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Seeds of Change: Wangari's Gift to the World

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A picture book biography of scientist Wangari Maathai, the first African womanand first environmentalistto win a Nobel Peace Prize (in 2004), for her work planting trees in her native Kenya.


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A picture book biography of scientist Wangari Maathai, the first African womanand first environmentalistto win a Nobel Peace Prize (in 2004), for her work planting trees in her native Kenya.

30 review for Seeds of Change: Wangari's Gift to the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    I've already read some books on Wangari Maathai, but I want to get this one for the illustrations. I've already read some books on Wangari Maathai, but I want to get this one for the illustrations.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan

    A while back I read a couple picture books about Wangari Maathai, including Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai and Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa, and I loved them both, and I’m interested in reading her autobiography and her book about the Green Belt Movement, and any biographies about her, but for now I found this new to me picture book, published in 2010. This is by far my favorite of the books I’ve read so far. The illustrations are so special: lush, A while back I read a couple picture books about Wangari Maathai, including Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai and Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa, and I loved them both, and I’m interested in reading her autobiography and her book about the Green Belt Movement, and any biographies about her, but for now I found this new to me picture book, published in 2010. This is by far my favorite of the books I’ve read so far. The illustrations are so special: lush, gorgeous, wonderfully colorful, extremely appealing style, and befitting of the subject matter. Most importantly, while the story was superb in its own right, these illustrations enhanced the story to the point where I know I enjoyed it more just because of the illustrations. They’re truly brilliant. I’d love to have these pictures on my walls; I’d like to be able to view them over & over. The story was told in an interesting, informative, entertaining, and clear way. Just great! Between the pictures and the biography, I was deeply touched. I knew quite a bit about Maathai but I felt as though I still learned some things about her and the Green Belt Movement. I just reserved the fourth picture book about Maathai I have on my shelves, Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya, ], and I hope to get to the two books on my shelves that she authored. Maathai and the Green Belt Movement are inspirational.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    From the time she was a young girl, and her mother explained the importance of the mugumo trees to the Kikuyu people, Wangari Maathai had felt a deep connection to the natural world around her, and to its trees. A bright, curious child, she received the atypical benefit of an education - something denied most girls in Kenya - and won a scholarship to a college in the USA. It was upon her return to Kenya after school, and her discovery of the widespread deforestation of the country, that she bega From the time she was a young girl, and her mother explained the importance of the mugumo trees to the Kikuyu people, Wangari Maathai had felt a deep connection to the natural world around her, and to its trees. A bright, curious child, she received the atypical benefit of an education - something denied most girls in Kenya - and won a scholarship to a college in the USA. It was upon her return to Kenya after school, and her discovery of the widespread deforestation of the country, that she began her historic effort to educate her people - and specifically, the women - about the benefit of planting and maintaining healthy trees. It was the beginning of what would come to be called the Green Belt Movement, and the start of life as an activist who would one day be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. One of four picture-book biographies devoted to Wangari Maathai's story - others include Claire A. Nivola's Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai and Jeanette Winter's Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa , which I have read, and Donna Jo Napoli's Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya , which I have not - Seeds of Change is a wonderful book, both informative and beautiful. Well written and engaging, with gorgeous artwork, it is by far my favorite, of the children's books on this topic that I have read. Highly recommended, to all young tree-lovers, environmentalists, and would-be activists.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    We have already seen two incredible picture books about Wangari, so I was hesitant to pick this one up. I should never have hesitated. This book adds to Wangari’s story by telling the story of her youth growing up in the bounty of Kenya. Her mother teaches her about each tree and what it offers. Though it was unusual for girls in Kenya to be educated, Wangari’s parents saw how bright she was and sent her to school. After she graduated from elementary school, Wangari went to the city to continue We have already seen two incredible picture books about Wangari, so I was hesitant to pick this one up. I should never have hesitated. This book adds to Wangari’s story by telling the story of her youth growing up in the bounty of Kenya. Her mother teaches her about each tree and what it offers. Though it was unusual for girls in Kenya to be educated, Wangari’s parents saw how bright she was and sent her to school. After she graduated from elementary school, Wangari went to the city to continue her education, eventually heading to the United States to study biology. Throughout her travels, she thought often of Kenya and her home. Kenya had changed with the land being harvested for timber by big foreign companies. Wangari returned to Kenya and taught women and children to plant trees, giving the people a way to feed themselves and turning the barren land green again. In 2004, Wangari won the Nobel Peace Prize, the first African woman or environmentalist to receive it. Johnson has taken the time to really reveal where Wangari came from and what created the seeds of environmentalism within her. Other picture books pick up where Wangari is seeing the damage done in Kenya, but this addition of her childhood and education make for a more complete understanding of her. Sadler’s illustrations use thick white lines which remind me of batik or stained glass. The images show interesting design choices that are often dreamlike. I would recommend pairing this with both Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli and Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola. The three together offer a strong environmental message combined with a complete view of the woman behind the movement. Highly recommended, this book tells the powerful story of Wangari and her legacy in Kenya. It shows readers that one person can definitely make a difference. Appropriate for ages 5-8.