PARKS FOR THE PEOPLE

A STORY ABOUT FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED

Frederick Law Olmsted was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1822. He was an intelligent and ambitious man whose many interests made it hard for him to settle on a career. Although his family was supportive and understanding, it was also large, and Olmsted's father could not afford to bankroll his eldest son forever. So Olmsted tried a number of different kinds of work: His love of nature caused him to take up farming; his concern for the urban poor and for black slaves led him to a brief career in writing; his administrative skills won him an appointment with the US Sanitary Commission during the Civil War. Olmsted was good, and occasionally successful, at these pursuits, but he had trouble finding the field—landscape architecture—that combined his many interests because it did not yet exist. (Olmsted and his sometime partner, Calvert Vaux, coined the term.) When New York City planned to create a public park, Olmsted was hired first as superintendent of the project and then architect-in-chief, after he and Vaux won first prize for their park design. Creating the park was a long and taxing job, but Olmsted loved it. Central Park today looks very much like Olmsted and Vaux's design. Olmsted went on to create more public parks and restore and preserve natural landscapes, like Niagara Falls. He died in 1903. Dunlap's (Aldo Leopold, not reviewed) biography is absorbing and readable. (Biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 1994

ISBN: 0-87614-824-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1994

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MY HAVANA

MEMORIES OF A CUBAN BOYHOOD

Mirroring the career he eventually entered, architect Fernandez builds up, like one of Havana’s ornate structures, memories of childhood in his pre- and post-Castro hometown. A gifted illustrator, he drew constantly, easily rendering even minute architectural details. Before emigrating to New York City, young “Dino” and his family moved first to Madrid to assist relatives. Discovering a dictatorship that wasn’t much different from the one they’d left in Cuba, the family returned home and then finally moved to the United States. Havana was never far from his mind, and art brought solace. So homesick was Dino in Manhattan that he actually “built” a cardboard replica of Havana that captured the colors and warmth he remembered. This fictionalized memoir is for the contemplative reader and anyone who has felt out of place or yearned for a beloved home; it could serve as a catalyst for creative expression. Wells has chosen anecdotes wisely, and Ferguson’s illustrations are atmospheric, capturing Dino’s childlike enthusiasm and longing. An author’s note reveals how Wells came to know of and be inspired by Fernandez’s story. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4305-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

These short pieces may start young people on the search for more information about these intriguing figures.

LADIES OF LIBERTY

THE WOMEN WHO SHAPED OUR NATION

Highlighting women writers, educators, and reformers from the 18th and early 19th centuries, Roberts brings a group of women, many not so well-known, into focus and provides a new perspective on the early history of the United States in this picture-book version of her adult book of the same title (2008).

The women include Lucy Terry Prince, a persuasive speaker who created the first poem (an oral piece not written down for over 100 years after its creation) by an African-American; Elizabeth Bayley Seton, the first American-born saint and the founder of Catholic institutions including schools, hospitals, and orphanages; and Rebecca Gratz, a young philanthropist who started many organizations to help the Jewish community in Philadelphia. The author usually uses some quotes from primary-source materials and enlivens her text with descriptive events, such as Meriweather Lewis’ citation of Sacagawea’s “equal fortitude” with the males of the exploration party during a storm, saving many supplies when their boat capsized. The sepia-hued pen-and-ink drawings are inspired by the letters of the era, and the soft watercolor portraits of the women and the paintings that reveal more of their stories are traditional in feeling. In her introduction, the author emphasizes the importance of historical materials, such as letters, organizational records, journals, and books written at the time. Despite this, there is no bibliography or other means of sourcing quoted material.

These short pieces may start young people on the search for more information about these intriguing figures. (Informational picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-078005-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more