This moving depiction of ecological innovation centers on a project spearheaded by Dr. Gordon Sato to plant mangrove trees, which grow easily in salt water, in the village of Hargigo in the impoverished African nation of Eritrea. Graceful prose alternates with cumulative verse to relay the benefits that the trees provided for the community: "These are the fishermen/ Who catch the fish/ That swim in the roots,/ Of the mangrove trees." Resembling papier-mâché, Roth's textural mixed-media collages become increasingly lively as the new ecosystem flourishes. An extensive afterword, containing many photographs of Sato and the people of Hargigo, brings their hopeful story into sharp focus. --Publisher's WeeklyStarred Review
Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore's The Mangrove Tree
describes how these trees were planted by local women-earning them much needed income while the leaves from the mangrove trees feed Hargigo's sheep and goats. Today these animals live longer, produce healthier and larger flocks, and feed the residents of Hargigo. In addition to Roth's stunning, full-page color-saturated collage and mixed-media artwork, photographs of Dr. Sato and the Hargigo community at work illustrate this stunning book. --School Library Journal
Dr. Gordon Santo had a brainstorm: Why not plant mangrove trees in the waters off Hargigo? The leaves would feed the town s hungry herds of sheep and goats and provide wood for fuel; the trees root system would attract fish; and the trees themselves would [convert] carbon dioxide to oxygen. Roth s artwork is a treat, cut-paper and fabric collages of intense, shimmering color on a ground of paper that is electric with thick veins of fiber. Roth and Trumbore s cumulative verse goes about its merry way on the left page. . .while a narrative on the right takes readers on Santo s journey. Hitting home hard is the project s simple practicality: no high-tech, no great infusions of capital or energy in a word, motivating, in the best possible way. --Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
SUSAN L. ROTH s unique mixed-media collage illustrations have appeared in numerous award-winning children s books, many of which she also wrote. About her inspiration for The Mangrove Tree
Roth says, I wanted to write this book ever since I first heard about [Dr. Sato s] project in Eritrea. I wanted to illustrate this book the minute I saw photographs of the project. Roth lives in New York.
CINDY TRUMBORE has been involved with young people s literature for most of her career. A former editor in children s book publishing, she now writes children s books, edits books for classrooms, and teaches writing. When her friend Susan L. Roth approached her to coauthor The Mangrove Tree
, Trumbore was immediately excited by the chance to research and write about Dr. Sato s work. She lives with her family in New Jersey.