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Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 4—This delightful picture-book biography of the environmentalist has engaging illustrations and accessible, succinct prose. When Wangari Maathai was growing up in Kenya, the land was covered with trees. But on returning to her homeland from America, where she was educated on scholarship, she discovered a hot, dry, barren land, stripped of the trees she loved as a child. Starting in her own backyard, Maathai planted trees and encouraged other women to do the same. More than 30 million trees have since been planted by the members of her Green Belt Movement. Maathai was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2004 in recognition of her work. The acrylic illustrations have a warm folk-art influence. The pictures are both literal and symbolic, and framed in complementary lines of color. An author's note and a quote from Maathai are included. This book would be a superb choice for read-alouds or assignments.—Melissa Christy Buron, Epps Island Elementary, Houston, TX
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Like Claire A. Nivola’s Planting the Trees of Kenya (2008), this powerful picture-book biography introduces Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. As in Nivola’s title, Winter follows her charismatic subject from her rural Kenyan childhood to her adult life as the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which has profoundly improved her country’s health and economy. Winter distills Maathai’s inspirational story into spare words and images. As in her other similarly formatted picture books, such as The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq (2005), Winter’s acrylic paintings employ rich, opaque hues and elemental shapes that illustrate specific details while conveying a broader sense of her subject’s remarkable influence. An author’s note fills in biographical facts, but children may still have questions about specific events, such as the violent protest battles that leave Maathai bloodied. Paired with Nivola’s slightly more comprehensive approach, this title offers a welcome introduction to Maathai’s awe-inspiring work and to the subject of activism in general. Grades 1-3. --Gillian EngbergSee all Editorial Reviews
Such a great book. We read this for a Girl Scout Brownie meeting and the girl's really connected with this story!Published 3 months ago by kristina walker
Beautiful, true story of a powerful woman who should be a role model for us all. It teaches a powerful lesson about the importance of protecting our environment, standing up for... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Megan Strickland
A great story,with beautiful illustrations Made the point that one person can make a huge difference. Girls loved it.Published 5 months ago by K. Waterman
This book is a lovely inspiration based on a true story. The copy I bought is now in the public library of Morant Bay, Jamaica. Please join me in sharing this story in many ways.Published 5 months ago by Reggae Girl
i got this it was way too shorT I would like to be challenged in my reading too easy for mePublished 6 months ago by crodgers
Great topic and nice illustrations, but the prose is terrible and the violent portrayal of being beaten by a club with blood coming out of Wangari's head is definitely not OK for... Read morePublished 7 months ago by S. Costonis
I have bought MANY GIFT copies of this book . . . a VERY IMPORTANT BOOK of peace AND GREEN ECOLOGY . . . I will keep gifting it . . ..Published 9 months ago by piamaria Mc-Z