Cover image for Central Park serenade
Central Park serenade
Godwin, Laura.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate the sights and sounds of New York's Central Park in summer.
General Note:
"Joanna Cotler books."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.9 0.5 58263.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



"And the pigeons cooAnd the big dogs barkAnd the noises echothrough the park.Laura Godwin and Barry Root use lyrical verse and lush illustrations to take readers on a stroll through New York City's Central Park. The picturesque sights, the rhythmic sounds-all of the park's eclectic culture is captured beautifully.Central Park Serenade is a tribute to one of the most famous parks in the world as well as a celebration of the Joy any special place can offer.

Author Notes

Nola Buck (the pen name of Laura Godwin) is the writer of many children's books, including Christmas in the Manger and also coauthored The Doll People, The Runaway Dolls, and The Meanest Doll in the World.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. The sights and sounds of New York City's Central Park are nicely conveyed in this attractive picture book. Godwin's lively, rhyming text uses onomatopoeia and terrific descriptive language to make listeners feel like part of the bustling crowd enjoying a summer day in the park. Root does an equally fine job providing visual stimulation in sun-drenched, double-page spreads depicting sidewalk artists sketching, sailboat races, seals splashing around at the park's zoo, and more. Time marches on, as well, with bright, high-energy scenes gradually giving way to heavily shadowed pictures of tuckered-out children: «Crowds dispersing, growing thinner. / Shadows merge, becoming one. / Then the summer day is done.» Use this as a model for kids to write about a favorite place with its own distinctive sights and sounds. Lauren Peterson.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Central Park hums with activity in this convivial paean to a beloved refuge in the heart of Manhattan. In breezy rhymed couplets, Godwin (The Doll People) conveys the park's sounds and sights on a summer day ("Striike one! Striike two! An umpire's call. Craaack! Whoosh! Retorts the ball"). Verses that describe people's varied doings alternate with the refrain, "And the pigeons coo And the big dogs bark And the noises echo through the park." Root's (Cowboy Dreams) vibrantly hued, intentionally hazy paintings chronicle the goings-on described in the text and then some. The spread for the title page offers readers a peek into the window of an apartment building, where a boy sleeps, a model sailboat hanging on the wall above his bed. On subsequent spreads, the boy (sailboat in hand) and his father leave their building and walk to the park, where they meet up with two young pals and sail their toy boats in the pond. The wordless subplot invites youngsters to follow its principal players while taking in the more encompassing portrait of the bustling park. Offering a melodic read-aloud, this aptly titled, buoyant book should please young city- and country-dwellers alike. Ages 3-5. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-While this book is an homage to Central Park, it is also a celebration of the people of New York City. The loving description includes verbal images and illustrations that work together seamlessly to present a joyful, busy portrait. Godwin's verses allow readers to feel as though they are in the park, hearing all the noises of a busy summer day. Buses pass by the entrance with horns blaring. Children cry, play, skate, and explore. With very few words, the author creates a living picture of the city and its green space. The illustrations are equally masterful. The proliferation of green and gold in the pictures reminds readers of the season and appear cool, calm, and serene, even with all the activity depicted. A multitude of families appears in the art, also highlighting the diversity of the city. Maps on the endpapers give readers an idea of the immensity of the area. This book will interest children who visit parks in their own town, but it will be a great addition to readers who may be traveling or want to learn more about New York. A true love song to Central Park.-Susan Marie Pitard, formerly at Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.