The Park Our Town Built

Full Color • 9″ by 11″ • 32 pages • Reading Level 3.9 • Jacketed Cover

Publication Date: May 2011
Story by: Diane Gonzales Bertrand
Illustrated by: Tanja Bauerle
Published by: Raven Tree Press
English with Spanish ISBN-13: 978-1-936299-12-6
English only ISBN-13: 978-1-936299-14-0

An entire town works together to build a community park

The mayor wants a community park and safe playground for the children. She enlists a group of kids to join her in asking one of the citizens to donate some of his land. When he agrees, he joins all the families and friends who set out to build swings, benches, gardens, and a fountain. There is excitement and a sense of purpose to build the park for all to enjoy. The whole town comes together to create a beautiful park and celebrate with a grand picnic and beautiful fireworks when the job is done.

The narrative text builds line by line and page by page, using repetition and imagery to create a charming story for young readers. Vocabulary recognition and matching pictures to the text help readers gain confidence in both comprehension skills and predicting a sequence of events.

This book is available in both English only format as well as concept bilingual where the story is told primarily in English. Spanish is added to the story as it pertains to the concept within the story.

Awards & Recognition

“Tejas Star Reading List” for 2012-2013
Featured Read

2012 Green Earth Book Award

2011 Moon Beam Children’s Book Awards
Bronze Medal – Multicultural Picture Books

Fall 2011 Seasonal Showcase of the Children’s Book Council
Featured Read


“In this book, multiple families band together to make their community a better place. Gonzales Bertrand has come up with a unique and clever way to use the “The House That Jack Built” trope as a way to create a successful bilingual story. As the things needed to build the park come together, they are first introduced in English, but when they are repeated the words are Spanish. The concept works wonderfully and is supported by a bilingual vocabulary page at the end.” —School Library Journal

“Tanja Bauerle’s colorful, spirited illustrations convey a strong sense of community, showcasing adults, children, and animals in various hairstyles, manner of dress, and ethnicities dancing and playing together. A town where prejudice of all kinds is outmoded, the pueblo in this story is inspirational. Both text and illustrations are joyful and energetic, entertaining for children and hopeful to an adult reading aloud.” – ForeWord Review – August 2011.

“This is a very solid bilingual book that uses very interesting and useful words. The illustrator, Tanja Bauerle, has a fabulous sense of beauty. Clearly, the book takes place in a park, and the layout of every spread is visually exciting and a gem. You feel that little catch of excitement at every page turn.” – Susan’s Reviews – GoodReads.

Fun Facts:

  • Find the worm hidden in every two-page spread in The Park our Town Built
  • The endpapers of the book feature 40 items that are hidden in the book allowing readers to explore the illustrations in detail.


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