Welcome to Groff Park! It’s a great place to have a picnic, play a game, or read a book under a tree. No matter what season it is, there are tons of fun things to do here! In the summer, you can cool down and play in the splash pad, look at the colorful leaves in the fall, make snow angels in the winter, and search for signs of new life in the spring. If you’re looking to explore further, you can even take a walk on the Emily Dickinson trail.

Many of the authors on this tour write about themes of adventure, nature, play, fantasy, exploration, and fun. At this stop, take some time to use your imagination to transform the park into a setting from one of your favorite books. Is it a pirate ship? A medieval castle? A planet from the future? It could even be full of fairies, superheroes, or dragons. The possibilities are endless!


Angela DiTerlizzi is no stranger to exploring the outdoors and all of the plants and animals that live there. Take, for example, her book Some Bugs, that tells kids to “Grab your magnifying glass! Find your field guide! And come hop, hide, swim, and glide through a buggy backyard world!” Groff Park is the perfect place to find the kinds of bugs that Angela writes about: bugs that bite, stink, flutter, crawl, click, sing, and buzz. Parks and outdoor spaces are also a great place to try new things, especially things that are really hard to learn like riding a bike, flying a kite, saying a tongue twister, and skateboarding. Angela wrote a book called The Magical Yet about this very topic! The story follows children who try to do all of these things and more, but can’t seem to get the hang of them. Instead of giving up, however, a character named the Magical Yet gives these children the courage and motivation to keep dreaming, keep trying, never give up! If we keep trying, we’ll get the hang of them eventually. What new things do you want to try and explore in Groff Park? Read more about Angela here.

Tony DiTerlizzi loves Groff Park! He has taken his daughter Sophia there many times over the years. In fact, outdoor spaces like Groff Park are one of the reasons Tony is a children’s book author today. Growing up around nature inspired Tony to draw and write stories about the insects and birds that he saw in his backyard. One of his earliest books was a pocket field guide to insects he collected in his backyard, and it was this very pocket field guide that became the inspiration for Arthur Spiderwick’s field guide in his book series The Spiderwick Chronicles! (See Clip 1 below to hear Tony talk about his lifelong love for the natural world.)

The outdoors also inspires what Tony calls “world-building.” When Tony creates stories, he isn’t only creating characters; he is also dreaming up the world the characters live in. This can be seen in both The Spiderwick Chronicles, a story filled with fairies and goblins and trolls, as well as The Wondla Trilogy, a futuristic alien fantasy. “I think when we think of certain children’s book stories we think of the characters that we love. But the really rich stories, the setting and the world, is just as exciting, if not more exciting, than the characters themselves,” says Tony. “We all love Harry Potter, but we all want to go to Hogwarts.” (See Clip 2 below to hear Tony talk more about his process for creating characters and worlds.) Read more about Tony here.

Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig are no strangers to Groff Park! This mother/daughter duo has lots of experience exploring all of the different natural (and man made) environments looking for insects and animal tracks all year round. Take a moment to stop, look, and listen to the nature all around you. Or maybe use your imagination to transform the playground or splash pad into new scenery using your imagination! Check out their page for some ideas from these authors about how to have fun at this stop.


I spy with my little eye tiny insects. What kind of bugs do you see?

I spy with my little eye something tall that pours water. What do you think it is?



Tony and the natural world
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Tony's process
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Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig Groff Park
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