Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, written and illustrated by Claire A. Nivola, published by Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Environmentalist and activist Wangari Maathai founded Kenya's Green Belt Movement (1977) in direct response to the devastated natural resources and poverty caused by the deforestation of her homeland for commercial purposes. In a picture book that glows with orange and green landscapes dotted with bright blue, red, purple and yellow details, Nivola presents Maathai as a steady leader who saw community building as a way to resolve problems. She drew first on her own courage, then on the courage of many women, to sow seeds, nurture seedlings, face jail, and always - to plant trees. Together they built a movement that continues to inspire people to take charge of their lives, their land and their future. She was the first woman from Africa to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004). Winner Books for Younger Children 2009.

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