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Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya Hardcover – Illustrated, January 5, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Luminous illustrations are the highlight of this third recent picture-book biography of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmental activist who received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. In brief, poetic lines that have a folktale tone, Napoli describes how “wise Wangari” helped Kenyan village women solve problems from hunger to dirty water with the same solution: “Plant a tree.” Eventually, Maathai’s Green Belt movement became a worldwide mission. Jeanette Winter’s Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa and Claire A. Nivola’s Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai (both 2008) integrate more background context, and readers encountering Maathai’s story for the first time here will need to start with the appended short biography in order to understand the story’s generalized references. Most noteworthy is Nelson’s vibrant collage artwork, which features soaring portraits and lush landscapes in oil paint and printed fabrics. An author’s note about sources and a glossary of Kikuyu and Swahili words used throughout the text close this moving tribute, which will partner well with Winter’s and Nivola’s titles. Grades K-3. --Gillian Engberg

Review

* “Nelson’s pictures, a jaw-dropping union of African textiles collaged with oil paintings, brilliantly capture the villagers’ clothing and the greening landscape…. This is, in a word, stunning.”

Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

* “Nelson’s (We Are the Ship) breathtaking portraits of Maathai often have a beatific quality; bright African textiles represent fields, mountains, and Maathai’s beloved trees… Napoli (The Earth Shook) creates a vivid portrait of the community from which Maathai’s tree-planting mission grows.”

Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“A beautiful introduction for children just learning about the Greenbelt Movement.”

School Library Journal

“Luminous illustrations are the highlight of this third recent picture-book biography of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmental activist who received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. In brief, poetic lines thathave a folktale tone, Napoli describes how “wise Wangari” helped Kenyan village women solve problems from hunger to dirty water with the same solution: “Plant a tree.” Most noteworthy is Nelson’s vibrant collage artwork, which features soaring portraits and lush landscapes in oil paint and printed fabrics.”

Booklist

“Illustrator Kadir Nelson intensifies the text's tribute to East African culture, mixing oil paints and textiles in collages that capture the quest of women looking for answers as well as the beauty and vastness of Maathai's project . . Especially dazzling… Makes vibrantly clear how strong and resourceful Maathai and other African women have been in restoring trees and peace to their world.”

The Washington Post

“This picture book glows from every page as Napoli and Nelson write and illustrate the inspiring story of ecologist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai…. A lovely, stirring picture book with a simple message for us all: in the midst of change, development, and upheaval, there is always a place for wisdom and peace.”
— Mark David Bradshaw, Watermark Books, Kansas

"Will inspire children of all ages.”

—Ellen Scott, The Bookworm, Omaha, Nebraska

"This is the true story of Wangari Muta Maathi, a Kenyan woman who helped to bring trees back to a sadly deforested country. Her grassroots efforts to help her people and the environment at the same time had a profound effect not only on Kenya, but on people all over the world who heard her story and who learned her lessons. With a lyrical text and stunning multimedia art, this picture book is a must for every reader, both young and not so young." -- Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review

"Mama Miti is based on the amazing life of Wangari Maathi (2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient), who grew up in Nyeri, Kenya, and turned her love of nature and trees into grassroots movement to combat deforestation. The illustrations by Nelson capture the beauty of the Motherland with vibrant colors and flattering images. " -- Ebony Magazine

Product details

  • Lexile measure : AD610L
  • Grade level : Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight : 1.12 pounds
  • Hardcover : 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1416935053
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1416935056
  • Dimensions : 9 x 0.4 x 12 inches
  • Reading level : 4 - 8 years
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Illustrated edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
89 global ratings
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