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April 2020

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Urban Playground

What Kids Say About Living in San Francisco
Katie Burke

Have you ever wondered what it’s like being a kid in San Francisco? Are you raising a kid in this or another urban center? San Francisco life is full of thrills and bummers, both for kids and the adults who love them.

In "Urban Playground: What Kids Say About Living in San Francisco," Katie Burke explores the experience of kids ages five to nine living in this place — what makes San Francisco special for kids and why some are over it.

Writer of "Noe Kids," her column of kid profiles for San Francisco neighborhood newspaper the Noe Valley Voice, Katie Burke brings city kids’ personalities and perspectives to the page, leading readers to see the joys and challenges inherent to being a San Francisco kid.

Just when the book suggests that parks and ice cream are all any kid needs, you will turn the page to find a child’s appreciation for the Golden Gate Bridge or the Ferry Building Farmers Market.

The picture isn’t all aglow: The significant homeless population weighs on San Francisco children’s hearts, and the city is too noisy for some. But for the most part, they will tell you it is a pretty great place to live.


Katie Burke is the author of "Urban Playground" (SparkPress, 2020), a book featuring San Francisco kids ages five to nine. She is a family lawyer and advocate and writes a monthly column for the Noe Valley Voice. Burke has taught creative writing to children and adults in Kenya, South Africa, and San Francisco. She received her master's degree in counseling from ASU in 1999.

Praise for this book

“In this charming, warm-hearted, often very funny book, Katie Burke takes us into the minds of children — a place we should all spend more time! Not only a wonderfully insightful kid’s eye guide to San Francisco, 'Urban Playground' is also an interactive manual for getting into the minds of your own — and your friends’ — children. Reading its sweet — and sometimes quirky — interviews, is to see San Francisco with the freshest eyes possible.”

Janis Cooke Newman
Author of "A Master Plan for Rescue"

“San Francisco as seen through the eyes of its youngest denizens. More than just an insider’s guide to places parents should take their kids in the city, Katie Burke’s stories are a revelation about the lives, imaginations and dreams of our future generation. Kids really do say the darndest things.”

Scott James
Journalist and author of San Francisco Chronicle bestsellers "SoMa" and "The Sower"