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: via m01229 on Flickr creative commons

After You go to the Museum of Natural History read...

Sometimes the most interesting thing about a place is what we can’t see. Dinosaurs lie buried somewhere in the southwest corner of Central Park. But these aren’t real dinosaurs: they’re the ruins of intricate brick, concrete and iron models models described and pictured in The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins. (The real life Hawkins, who in the 1870s planned and designed the Paleozoic Museum of Central Park, saw his dream become a casualty of bad timing and Boss Tweed's corrupt politics.) But you can still visit the site where Hawkins’ broken dinosaur models were dumped nearly 150 years ago, and leave the rest to your imagination.

Buy the book

Who's it for?: Kids ages four to eight

See the site: Near 63rd St. and Central Park West, in the vicinity of Umpire Rock.

Do you have a favorite book inspired by a New York  City location? Tell us about it in the comments!

—Yuliya Geikhman