Central Park is so massive and multifaceted that even lifelong New Yorkers can still learn a thing or two about its offerings and lore. Not surprisingly, this public green has served as the setting and inspiration for literary works written for all ages. Here are our top picks for books that put the park front and center, and where you and your tiny reader can check out the settings in person! Click through for recommended reading!
photo: Jeremy Seto via Flickr creative commons
Before you go bird-watching, read this...
If you lived in the New York area in the mid-Aughts, it was hard to avoid hearing about Pale Male, a Red-tailed Hawk that set up his family nest just outside of Central Park on a Fifth Avenue luxury building. You can still find these magnificent birds — and the male of the couple, Pale Male — if you know where to look in the park. The Tale of Pale Male revisits the controversy the big bird inspired with folk art illustrations and a story of avian resilience and spirit. (Pale Male's original residence is located at 927 5th Avenue, just across the street from the park on the east side.) After checking out Pale Male's digs, you can visit another nearby literary locale in the park: the Alice in Wonderland statue.
Who's it for?: Kids ages four to eight
See the site: 927 5th Avenue between 73rd and 74th Streets (across the street from the park)
Do you have a favorite book inspired by a New York City location? Tell us about it in the comments!