PLANTING THE TREES OF KENYA is a new mirror book for me. Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Greenbelt Movement, grew up in Kenya, where lush vegetation was plentiful. Over the years, however, more and more land was cleared, and when Wangari returned from college in America, she found the vegetation gone and the land dry. How could she, as one person, bring back the trees and restore her country?
This is a powerful THREE CUPS OF TEA kind of picture book that speaks volumes about how one person can bring about change in the world. I'm looking at the kids at my new school-- many of them seem pretty rough and tough, and I suspect that they have seen plenty of ugliness in the short lives. I'm wondering, then, what kind of beauty and change this book might inspire them to bring about in their neighborhood/world.
P.S. The art in this book, kind of a blend of folk and impressionism, is gorgeous!