My Dream Playground

Overview

A resourceful little girl with big ideas becomes a key part of the team when a community of family, friends, and neighbors builds a playground.

Right now there is just an empty lot down the street, but this little girl dreams that one day there will be a playground ? a real playground, a fun playground ? right in her own neighborhood. When she sees a man measuring the empty lot, she?s sure that he?s there to help make her playground dream come true. And he is! Inspired by the ...

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Overview

A resourceful little girl with big ideas becomes a key part of the team when a community of family, friends, and neighbors builds a playground.

Right now there is just an empty lot down the street, but this little girl dreams that one day there will be a playground — a real playground, a fun playground — right in her own neighborhood. When she sees a man measuring the empty lot, she’s sure that he’s there to help make her playground dream come true. And he is! Inspired by the real story of the first-ever playground built by KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that has helped build more than two thousand play spaces across the country, here is the tale of how a determined young girl, with the help of her family, friends, and community, makes her dreams of a playground in her own neighborhood a reality.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Sometimes, all you have to do with a good story based in real life is to tell it straight up. That is the case with this story based on actual events in Washington, D.C. A little girl stares at an empty lot on her street imagines a playground where she, her brothers, and her multi-ethnic friends can play each day. The pastel, digitally drawn kids create, from paper and crayon, the image of the play space they want. They picture the slides and swings and climbing towers in crayon sketches that might be drawn by children (if the children are really, really talented artists). Then, one day, a non-profit named KaBoom! comes to the girl's street to build the playground and, declaring herself a project manager, the child has a firsthand view as the neighborhood and the non-profit come together to make bring to life an urban planning dream. In an afterword, there is a brief description of the KaBoom business model and how a little girl named Ashley actually did participate in the development of her neighborhood playground. This is, perhaps, an additional purchase because the story is slight and only will speak directly to children in certain environments. However, it also teaches a good lesson in community cooperation and trusting your dreams. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—From her apartment window, a young girl gazes out at an empty lot and wishes it could be transformed. In her sketchbook she draws her vision, complete with slides, swings, monkey bars, and trampolines. When a man with measuring tape and a clipboard arrives, she enthuses, "You're here to build the playground, aren't you? …I just knew you would come." The character is inspired by the real-life example of the driving force behind the first playground built by the nonprofit organization KaBOOM!. As project manager, the narrator works side by side with Darrell Hammond, KaBOOM!'s founder, and a crew of volunteers. The digital illustrations show the evolution of the project, from childlike stick drawings to workers digging holes and cutting wood, and, finally, the completed playground. The story is thin on details, but it captures the child's excitement and could spark discussions on community engagement and teamwork.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
An unnamed young girl tells readers how the empty lot down the street from her urban apartment became her dream playground—and the part she played in its unfolding. Becker traces the beginnings of a city playground to a young girl who spends every afternoon drawing pictures of her dream playground. Encouraged by her mother to "[n]ever stop dreaming," she is unsurprised but thrilled to see a man arrive at the lot with a measuring tape and clipboard—she knows he is there to build her playground. Grabbing her drawings, she approaches him, and so begins a business relationship, with her serving as the project manager. Darell consults her on every aspect of the playground's design, and after months of planning, the whole community, the young girl included, comes together as volunteers to make the dream playground a reality. Henry's digital illustrations have the look and feel of watercolors, and the pages of the young girl's drawings are charmingly childlike in their detail, execution and use of imagination. An author's note tells of the real-life little girl who inspired this story. For those who want to take a more active role in making their dreams a reality, nonprofit KaBOOM! has a website for communities to plan, fundraise and build their own playgrounds. This book may inspire more than dreams. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763655310
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 639,675
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing play to kids who need it most. Their mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Founded in 1996 by Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child. Learn more at kaboom.org.

Kate M. Becker is the vice president for program management at KaBOOM!. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Jed Henry has illustrated several children’s books. This is his first with Candlewick Press. He lives in Utah.

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