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Children's Fiction Camping & Outdoor Activities

A Park Connects Us

by (author) Sarah Nelson

illustrated by Ellen Rooney

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Camping & Outdoor Activities, Multigenerational, City & Town Life, Diversity & Multicultural
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: 1 to 12


An ode to urban parks and the many ways they connect us to community and nature

This picture book excursion through a city park invites readers to discover how shared green spaces bring us together. Lyrical, upbeat text illuminates the abundant gifts the park offers. Vibrant mixed-media illustrations show a diverse group of visitors as they explore this communal space. Children frolic; couples wander; flowers bloom and birds zoom; friends and families picnic and play ball or simply sink their toes peacefully into the present moment. Meanwhile, rolling hills and green trees enfold visitors in nature’s beauty. Encouraged by the sense of unity the park creates, the visitors come together for a joyful dance party and a march for peace and equality. Spread by spread, we see how urban parks are for everyone—whoever we are.

This love letter to public parks depicts an inclusive and accessible space where community flourishes. Without a screen in sight, it gently hints at the adventures to be had offline and encourages readers to venture into nature and connect with their neighborhoods. Back matter provides a brief history of urban parks in North America and highlights park successes around the world.

About the authors

SARAH NELSON is a poet, teacher, and the author of several books for young children, including Frogness and the I Like the Weather series. Sarah’s stories and poems explore a variety of themes, but she especially loves writing about nature and often spots book ideas in the parks around her Minnesota home as they hop, honk, or pedal past.


Sarah Nelson's profile page

Ellen Rooney is an award-winning designer, artist and children’s book illustrator. Her textural mixed media artwork combines many traditional art techniques, like pencil drawing, painting, printmaking and collage, often combined with digital techniques. She is the winner of the 2021 Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize for Grandmother School. Originally from Massachusetts, she now lives in the southern Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.


Ellen Rooney's profile page


  • Commended, A Best Children's Book of the Year

Editorial Reviews

"Nelson’s lyrical text makes this book well-suited for reading aloud, while Rooney’s colorful double-page spreads are full of details that engage readers ... A Park Connects Us emphasizes that public parks should be for everyone."

Quill & Quire

"There is much to discuss as the book is read with little ones. They are sure to recognize some of the things they like to do themselves when they visit a park. It's important to know that parks are there for everyone."

Sal's Fiction Addiction

"[The] message is thoughtfully and beautifully delivered in this new picture book."

Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database

"A must-have to add to the top of your picture book selections this year. Parks are for everyone, and so is this book."

Canadian Review of Materials

"With bold, colorful illustrations , [A Park Connects Us] celebrates, in rhyming text, all the things we do in parks."

Twin Cities Pioneer Press

"This ode to the value of city parks will inspire readers to think about what their parks are like, and all the ways that people and animals use them. [A] good choice for story time, one-on-one, or classroom projects."

School Library Journal

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