“This is a book by locals, for locals,” Kori Barton explained of “C is for Concord: An A to Z Journey through Concord, California.”
“We simply wrote it for families in our community to enjoy and learn from and to better enjoy their city,” she added. “I think that’s part of the beauty of it: It’s a labor of love gift to all of our Concord neighbors – and I hope they feel that.”
The husband and wife wrote the book together, while Kori created all of the illustrations. She was raised in Concord and spent much of childhood outdoors, exploring Concord’s natural environment.
“I know the city and enjoy the city and its history,” Kori said. “We wanted to make a book that had all of that in one place in a kid-friendly way.”
The couple’s two small children were the inspiration for the book and have experienced many of the sites in the book.
The book covers well-known spots such as Mt. Diablo (D is for Diablo) and Buchanan Airport (A is for airport) and some lesser-known secrets from Concord’s history – Z is for zebra and E is for elk herd. They accompany the rhyming text with informative sidebars on each page that detail the history of each location, making the book appropriate for a wide range of ages.
Kori was homeschooled in Concord and attended Cal State East Bay, where she took art classes. Her childhood was also filled with lots of art and crafts, guided by her mom and grandmother.
Kori, who worked for a while as a graphic designer, used acrylic paint to capture the sights of Concord in a realistic/expressionist style.
Sammy is a pastor at North Creek Church in Walnut Creek, which Kori has attended since childhood. He is also an East Bay native and “is good with poetry and words,” said Kori.
She said writing the book was a hobby they could enjoy together. “And it was so much fun.”
Meet the authors
Residents can join the Bartons at the Concord Library for a book launch event at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15. You will meet the authors and maybe even some Concord City Councilmembers.
Councilmember Laura Nakamura stated: “The colorful artwork intricately weaves together Concord’s beloved landscapes with historical landmarks, creating a captivating visual narrative that celebrates Concord as home.”
The Bartons plan a series of books on East Bay cities. Next up is Walnut Creek, followed by Martinez and others.
“C is for Concord” is available at Berkshire Books, 3480 Clayton Road, the Visit Concord office in Todos Santos Plaza and through Amazon.
Kara Navolio is a freelance writer, telling stories of real life heroes and interesting people for several local newspapers since 2015, including The Pioneer and Lamorinda Weekly. She is also the editor of a local magazine, Northgate Living, and her debut children’s picture book Everybody Can Dance! was released by Brandylane Publishers, Inc. in May 2019. She has lived in Walnut Creek with her husband for 30 years and is the mom of two now grown children.