CBR15 BINGO (Guide square: all about the NPS and the jags that give them bad reviews on Yelp.) BINGO! Hold Steady to Nostalgia BINGO! In the Wild to Edibles
I think I first found @subparparks on Instagram during the pandemic. I can’t remember the first post that I saw, but I laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of some people. Amber Share’s account blends her love of lettering and illustration with her love of the national parks in the U.S. After reading a one-star Yelp review that referred to the Grand Canyon as “a very very large hole,” Amber was not gonna let that nonsense slide. I suppose we should thank that idiot for stomping on one of the wonders of the world and in turn Amber’s childhood memory of her first trip to the Grand Canyon. Don’t mess with Mother Nature or eye-roll majestic scenery. Someone might write a book about it.
While this is not a super detailed guidebook of the NPS, it is a great primer for it and a love letter to it. Beautifully illustrated and lovingly narrated by a big parks fan, this little book gives a great overview of each of the parks in the system. From well-known Yellowstone to places like Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias, Share offers up historical, botanical, geological, cultural, and zoological tidbits about each. She is also careful to include the native cultures that inhabit or once inhabited these lands. Sprinkled throughout the book are park ranger tips and good old-fashioned common sense wisdom that, in the age of edge-of-the-cliff selfie-taking, cannot be emphasized enough.
It’s also a tongue-in-cheek look at how some people’s expectations will never be met and the arbitrariness of online reviewing. How can a natural wonder full of wildlife, old-growth forests, multiple ecosystems, geysers, glaciers, and waterfalls be reduced to a starred rating?