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City Publishes Let’s Explore Albuquerque! Activity Book Geared Toward Kids and Tweens

Launch event on Dec. 30; free copies available on ABQ Ride and City public venues.
December 12, 2023

Albuquerque kids now have access to a fun new guide as they move about town—an activity book that explains the past and helps imagine the future of our city. Let’s Explore Albuquerque! provides the community and visitors with an interactive approach to learning about Albuquerque’s history, people, special attractions, and artifacts. Geared toward kids five to 10 years old and their families and caretakers, the book delivers art activities, STEM explorations, and educational information about our unique city, including some of kids’ perennially favorite topics—animals, plants, and transportation.

The activity book journeys from the Sandias down to the Bosque to learn about Albuquerque’s natural and manmade landscapes. Each chapter opens with narratives full of facts to inspire a curious mind, where readers can learn about the city’s extensive plant life and edible vegetation, our exceptional modes of transportation, and the things seen and heard that are unique to Albuquerque. Activities include contributions from the Explora STEAM activity bank, such as learning about animal camouflage and making seed bombs; and other challenges, including a word search; mad lib; scavenger hunts; mapping; experimenting; and creating a future Albuquerque.

Arts & Culture, along with Mayor Tim Keller, will host a launch event for Let’s Explore Albuquerque! on Saturday, December 30 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the International District Library. The first 100 kids 14 and under to arrive will receive a goodie bag along with a free copy of the book. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy activities from the book and meet the artists. Blake's Lotaburger, book/event sponsor, will be onsite with their food truck offering breakfast burritos for purchase. 

After December 30, copies of the activity book will free on ABQ Ride buses, at Explora, at public libraries, through Arts & Culture venues, and through other public outreach initiatives, and at select Blake’s Lotaburger locations.  

The development of the activity book was a collaboration between the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts & Culture staff, including team members from Explora and Albuquerque Museum, with input from the ABQ BioPark. The team started with engaging local students about what interests them about Albuquerque. 

"Over the course of several months, we heard directly from kids on what they love about Albuquerque, what piques their curiosity, what they’ve always wanted to learn more about, and what they just can’t seem to get enough of: surprise surprise—its green chile,” Diana Delgado, Arts & Culture community outreach coordinator, said. “We gathered more than 400 unique questions that kids had about Albuquerque. Then we listened to our youth and created a book based on what they said they wanted to learn.” 

Nine local Albuquerque artists illustrated black-and-white coloring pages for the book. Artists include Zahra Marwan, award-winning Albuquerque author-illustrator who painted the cover image; Lauryn Mills-Bohannon, an Albuquerque artist and Afro Mundo contributor who illustrated “What is that?;” artist and educator, Lindsay Brenner, drew “How Do We Get Around?” and vehicle illustrations; BioPark graphic designer and artist Katie Carrillo created “What Plants Grow Here?;” artist and East Mountains artist, Kate Coucke, drew “Where Are We?;” Albuquerque native and fine art student, Hedy Ward, made “Where Do We Gather and Learn?;” Carlos Contreras, Albuquerque writer and artist, created the table of contents drawing; and Brett Kennedy (aka SOKWA) created the “What Do You See & Hear” coloring page.

The city enlisted help from local writer Kallie Gibson, who created the book narratives, and Robin Hesse, who designed the book and drew the “What Animals Live Here” coloring page and other illustrations in the book.