Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wangari's Trees of Peace

Wangari's Trees of Peace

Jeanette Winter
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Harcourt Children's Books, 1978   ISBN: 978-0152065454

Wangari was raised in a village in Kenya. When she grew up, she got a scholarship to go to a college in America. When she got home, Wangari was distressed to see that many trees had been cut down. The village women had to walk long distances under the hot sun to get firewood, and the deforestation had damaged the land so badly that it was ""barren.""

Wangari decided to plant nine little trees. Then she planted more and created a nursery. She encouraged the village women to help her plant trees, telling them that they would be planting ""seeds of hope."" Even though many people did not believe in what she was doing, Wangari did not give up. She and hundreds of women kept on planting their baby trees.

This is the true story of Wangari Maathai, who was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Wangari believes that humans heal their own wounds when they heal the wounds of the Earth. Her Green Belt Movement has had a profound affect on the environment and economy of her native Kenya.

Beautifully written and full of warm colorful acrylic illustrations, this is a moving and inspirational picture book.