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Origami Picture Book

TV Interview

Watch a TV interview with Linda at the park that inspired The Day We Went to the Park on 10 11 Now.

Press release

Handersen Publishing, an independent children’s press, announces for February release The Day We Went to the Park by authors Linda Stephen and Christine Manno. This rhyming origami picture book, illustrated by award-winning paper artist Linda Stephen, will captivate both children and adults.

The Day We Went to the Park takes the reader on a walk around a community park in the summer – exploring all there is to see, do and hear. Through rhyming verses and detailed origami paper sculptures, the story invites readers to observe, imagine and interact with some of the nature at the park including squirrels, ladybugs, pine trees, prairie flowers and a painted turtle. The origami illustrations in The Day We Went to the Park reflect the richly diverse communities in which we all live and include people of different ages, ethnicity, ability and gender.

The Day We Went to the Park features colorful illustrations crafted from hundreds of handmade Japanese papers and more than 1,000 origami paper sculptures. The playful text will engage and delight readers of all ages. An excellent tool for teachers of indoor or outdoor classrooms, librarians and school counselors, The Day We Went to the Park supports lessons on nature, friendship, mindfulness and diversity. The Day We Went to the Park is a worthy addition to any classroom or library collection seeking to promote diversity and inclusion awareness through children’s literature.

The back matter includes a bonus craft project with directions on how to fold an origami caterpillar.

Available nationwide wherever books are sold. Signed copies of the book are available at or The hardback is $19.95, the paperback is $11.95, and the e-book is $4.99.

Praise For

The Day We Went to the Park

The Day We Went to the Park is an origami picture book for ages 3-9 that offers the unusual pairing of colorful origami pictures and a rollicking rhyme that explores a community park. Teachers interested in promoting outdoors-based  educational opportunities to the very young will find The Day We Went to the Park the perfect read-aloud introduction to this experience.”

D. Donovan
Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“I have long been enamored of Linda Stephen’s origami art, so I was excited to see one of her works turned into a picture book. The Day We Went to the Park zooms in on small sections in the larger origami painting to create an interesting walk through the park paired with rhyming text. Children will enjoy poring over the pages to find hidden or unexpected details.”

Laurie J. Edwards
USA Today bestselling author

“With lilting rhymes and colorful origami art, this cheerful book invites young readers to celebrate the squirrels, the ladybugs, the breeze, and all the other joys of a delightful day at the park.”

Jacqueline Jules
Author of The Generous Fish and Zapato Power

“Children will like The Day We Went to the Park. They can relate to walking down a gravel path to green grass and fields of trees and animals. They can relate to looking under rocks, rolling on one’s belly, and watching ladybugs prance about while they dance along with them…Young children will like looking at the illustrations. Even more, they will love finding the objects mentioned… Those who collect picture books for the illustrations could not find anything more visually exciting than Linda Stephen’s origami.”

Sue Morris
Kid Lit Reviews

“What makes the book unique is it teaches readers to become aware of their surroundings and to appreciate nature…The pictures are all original origami artwork by the author and there are instructions at the end of the book for youngsters on how to fold a caterpillar and create their own artwork. That makes the pictures in the story visually appealing and introduces readers to a different form of art in an engaging way.”

Mamta Madhavan
Readers' Favorite (Five Star Review)
In today’s fast-paced world, I believe it’s more important than ever to teach children to take the time to slow down and appreciate the natural beauty around them. “The Day We Went to the Park” shows that even a simple trip to a local park can be filled with wonder when you’re attuned to your surroundings.”
Dana Hinders
Origami columnist for and The Spruce

“I love, love the color. Even for a child who can’t read, there is so much color and texture that they can see and enjoy. It’s really spectacular how the artist promotes and shares Japanese culture through origami. Linda’s art takes origami to a higher level of art. I love the hands-on craft to make the origami inchworm, too. It gives readers an opportunity to participate – and to create.”

Julia Noyes
artist and gallery owner, Noyes Art Gallery

“This whimsical picture book encourages readers to examine the world around them, for all is not always what it seems. The Day We Went to the Park turns an ordinary stroll into an extraordinary adventure, filled with dancing ladybugs, whispering pines, and a lively sailboat race. Vibrant, colorful images appear at first to be the straight-forward illustrations of a sunny, lush park, but, upon closer inspection, are actually detailed scenes crafted entirely from origami and 3D paper sculpture. This clever, creative choice echoes the book’s message to readers: slow down, explore, and look closely. You never know what treasures you’ll find. A clever, visually stunning exercise in mindfulness.”

Rebecca Rissman
author of Yoga for Your Mind and Body and 200+ nonfiction kidlit books

“Folded paper artist Linda Stephen’s intricate scenes show there’s much to do at the local park! From watching sailboat races to examining ladybugs, there’s something for everyone. I’ll bet you and your little one can get plenty of ideas of what you can do on YOUR outing!”

author of Scrap City

”The book is a great introduction into the natural world.”

Marda Johnson
University of Arizona Libraries

“The artwork is extraordinary! I like the interaction encouraged by the story with the text bringing attention to the picture details.”

Pat Heeter
early childhood educator, Mecosta Osceola Career Center, Michigan