The story of Olmsted who designed some of North America’s most famous public spaces
When the great cities of North America were being built, little thought was given to the idea of creating “green spaces.” But these oases from the dirt, gravel, and noise of the crowded city streets were exactly what were needed. One of the few people to recognize this fact was Frederick Law Olmsted, North America’s first landscape architect.
Combining his love of nature with his admiration for the structured beauty found in the great public parks of London and Paris, Olmsted turned neglected, swampy acres on the edge of New York City into one of the most acclaimed parks in the world: Central Park. But Olmsted’s success was not earned overnight. He spent many years wandering from job to job, searching for the perfect career. And when he finally discovered his passion, few people were confident in his abilities. But Olmsted fought for the preservation of areas like Yosemite in the USA, and his perseverance would be rewarded: he went on to design some of the most famous public spaces in North America.
Frieda Wishinsky is the author of many acclaimed books for children, including Oonga Boonga and Each One Special. She grew up in New York City, where, as a child, she played in Central Park. The memory of those happy times inspired this book. Frieda Wishinsky now lives in Toronto with her family and continues to enjoy city parks.
Song Nan Zhang was born in Shanghai. He received a master’s degree from the Beijing Central Institute of Fine Arts, and his paintings have been exhibited in galleries around the world. After teaching at the Central Institute for several years, he visited Montreal, Canada, and decided to settle there with his wife and two sons to pursue his painting full time. His works on canvas have been regularly exhibited in eastern Canada, notably at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
“The straightforward text is informative, and the many colorful pencil illustrations add greatly to the book’s appeal . . . [This] illustrated biography makes its statement with style.”— Booklist
“The text brings Olmsted to life . . .” — School Library Journal
“It’s a rich tale of a man finding his true calling and a nation finding a visionary…”
–San Francisco Chronicle