Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

PopUp StoryWalk: Follow the trail to find the next page of a children's book.

Keep walking to keep reading. PopUp StoryWalk coaxes kids along trails by posting stories to read.

It’s a walk! It’s a story! It’s PopUp StoryWalk!

Find it at Richmond Beach Community Park in Shoreline and Peter Kirk Park in Kirkland!

PopUp StoryWalk is the perfect way to get your little ones out the door, to walk and read an illustrated children’s book along the way.

PopUp’s current partnership with King County Public Library Systems brings you back to parks and spaces near and around your local library. Current installations include “The Bear’s Song,” by Benjamin Chaud at Richmond Beach Community Park (Aug 21-Sept 12) and “The Water Princess” by Susan Verde (Aug 28-Sept 19) at Peter Kirk Park.

Want to find out what happens next, kids? Then keep walking!

Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, created the first StoryWalk in 2007 with the help of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. She wanted to provide a free activity that combined physical fitness with early childhood literacy, and discovered that hiking kept families moving along the trails. Today, she has extended her program to every state in the U.S., as well as numerous countries around the world.

Elisabeth Lepine discovered the idea when she and her then-two-year-ood daughter came across a StoryWalk installation while hiking in the woods of upstate New York.

Her daughter was hooked from the beginning and and excitedly toddled along to read posted pages along the trail.

When Lepine moved to Seattle, she decided to bring StoryWalks to her own community with an emphasis on highlighting local authors. She recruited two friends, co-founder Beth Yost and myself, along with fiscal sponsor Arts of Kenmore, to partner with parks and recreation departments around the greater Seattle area. We invited local authors to share their books, and PopUp StoryWalk was born.

“PopUp offers an opportunity that takes learning outside the four-walled classroom,” says Lepine. “It’s an innovative way to experience a book, inspiring kids to discover the next page of the story, become invested in the plot and characters, have the opportunity to ask questions along the way, and share in learning as a family.”

Local authors in beautiful green spaces

The first Seattle-area PopUp StoryWalk was on the grounds at St. Edward State Park in 2018, featuring “Bunnies!!!” by local author Kevan Atteberry. Since then, PopUp has popped up in more than 10 local parks and hosted nine books. During a normal school year, the program offers enrichment and author visits to local elementary schools.

To find out more, follow PopUp StoryWalk on Facebook and Instagram, or visit PopUp StoryWalk’s motto is Get Outdoors! Get Reading! We’ll see you out on the trail, reading a very good book, soon!

* Social distancing and the proper use of a mask is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Please follow proper health protocols when participating in activities like PopUp StoryWalk.