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I won this book through First Reads - thanks GoodReads! My children and I all loved this book. I think the incredibly beautiful, vibrant illustrations reeled us in, but my kids' second and third requests for a reading were based on the tale. This is a true story of a Kenyan woman who educated herself, worked to save her country and especially its women through preservation of natural resources, and was inevitably thrown in jail. She grew stronger through her difficult experiences, though, and bec I won this book through First Reads - thanks GoodReads! My children and I all loved this book. I think the incredibly beautiful, vibrant illustrations reeled us in, but my kids' second and third requests for a reading were based on the tale. This is a true story of a Kenyan woman who educated herself, worked to save her country and especially its women through preservation of natural resources, and was inevitably thrown in jail. She grew stronger through her difficult experiences, though, and became Kenya's minster of the environment, eventually going on to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004). At first I thought the narrative might be a little too complex for my smallest child (2.5) but it's so compelling that she keeps coming back for more, as do her brothers (5 years old). We all get something a little different out of it, and all is good. I really love the underlying messages that the kids are getting here, that caring for the environment improves everyone's lives, that education can be a powerful tool for good, and that helping everyone as you try to do the right thing is a recipe for a good life. I highly recommend this book for all ages.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    This is the fourth picture book about Wangari Maathai that I've read. Author Johnson starts with her childhood and describes her education and accomplishments. My favorite sentence comes at the end: "She understood that persistence, patience, and commitment--to an idea as small as a seed but as tall as a tree that reaches for the sky--must be planted in every child's heart." Having read Maathai's book Unbowed, I know that her life was about so much more than just planting trees, and Johnson has This is the fourth picture book about Wangari Maathai that I've read. Author Johnson starts with her childhood and describes her education and accomplishments. My favorite sentence comes at the end: "She understood that persistence, patience, and commitment--to an idea as small as a seed but as tall as a tree that reaches for the sky--must be planted in every child's heart." Having read Maathai's book Unbowed, I know that her life was about so much more than just planting trees, and Johnson has here touched upon her work with women's rights, education, and politics. Accompanying the text are Sonia Lynn Sadler's bright, colorful, beautiful illustrations. Combine this with Claire A. Nivola's Planting the Trees of Kenya: the Story of Wangari Maathai, Jeanette Winter's Wangari's Trees of Peace: a True Story From Africa, and Donna Jo Napoli's Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya. Highly recommended!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    This is another fantastic book about the amazing Wangari, affectionately known as Mama Miti. The artwork is a treasure to behold and enhances a quality story about a woman who was committed to changing her beloved country Kenya. This is a great book not only about nature, the environment and fighting the political and legal systems, but is also an excellent book for girls to learn the importance of a college education to make a difference in their lives and those around them. This is also an exc This is another fantastic book about the amazing Wangari, affectionately known as Mama Miti. The artwork is a treasure to behold and enhances a quality story about a woman who was committed to changing her beloved country Kenya. This is a great book not only about nature, the environment and fighting the political and legal systems, but is also an excellent book for girls to learn the importance of a college education to make a difference in their lives and those around them. This is also an excellent civil rights book as well, showing how one can make a difference, "one tree at a time." Highly recommended as a read aloud book for grades third and up, and to be used in environmental and civil rights studies, and to be paired with other books on Wangari/Mama Miti.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    The beautiful children's book tells the story of Wangari Maathai a Kenyan woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her Green Belt Movement. She is a modern day version of Johnny Appleseed and inspired by her mother spends her life planting trees, encouraging others to plant and promoting the rights of women and children. The illustrator, Sonia Lynn Sadler, is to be commended for her interesting illustrations that all look like wonderful jigsaw puzzles. The colors and shapes are exquisite. The beautiful children's book tells the story of Wangari Maathai a Kenyan woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her Green Belt Movement. She is a modern day version of Johnny Appleseed and inspired by her mother spends her life planting trees, encouraging others to plant and promoting the rights of women and children. The illustrator, Sonia Lynn Sadler, is to be commended for her interesting illustrations that all look like wonderful jigsaw puzzles. The colors and shapes are exquisite.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    This book is for a boy or girl who are in the grade 2 to 4 for them to read. This book is based on a true story about a girl named Wangari who wants to go to school and does get to go. And grows up to stand up to what she believes in and to never give up, no matter what anyone tries to do or say. She brings life and nature back to Kenya just by standing up to what she believes in and more. This book as great pictures and bright color. Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipients 2012

