Book Review: We Heart L.A. Parks

A delightful activity book and educational read on the parks of L.A., California.

book cover with text "We Heart LA Parks", feet in tennis shows in foreground, park in background

Cover of We Heart LA Parks

Sue Cook

The book We Heart L.A. Parks is a children’s coloring/activity book that takes the reader on a visual tour of various parks in L.A., seen through the stories and artwork of those who live in the area. Angelenos were asked to submit their favorite parks, and fifty-two submissions were chosen. The storytellers/artists ranged from ages eight to eighty-seven.

This book is a perfect choice to entertain children of all ages. It’s a tapestry of fifty-two parks to color and explore, whether online or in person. 

I loved this book. The history of the parks is exciting, rich, and diverse which further helped to weave its tapestry of joy across the pages. It was just waiting for my colors, my story to make it complete. Make no mistake, this is not your basic activity book. It needs the reader’s input to create the texture. I see this book expanding its reach into schools, Assisted Living Facilities, and workshops. You could add it to your own Whistle List and visit the parks mentioned, too.

Don’t live in L.A.? No worries. Just a mouse click to explore, and weave your own story into being. Excellent fun!

Map of L.A. parks

About the Authors/Editors

The inspiration really came from our first Narrated Objects book we did together, We Heart P-22, which is about the famous puma that lives in Griffith Park. After the awareness that book brought us and others as to the importance of urban wildlife, we really wanted to celebrate more parks and open places in the city where humans and animals can thrive. Also, the pandemic led us to explore more outdoor places than ever before and helped us realize the importance of these parks in our city’s history and in our lives. Teena might have her own thoughts to add as well 😉

One of the aspects of making both books that I really love is that they are collaborations with more than 50 people, not just us as editors picking the parks or saying these places matter. We put out a call for people to draw their favorite parks in the city of L.A. and to share their stories about why that particular place matters to them. The contributors to the book make the book—their unique and special experiences are captured in their art and words. Getting to be part of that experience is a real honor, and getting to share in all these different experiences of different parks is like the best tour of Los Angeles I can imagine.

The We Heart LA Parks team

“I ask a lot of questions.” The subject matter Teena has tackled over the years is widely diverse: jail recipes, bone-marrow donors, NASA scientists, domestic violence, and much more. At the heart of her favorite stories are trailblazers and unsung heroes: She enjoys learning about what inspires individuals to affect change and how communities are transformed by them. Teena is the author of Women Warriors, and she has edited and contributed to numerous other books and written for many outlets, including LAist, PBS SoCal, and KCET. Listen to her interviews on KCRW’s DnA: Design + Architecture and on the podcast Bookstories with Andrea Richards.

“If it’s not written on a yellow legal pad, it doesn’t exist.” Andrea writes about cultural trends, film history, and forgotten philosophical systems for such publications as The Believer, BUST, make/shift, and Los Angeles magazine. She is the author of Girl Director, Library of Esoterica: Astrology, and three L.A. guidebooks, The 500 Hidden Secrets of Los AngelesLos Angeles Cocktails, and Los Angeles Restaurants. Andrea has also worked as an editor for Girl Press, Angel City Press, and TASCHEN. Fond of the esoteric, she is an enthusiast for her adopted city, outdated technologies, and the creative pursuits of others. Listen to Andrea’s interview on KCRW’s Good Food here.

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