Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
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Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  267 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she foun...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Kathryn
This is the a beautiful and inspiring story of Kenyan Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement. But, first and foremost, Wangari loves trees, nature, and the harmony that sings when humans work in rhythm with their environment--and this love, which began in her childhood, is what inspired her in everything else. I think this story is so powerful not only because it shows us a truly outstanding woman--but it shows how we...more
Lisa Vegan
Feb 26, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everybody who cares about sustainability, the earth, people
Recommended to Lisa by: Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is a gem of a book. The illustrations made me so happy and this non-fiction book is truly inspirational.

I love this book’s illustrations. I have a special fondness for intricate drawings of tiny (on the page) plant life. The trees and crops shown here are so beautiful, as are the people, the dog, the whole classroom that’s shown, and I was enchanted on almost every page. I could be happy viewing over and over those miniature plants and trees. Just lovely!

The true story is just wonderful, an...more
Jo Ann
I read this short children's book 3 years ago when it came out, but it has not been added to my list until today. Wangari Maatha was a personal hero of mine...she died yesterday in Kenya after a long battle with ovarian cancer. I was a freshman when Wangari was a senior at the small Catholic college we attended in Atchison, Kansas. When she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, I was excited and proud! She was beautiful, inside and out, and this little book is a true gem...it is only a very simple...more
Miriam
Planting the Trees of Kenya is an account for young readers of the life and work of Wangari Maathai, Founder of the Green Belt Movement. Nivola explains the environmental issues in a simple, non-politicized manner, focusing on the relationship between people and local ecology and the virtues that enabled Maathai and other Kenyan women to restore the forests: hard work, independence, patience, determination. The story also encourages readers to think about ways they can make a difference on a loc...more
528_Tracy
Claire Nivola's Planting the Trees of Kenya tells the story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and her quest to bring back the trees of Kenya. This beautifully illustrated picture book follows Maathai's story from her childhood in Kenya, to her education in the United States, and the founding of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1977. In 2004, Maathai was the first woman from Africa to win a Nobel Peace Prize for her work in teaching Kenyan women to plant trees and reclaim their land....more
Q_Barb
Beautifully illustrated, with simple text in picture book format that tells how Wangari, the first women from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize came to found the Green Belt Movement in 1977 in her native Kenya. When she left for college in America, her country was lush with trees, clear streams and small family gardens and livestock. When she returned in 1966, three years after Kenya gained its independence from Britain, the landscape was considerably different. Trees had been cleared for...more
CH _Kenya  Walker
Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. She set about bringing the trees back and restoring t...more
Amy Stipp
The story of Wangari Maathai is inspiring. Maathai went to America to study in 1960's. When she came back to Kenya, she found her land had changed. She began to teach her community the importance of taking care of their land and how to do that, starting the Green Belt Movement. I personally connect to this and am inspired by her determination to involve her community in taking care of their community, which in turn takes care of their health, as I have been learning about my own need for simplic...more
Shaeley Santiago
Sep 26, 2011 Shaeley Santiago rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: environmental science teachers
While Wangari Maathai was away at college in the USA, Kenyan farmers were changing their farming methods and cutting down many trees. When Maathai saw how severely the environment, resources, and well being of the people were affected, she began showing women how to plant trees & the Green Belt Movement began. As a result of her work, Maathai was the first African woman to receive a Nobel prize.

Links to The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough and One Hen: How One Sm...more
Julie Tompkins
This book is a biography written as a picture book about Wangari Maathai’s life and work. Maathai is women who spent her life promoting conservation of natural resources in Kenya, Africa. The book starts out by describing Maathai’s childhood in a farming community in Kenya. It goes on to describe her formal education in the United States and her work when she returned to Kenya. Maathai worked hard to teach her people to conserve their resources, plant trees and crops, and once again become the s...more
Susan
The story of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya which focuses on environmental issues. This book describes the dramatic change undergone by Kenya in the first decade of independence from British rule and the pending environmental disaster created as farmers abandoned traditional methods of farming, cut down all the trees, and enlarged their holdings in order to grow more cash crops. When Wangari Maathai returned to Kenya from college in the United S...more
Patricia  Leon
~“When we see that we are part of the problem, we can become part of the solution”.—Wangari Maathai

