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Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai (Frances Foster Books) Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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*Starred Review* Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her environmental and human rights achievements. Founder of the Green Belt Movement, she has encouraged people to repair their economy, land, and health with simple, environmentally friendly acts, such as planting more trees. This beautiful picture-book biography echoes the potent simplicity of Maathai’s message with direct, spare prose and bright, delicate watercolors. Tracking forward from Maathai’s childhood in the rich landscape of Kenya’s highlands, the words and pictures clearly show how the activist’s deep connection with nature as a youth inspired her to develop sustainable practices as an adult. Nivola writes about potentially complex, abstract relationships, such as those between ecological preservation and human health, with clear language that shows connections that children will easily grasp. The story of how each human and tree can make a difference will inspire young people, who will want to linger over the wide, double-page landscapes picturing people restoring stripped land to green, thriving communities and forests. An author’s note offers more about Maathai’s inspiring story. Point teachers and parents seeking more information to Maathai’s autobiography, Unbowed (2006), which was named a Booklist Adult Editor’s Choice. Grades K-3. --Gillian Engberg
“Wangari's work, as so beautifully depicted in Planting the Trees of Kenya, will inspire people worldwide.” ―Pete Seeger
“The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai changed the world one seed at a time. Claire A. Nivola's lovely Planting the Trees of Kenya offers Maathai's story to a younger, wider audience. No child, and surely no library, ought to be without Planting the Trees of Kenya.” ―Boston Globe
“A stirring biography about her extraordinary life, with focus on courageous efforts to reforest Kenya and empower women.” ―The San Francisco Chronicle
“Simultaneously childlike and sophisticated...The idea of restoring ruined land to its original beauty will fill readers of all ages with hope.” ―Starred, Publishers Weekly
“Beautiful . . . The story of how each human and tree can make a difference will inspire young people, who will want to linger over the wide, double-page landscapes.” ―Starred, Booklist
“The delicately detailed illustrations suit the equally low-key writing style...This tale of civic responsibility, personal initiative, and conservation of natural resources is a timely one.” ―Starred, School Library Journal
“There's plenty to discover in the intricate pen-and-watercolor illustrations; the text is more detailed and will engage older children.” ―American Scientist
“Possesses a detailed, naive charm that beautifully explicates Maathai's social progress as she instructs women, schoolchildren and even prison inmates in the benefits of planting and nurturing trees...This impressive effort will resonate with children.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“As an illustrator, Nivola . . . creates absorbing, telltale images--sweeping views of the countryside with miniature human figures, in the manner of folk paintings . . . .The whole is as much a pleasure as an inspiration.” ―The Horn Book
“Claire Nivola gives us a wonderful story about Wangari Maathai, the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and the founder of the Green Belt movement.” ―Rondi Brouwer, Blackwood & Brouwer, Kinderhook, NY
“Nivola's sotry delivers the idea that each of us can make a difference. Older readers will appreciate Nivola's detailed note about Maathai's life and her Green Belt Movement.” ―The Sacramento Bee
“Wangari Maathai's story is beautifully told, is just the right length for young readers, and boasts wonderful illustrations that capture the beauty of this African country.” ―Book Loons
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Top customer reviews
There are no trees in Kenya! This book is called "Planting the Trees of Kenya." It is a nonfiction book about faith.
In this story, there is a girl named Wangari who lives in a small village. She had a favorite tree out of all the others. When she grew older she needed to go to American for college so she could study. When she was done she was going to visit Kenya, but nothing looked the same. Her favorite tree was cut down! What will she do? Cry? Nothing? Read to see what she will do.
The author wrote this book because she did not want anybody to cut down any more trees. I love when she said "You should hold a gun in your right hand and in your left a seedling." I like it because it shows that she's trying to help.
I would recommend this book to people who love the outdoors. This book is amazing and it about faith. if you love the outdoors, come buy the book today! I hope you will!
I've given this book as a gift to three children so far this year and plan to keep gifting it!