Author & Illustrator: Jeanette Winter
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.
Reading Level: Ages 4- 8
“I can begin to replace some of the trees here in my own backyard- one tree at a time.”
Wangari’s Trees of Peace is a colorful children’s book that teaches a lesson. The colorful pictures and easy-to-understand words tell a story that people of all ages can learn from. Jeanette Winter tells the true story of how Wangari Maathai brought color back to Kenya by telling women to replace trees that had been destroyed to make room for buildings and industry. Even though the government told her she was wrong and that women couldn’t make a big change like this, she still worked hard to return the green to Kenya. She gave the village women seedlings to start planting their own trees. Wangari paid the women for each seedling that lived for at least three months. Through this, she accomplished another goal: she proved to the government that women could make a big change.
Author Jeanette Winter makes the story fun and interesting to read. I don’t think any child would be bored or feel overloaded by information while reading this book. The pictures add a lot to the story and they help explain what is going on. The book contains quotes from Wangari and there is an author’s note in the back that gives you information about real life Wangari and her story.
This book would be great for kids learning about the environment and how humans affect it. Wangari’s Trees of Peace is good at telling a story and giving you information without making you feel like you are reading a textbook. I actually would have liked to get more information; there wasn’t very much scientific information.
Overall, Wangari’s Trees of Peace is a beautifully written, inspirational story that teaches a lesson.