Planting the Trees of Kenya is the remarkable story of Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Wangari grew up on a farm in the hills of Kenya, and as a child remembers it was, “clothed in its dress of green”. The landscape was lush, streams were filled with fish, and people took care of the land. Wangari went on to attend college in America for five years. U...more
Elizabeth
Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A Nivola
Planting The Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A Nivola, is the picture book story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Maathai recounts what life was like in Kenya when she was a young girl. There was respect for the land and traditions. Maathai came to the US to attend college, during which time Kenya gained its independence from Great Britain. During the years she was gone, land th...more
Marissa Masterson
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola is a Teacher's Choice Award book from 2009. Main character, Wangari leaves her home of Kenya where the fig tree is sacred and everyone grows their own food to America where she goes to a college ran by Benedictine nuns. She finds inspiration there and when returning back to Kenya, she sees that everything has completely changed and their lives have become a struggle. To change it all around, Wangari taught the people o...more
Irene Perez
Planting the Trees of Kenya
Grade:K-2nd grade
Reading level: E
Genre: Information Book
Award: Jane Addams

Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
Setting: U.S. to attend College and her return to Kenya
POV: Second person

This book tells the story of Wangari Maathai who left a verdant Kenya to attend college in the U.S. Upon her return home she found the Kenyan landscape changed. Large scale tea plantations had replaced small subsistence farms. There had been rapid desertification. People were malnourished, und...more
Viridiana
Title: "Planting the Trees of Kenya" by Claire A. Nivola
Grade/Interest Level: k-2nd grade
Guided Reading Level: E
Genre: Information Book

Award: Jane Addams

Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
Setting: U.S. to attend College and her return to Kenya
POV: Second person

Summary: This book talks about the story of Wangari Maathai who left a verdant Kenya to attend college in the United States. During her return home she found the Kenyan landscape changed. Large scale tea plantations had replaced small subsist...more
Natalie Sabbath
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
POV: Third Person

Summary: “Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai,” written by Claire A. Nivola, is the happy tale of the life of Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Nivola begins the Maathai’s story by describing and illustrating the land of Kenya, Africa in the days of Maathai’s childhood, full of all kinds of trees and fresh streams. Maathai then travels to America to earn he...more
Bianca
Title: Planting the Trees of Kenya
Grade/interest level: Primary (k-2nd grade)
Reading level: Fountas and Pinnell, E
Genre: Information Book
Award: Jane Addams

Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
Setting: U.S. to attend College and her return to Kenya
POV: Second person

This book tells the story of Wangari Maathai who left a verdant Kenya to attend college in the U.S. Upon her return home she found the Kenyan landscape changed. Large scale tea plantations had replaced small subsistence farms. There had bee...more
Maria Salinas
Title: Planting the Trees of Kenya
Grade/interest level: (k-2nd grade)
Reading level: F&P E
Genre: Information Book
Award: Jane Addams
Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
Setting: U.S.,Kenya
POV: Second person

