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Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmsted Designed America

Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmsted Designed America

by Elizabeth Partridge

Narrated by Dani Martineck

Unabridged — 22 minutes

Elizabeth Partridge
Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmsted Designed America

Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmsted Designed America

by Elizabeth Partridge

Narrated by Dani Martineck

Unabridged — 22 minutes

Elizabeth Partridge

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Overview

National Book Award finalist Elizabeth Partridge reveals the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park, the United States Capitol building's landscape, and more.

Nobody could get Frederick Law Olmsted to sit still. He was filled with energy, adventure, and dreams of changing the world. As a boy, he found refuge in the peace and calm of nature, and later as an adult, he dreamed of designing and creating access to parks for a growing and changing America. When New York City held a contest for the best park design for what would become Central Park, Olmsted won and became the father of landscape architecture. He went on to design parks across America, including Yosemite National Park and even the grounds for the United States Capitol.

National Book Award finalist Elizabeth Partridge brings her renowned lyricism and meticulous research to the visionary who brought parks to the people.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

03/28/2022

Partridge tells the story of Frederick Law Olmsted’s (1822–1903) career as an ambitious, visionary park designer, from his unpromising years in school to his success as the designer of Central Park and public parks throughout the U.S. Along the way, injustices are acknowledged—the appropriation of largely African American Seneca Village to build Central Park, the burning of Ahwahneechee homes for Yosemite National Park—but the footnote-like mentions aren’t drawn into relationship with privileged Olmsted’s personal story or concerns, undercutting the story’s claim that the figure “created common ground” for “everyone in New York City” and for “all of America.” Graceful artwork by Stadtlander attends to historical detail and echoes the colors and sweep of period painters. An author’s note concludes. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)

From the Publisher

Stadtlander’s vivid, architectural-model-like images of places in Olmsted’s life provide myriad details to pore over. . . A worthy purchase for history collections.” —Booklist

School Library Journal

04/01/2022

Gr 2–4—Frederick Law Olmstead appreciated nature as a respite from city life from a young age, and he wanted to make a difference in America, but it took time for those two things to converge. Ultimately, he found meaningful work and left a lasting impact by designing "common ground" such as Central Park and Prospect Park in New York, Yosemite in California, and the U.S. Capitol grounds. "Making peaceful, leafy places for everyone" was Olmstead's "way to make a difference to America." However, he moved often and frequently held unrelated jobs, presenting a challenge to picture book biographers; some transitions, such as when Olmstead leaves Washington, D.C., during the Civil War and follows the Gold Rush to California, are jarring. Stadtlander's watercolor and gouache illustrations strike just the right note throughout, showcasing landscapes and townscapes peopled with small figures. Author's note, time line, bibliography, resources. VERDICT Because this is a less-than-cohesive biography of a category-defying personality, this is an additional purchase.—Jenny Arch

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176108019
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 04/05/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Age Range: Up to 4 Years

Customer Reviews