Shakopee roots are deep. He grew up in Edina, but his grandparents lived in Shakopee.

“I spent every weekend in Shakopee,” he said. “There’s just something about the small-town feel, but it’s still close to all the resources we need.”

So it was only a matter of time that Straub, who has written and illustrated seven children’s books so far, would write and illustrate his eighth book about his suburban town and call it “Good Night Shakopee,” a parody of the popular children’s book “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown.

The six-by-six-inch board book is Shakopee from cover to cover. It starts with an illustration of the Chief Sakpe statue in the morning, and ends with an illustration of Shakopee’s newest statue of Rev. Pond at night. The book also cycles through all four seasons and features spreads of Shakopee staples: Bill’s Toggery, Lion’s Park, St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Valleyfair and more.

“We also highlight people of all abilities and include ethnic and age diversity,” Straub said as he read the book over a video call.

Straub said he had been wanting to write the book for a while, but he didn’t realize it would be published and sold so soon. This past summer, he said, he was at Memorial Park with his kids, he asked Shakopee Chamber President Angie Whitcomb if she had time to come outside and talk.

When he pitched her the idea as a fundraising opportunity for the city, Whitcomb asked if he could have the book done for Christmas.

Straub then spent his summer working on the book, getting permission from people to use their businesses and to sponsor pages.

“This isn’t an advertisement,” Straub said. “This is truly highlighting businesses, and things that represent Shakopee.”

Anyone interested in purchasing the book, which costs $15, can go online at shakopee.org/book. They can also purchase the book in person at the Shakopee Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau, Bill’s Toggery and First Ave Boutique. Proceeds will help support the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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