The story is about Wangari Maathi the main character of the story that leaves Kenya to attend college in the United States. Wangari remembers Kenya as the place where many trees could be found, fish were found in the streams, and the people always cared for their garden. When Wangari returned ho...more
Leslie Morrison
Wangari Maathai was born in the highlands of Kenya, an area that was covered with green plants, strong fig trees, and clear running streams. Wangari attends college in Kansas, and she returns to her homeland five years later to see a dramatic change. Streams are murky and low, people have become less healthy, and the trees have been cut down, leaving the land parched and brown. Wangari realizes that it’s within her power and the power of her community members to make a change. Wangari teachers t...more
Eloise Davis
Wangari Maathai tells her story of growing up surrounded by green in the farm hills of central Kenya. All kinds of trees covered Kenya and the streams were filled with fish. Wangari tells us about the sacred fig tree and how they were not to disturb the tree or take anything away from the tree for their own benefit. Wangari eventually left for college in America very far away from her home in Kenya. At college she had the opportunity to study biology and she dreamed of making the world a better...more
Carly
Summary:
Wangari Maathai tells her story of growing up surrounded by green in the farm hills of central Kenya. All kinds of trees covered Kenya and the streams were filled with fish. Wangari tells us about the sacred fig tree and how they were not to disturb the tree or take anything away from the tree for their own benefit. Wangari eventually left for college in America very far away from her home in Kenya. At college she had the opportunity to study biology and she dreamed of making the world...more
Noelle Marie
Wangari Masthai is from a farm in the hills of central Kenya. For college, Wangari travels all the way to America to a university run by Benedictine nuns where she studies biology. Here the nuns and other students taught her to not just think of herself but the world beyond herself also. When Wangari returns to Kenya her beautiful landscape had drastically changed. Her beloved fig tree was gone same as the stream and everything that lived in it. The people no longer grew their own food but boug...more
Jodysegal
Apr 26, 2009 Jodysegal rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Grades K-4
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai offers early elementary-aged children a powerful introduction to Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her work founding the Green Belt Movement of Kenya. Exquisitely illustrated with finely detailed and brightly-hued, full page watercolors, Nivola's biography introduces children to this remarkable woman's life's work, from her childhood on a farm in Kenya, her departure for a biology degree in the US, her return to a...more
Madonnasharma
I am surprised that this book did not win more awards. I thought the pictures were unique; whether you held them close or far away I felt I was there. I think it was all the lines and how the grass seemed to bend with the wind. The greens, blues, and the orange of the land along with the bright patterns of the clothing were gorgeous. The picture of the classroom with the royal blue uniforms and Wangari in orange is one of my favorites (of course the red of the soldiers and the lined up seedlings...more
Carolynne
The exquisitely detailed watercolor and pencil illustrations seemed an odd choice for a book with so much potential for richness and color, but they are enchanting. The story of Wangari Maathai deserves to be better known. Good for reading aloud to young children, this book may even inspire them to help make the world better.
Claudia
(Summary) Tells the true story of Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement of Kenya, which has led to the planting of 30 million trees by rural Kenyan people over the past 30 years.

In a simple, straightforward style, Nivola tells how the growing population of farming people in the newly-independent Kenya ravaged the land, cutting trees for firewood, which led to loss of topsoil and the drying up of streams. Rather than waiting for the government to act, Maathai began a tree planting movement,...more
Samittra
Planting The Trees Of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai is about the amazing impact a woman named Wangari Maathai had in Kenya. She was inspired to bring back the tree’s and health of the land in Kenya because had grown up there and wanted to see the area beautiful once again. This book begins when Wangari was only a little girl; she loved how the earth was covered in a dress of green. She admired their beautiful area and enjoyed visited the sacred fig tree. When Wangari goes away for college...more
Linda
The book is an inspiration, especially for those who are working to make a difference in first steps. When Maathai returned to her Native Kenya after college in the U.S., she was troubled by the amount of land that had been stripped of trees in order that farmers plant crops to sell. The result was becoming and economic and personal disaster for no longer was there good land to grow small gardens to feed one’s family, or close trees from which to gather fallen wood for cooking fires. Starting wi...more
528_Kristin
Summary: This is a story of Wangari Maathai who grew up on the hills of Kenya. As she got older, she left to visit the US, and came back to find Kenya dying. The trees of Kenya were being cut down causing the water to be ruined, the soil to wear away, etc. She decides to teach the people of Kenya to help themselves. She shows them how to grow trees, and help their environment.

Opinion: I enjoyed this book. It is a sweet story on helping the environment, and how you can make a difference. Although...more
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