Meet the authors and illustrator

Head shot photo of Linda Stephen, children's book author and illustrator and origami artist.

Linda Stephen, illustrator and author

Linda Stephen is an award-winning paper artist whose artworks are part of public and private collections around the world. Her art is made entirely of paper: layers of Japanese handmade papers and her own invented origami sculptures. Linda grew up in Michigan playing outdoors in every season and later worked and studied in Japan for six years. She has a master's degree in international journalism and has worked with people from more than 180 countries. She made her first origami model, a fortune teller, in fourth grade. See a TV interview with the author and book outside at a park. PRESS KIT BELOW. 

See an art gallery of origami landscapes at


Christine Manno, author

Christine Manno is a  university professor, world traveler, and knitter extraordinaire. In her free time, she enjoys long walks on crisp days with her French bulldog, Miss Daizy. Christine and Linda have been friends for more than 30 years. 

Press kit for The Day We Went to the Park

TV interview "Lincoln author creates origami children's book about Holmes Lake," CBS KOLN TV 1011 News, April 19, 2020 

Radio interview "Art Talk Live: Linda Stephen" KZUM Radio, March 2020

Radio interview "Friday Live: Linda Stephen's Art Exhibition & Book Launch,"  NET Radio, Feb. 7, 2020  (1:05:27)


“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.

“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.” —Columnist and origami expert Dana Hinders


“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 Todaybestselling author  

“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, Noyes Art Gallery

  “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)

“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 

“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!”  —D.S.Thornton, Scrap City

“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

”The book is a great introduction into the natural world.” —Marda Johnson, retired, 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

The Day We Went to the Park _ Book Cover (jpg)


The Day We Went to the Park press release final 2.20 (pdf)


Linda Stephen artist statement 12.19 (pdf)


Linda Stephen Art Bio 11.19 (pdf)


LINDA STEPHEN art cv 3 page summary 11.19 (pdf)