A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park By Ashley Benham Yazdani

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Back of Book:
In 1858, New York City was growing so fast that new roads and tall buildings threatened to swallow up the remaining open space. The people needed a green place to be — a park with ponds to row on and paths for wandering through trees and over bridges. When a citywide contest solicited plans for creating a park out of barren swampland, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted put their heads together to create the winning design, and the hard work of making their plans a reality began. By winter, the lake opened for skating. By the next summer, the waterside woodland known as the Ramble opened for all to enjoy. Meanwhile, sculptors, stonemasons, and master gardeners joined in to construct thirty-four unique bridges, along with fountains, pagodas, and band shells, making New York’s Central Park a green gift to everyone.
My Review:
It took my library forever to get this book in but it was well worth the w! Debut author and illustrator Ashley Benham Yazdani wrote a fantastic informational nonfiction story about the two men who created Central Park. In 1858 New York was growing fast and having land was a luxury. Architect Calvert Vaux thought that the city’s original park design lacked inspiration. He encouraged Frederick Law Olmsted to join him in creating a design. Together they dream up what would be labeled Central Park. The two men worked very hard to ensure that each part of the park was unique and beautiful. They included a lake, gardens, and a children’s district. Calvert Vaux wanted to ensure that everyone had a place in the park. Fedrick worked with the land and selected plants and trees that would enhance the park’s natural beauty. Together, the two men created a Masterpiece that continues to wow people today.
Ashley’s illustrations are filled with detail and truly capture the essence of the park. I was amazed at the way she blended the colors on each page. She included a great deal of back matter which makes this a fantastic book to use for informational writing or book reports. I teach a unit every spring about the manmade symbols of America. I will be adding this book to my unit list this year. Ashley is truly a talented author and illustrator. I look forward to reading her next book.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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