Mama Miti (Donna Jo Napoli)

When Wangari Maathai was a little girl in Africa, she payed attention to nature. She would study tadpoles in the puddles, and she loved the trees. When she grew up, she moved to the city, but she still surrounded herself in nature by planting trees in her backyard, and she wore a blue dress that looked like it had tadpoles on it. Word spread that she was wise, and could help people with their problems. So people from all around Kenya came and told Wangari their problems. Some had lost their jobs and couldn't feed their families; some had lost their homes and needed shelter. Because of Wangari's knowledge of trees, she gave people seeds of trees that could help them - trees that were good for firewood, trees that had berries you could eat and so on. Over time, many people came to Wangari, and the people planted the seeds. Not only did it help the people, but then the area was covered in trees, and it was beautiful. Then people began calling her Mama Miti, which means "Tree Mother." This book by Donna Jo Napoli will inspire children of all ages, with Kadir Nelson's beautiful fabric collage illustrations, with the bold colors and designs of Africa. The story of Mama Miti is a true one about a woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace." Ages 4-10.

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