Planting Peace: The Story of Wangari Maathai

Gwendolyn Hooks, illus. by Margaux Carpentier. Crocodile, $19.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-62371-885-5
In 28 individually titled spreads, this engaging narrative nonfiction picture book relays the life of Kenyan preservationist Wangari Maathai (1940–2011), “the first woman to get a PhD in East Africa,” the founder of the Green Belt Movement, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner who fought for justice. Tracing Maathai’s life, including her childhood and education, Hooks uses elegant yet accessible prose: “They became the roots of the movement and their efforts its leaves.” Carpentier’s saturated geometric illustrations emphasize the bold impact of Maathai’s actions, including her work empowering rural women to plant millions of trees and help rebuild Kenya’s infrastructure, and peaceful protesting that halted construction of a skyscraper in Nairobi’s largest city park. A well-paced profile of an inspiring environmentalist who built a movement. Front matter includes info about Maathai’s inspiration; back matter includes a glossary and an index. Ages 7–up. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/08/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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