With the Right to Fight
by Anika Christopher
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Pub Date 06 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 26 Aug 2022
Wangari Muri Maathai is the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement.
In Kenya, there are trees standing tall, rivers running races, and village gardens growing. Seeing this with eyes eager to explore, little Wangari’s love for the earth grows as deep and as wide as the skies above her. But in a community where women are supposed to stay at home, her love is squeezed into the smaller space of her heart.
What no one knows is that the love that was forced by society to be small is actually a tiny seed that, with the right rain and sunlight, would sprout into millions and millions of trees.
“A light but lush profile of Wangari Maathai, beloved hero of planet and people. Catellani’s exuberant illustrations feature arresting text art and floral wreath vignetting that, together with Christopher’s lyrical text, capture the inspiring landscape of rural Kenya and of Maathai’s visionary thought.”
- Summer Edward, Ananseseem
Average rating from 25 members
Beautiful story and beautiful illustrations! I did not know about her story before but now I am interested in learning more about her life. I want to et this book into every kid's hands
The poetic flow of the words throughout the text add to the message of hope, dreams, and strength found throughout. The use of onomatopoeia early on engages the reader by bringing them into the story.
This story invites opportunities for further inquiry into various topics to include hunger, women's rights, education, leading action for change, and more. A must have for all classroom libraries.
I wasn't aware of the name Wangarĩ Muta Maathai but now I am thanks to this brilliant, gorgeous book. If you aren't aware of who she is, she's a Kenyan environment activist who's the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an indigenous, grassroots organization based in Nairobi, Kenya. This book tells us, in stunning illustrations, Ms. Maathai's childhood and what inspired her to pursue higher education and later motivated her to actively work to battle the climate change across Kenya. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her works.
(Side note: I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but her name is Wangarĩ Muta Maathai, but the book says her full name is Wangari Muri Maathai. If the publishers got her name wrong, they need to fix this.)
Thank you, NetGalley and Mascot Books, for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
You really can’t get much better than this book. It promotes love for the earth and getting to explore. It gives the real life story of one brave young woman who wanted to make a difference. The illustrations are beautiful and the message is powerful.
This beautiful picture book biography tells the story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Muri Maathai. As the story explains, Wangari grew up in Kenya and learned to love and live off the land, after winning a scholarship to study in North America, she returns home years later to see that plantations had taken over her homeland. Wanting to support her family and home country she begins to plant trees and shows readers that change can start with something as small as a little seed. The story ends with a short timeline of Wangari's life. The pictures in this book are beautiful, especially those that come together in almost a collage-like format, for example, near the end of the story there is a picture of an outline of the continent of Africa and it is filled with a variety of different flowers. These kind of pictures are throughout the story and are really beautiful to look at. There is also a really beautiful illustration around the quote "always respect the land" which I think draws readers attention to this important message about caring for our planet. As a grade 3 teacher I could definitely see this book in my classroom library. I think it would be an excellent introduction to lessons on plants, poverty in African countries due to over farming the land for commercial agriculture, as well as earth day and demonstrating how to make change. I would recommend this book to teachers, librarians and families of children in the 5-11 age range. Picture book story biographies are great because they allow readers at a variety of levels to access the pictures and/or the story and can inspire the reader to dig deeper about the concepts or people described, if they choose, and I feel this book is a perfect example of that. I so appreciate Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!
The vivid art added even more vibrancy to the story of Wangari Muri Maathai, a Kenyan biologist and activist, Beyond the bright colors and fun patterns, we learn about the life of an incredible woman who used what she learned from her mother, along with her biology PhD, to bring positive changes to her home through tree nurseries and jobs for women. I would love to have this book in my classroom. (The format of the book needs editing to make it more readable on Kindle or print. But I’m sure that will be fixed before it prints.) Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it to readers ages 8-12 with a parent or teacher’s help.
A bright and beautiful illustrated book that tells the tale of Wangari, a young girl who longs to learn more about the earth and nature around her. It tells the story of the Green Belt movement in Africa founded by Wangari, who won the Nobel Peace prize in 2004. A very inspiring story about helping the earth and lifting others' out of poverty.
This wonderful book tells the story of woman who made such an inspiring difference in the world. Wangari grew up in Kenya before soending years in America getting her education. She returned to Kenya after that and started a movement to create the greenbelt which brought her recognition world wide as her idea turned into an accomplishment. She is an absolute inspiration and I know children will love reading this book, it’s one that should be a staple in classrooms around the globe.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review./
This book is very educational for children. I really loved how simply the author talk about her culture and the problem of the environment and the impossibility to study for the women in Africa.
I also love how strong the protagonist is, it's a good exaple for the little girls (and the little boys too). I can't wait to have this book in paperback because I will surely gift it to my nephew!!
Great book with a really important focus!
Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback.
What a brilliant book to teach our kids the importances of trees, forests & human connection to the earth!
I had not heard of Wangari Muri Maathai & this book was truly an eye opener!
Using Wangari from Kenya, as a little girl in this story, the author gives us an account of how her mother instills values in her as a child, emphasising that we all need to "respect" the land.
I am in awe of how Wangari's family was so progressive during those days & gave her an education. As she grows up amidst the trees & nature, Wangari feels as though she is one with earth & yearns to learn more about our planet.
Coming back to Africa, it's commendable the kind of influence she had on the women of Africa, making reforestation the mission of her life, creating the Green Belt Movement. Managing to uplift the lives of countless women & creating jobs that removed poverty, she went on to win The Nobel Peace Prize.
It's high time we share such stories with children & stress upon the importance of reforestation to combat climate change & bring about meaning to our own lives.
I think every one of us must read this book!
Thanks to NetGalley & Mascot Books for the ARC!
This is a children's nonfiction illustrated book about Wangari Muri Maa'thai and the founding of the Green Belt Movement.
This is such a beautiful and important book. It discusses themes of respecting nature, social movements, hunger, women's rights, education, activism and societal expectations of women. Wangari's story inspires hope and strength which I think is so important to teach children. The writing in this book flows so well and the illustrations are so beautiful. It promotes change, women's rights, activism, education and respecting the earth. This book is an absolute staple for all school and public libraries!
I previously had no knowledge of Wangari Muri Maa'thai or the Green Belt Movement so this was a lovely introduction to this for me and I will be researching further!
TWs/CWs: Misogyny; Oppression; Deforestation; Drought; Food Poverty
I absolutely love this. LOVE. Beautiful story. Beautiful message. Beautiful illustrations.
The only thing I found disappointing was that the message about poverty, war and the destruction of the land wasn't strong enough. The words were there but it wasn't shown visually. It was like they were holding back and didn't want to "shock" the reader with the truth.
I think the truth should be shown.
As a librarian I read *so many* children's books each year. Hundreds and hundreds of books to make purchasing decisions, make recommendations, and help design classroom curricula. I can say without reservation that this is the most well-executed children's book that I have seen in years. The illustration and typography throughout the book are flawless. They take an interesting story and make it visually arresting. Children and adults alike will be drawn in by the colorful pictures, the intricately crafted text, and the inspiring message.
Wangari Muri Maathai was not a figure that I was familiar with, but her story is one that will resonate with boys and girls throughout the world. To have a girl from a rural area where girls are not traditionally educated or expected to work outside the home rise not only to attain a Ph.D. but also to start a nationwide movement that impacted and improved lives throughout Kenya is incredible. Wangari is such an inspiring heroine, and she will show children that they really can reach as high as they can dream.
This book would be perfect for fans of Sonia Sotomayor's "Just Ask," Andrea Beaty's "Ada Twist, Scientist," and Chelsea Clinton's "She Persisted."
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