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Audience: Primary Appeal: Bright, colorful illustrations; female African-American scientist, value of environmental awareness Award: (Coretta Scott King list) John Steptoe award for new talent, 2011

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Love this art. Really colorful without being too loud, possibly because of the way all the borders and outlines worked. I liked that it focused pretty evenly across her whole life, and nothing was too saccharine.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    Read this book after winning it on FirstReads. Wonderful childrens' book about Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Beautiful illustrations throughout the book. Read this book after winning it on FirstReads. Wonderful childrens' book about Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Beautiful illustrations throughout the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    There are several excellent books available about Wangari Maathai, also known as Mama Miti, and this is another. Well-told and beautifully illustrated.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    Plot Summary and Personal Response: This story is an auto biography about a woman by the name of Wangari Maathai. She is the first African female environmentalist. The story started from when she was a little girl playing and living around a tree. As a little girl she recognized that trees are very important to life in the world. She wanted to go to school so badly to learn about trees, life, and everything else education had to offer. Unfortunately, it was very uncommon for girls to go to schoo Plot Summary and Personal Response: This story is an auto biography about a woman by the name of Wangari Maathai. She is the first African female environmentalist. The story started from when she was a little girl playing and living around a tree. As a little girl she recognized that trees are very important to life in the world. She wanted to go to school so badly to learn about trees, life, and everything else education had to offer. Unfortunately, it was very uncommon for girls to go to school. However, with some help from her family, they got enough money to send her to school. She learned everything she could and learned to love science. Eventually, after finishing school, she wanted to further her education. She end up moving to the United States of America to get her degree in biology. When she went back home she realized that there was damage being done to the environment. She created a movement called the green belt movement. With this movement she went around her home country to plant trees. There were wealthy companies who managed to get her arrested in order to stop the movement, but there she was even more encouraged to help woman with their rights to education as well as continue to plant trees. Eventually, she won the Nobel peace prize. Today she is still a woman and environmental activist. Literary Merits: Some of the elements that the book had were the pictures. I think the pictures really hit on the culture. It had a beautiful African vibe to it. It really shows that the author knows what it is like in Africa. It also also had a lot of green and a lot of plants and trees. This is a strong feature in this book because it is after all it is about an environmentalist. The author really wanted to emphasize the passion that the main character had to save the trees. Another element that was featured in the book was the theme. The theme of the story is very important to the person that the book was about. The theme is to save the environment and empower woman to become what they want to be. They are very important themes because the character found a passion for trees and learning. She wanted everyone to reserve something that was meaningful to her and her culture. In this case it was the environment. She was a female that was determined to go to school. She loved learning especially in science. With her love and dedication she end up becoming the first female environmentalist. she was breaking barriers. Genre Consideration: This book is an biography that is a good example of multicultural literature. This story tells a story about a woman who grew up in Africa. She was an environmentalist. This character is a real woman living today. Her mission is to encourage people to plant trees and learn about the environment in order to save it. She also encourages woman to be empowered to go get an education and become something always wanted to be. It is a diverse book because the African culture is really in depth with the pictures and the writing. There is clearly knowledge about the culture and about the person who the book was about. Reader Response/ Classroom Connections: I feel like children can relate to this book fairly well. Mostly girls or students who like trees and the environment. I think the children will enjoy it because of its many colors and the way the pictures were drawn. There are several ways to using this book in class. The biggest most obvious way is to introduce environmental issues such as recycling and planting threes. This book is excellent because it really sits on a real situation that can happen to the environment and how people can go about the issue to find a good solution. The second way that this book can be used in class is studying famous people who made an impact on the world. This book is an auto biography about Wangari Maathai. She was the first female environmentalist. It is very rare for woman to be in the science field. It shows that people can break different barriers that stand in their way. Awards: Kirkus Reviews, Notable Children's Books, Smithsonian Magazine, Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustrations, Amelia Bloomer Project, Feminist Task Force, ALA, Green Earth Book Award Honor, Newton Marasco Foundation, 2011 Notable Books for a Global Society list, International Reading Association, Great Lakes Great Books. Text Set Theme: Making a difference. Paired with Drum Dream Girl and We March.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie Lamb

    Book Title: Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson Short Description of the Book: In this book, a young Kenyan girl pushes the limits by striving for an education, something not typically offered to girls in her culture. After receiving an education, she used her knowledge and compassion for her land and people to promote the rights of her countrywomen and to help save the land that she loved so dearly. FOCUS: Narrative Features I would use in a Mini-Lesson: 1) Sensory Book Title: Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson Short Description of the Book: In this book, a young Kenyan girl pushes the limits by striving for an education, something not typically offered to girls in her culture. After receiving an education, she used her knowledge and compassion for her land and people to promote the rights of her countrywomen and to help save the land that she loved so dearly. FOCUS: Narrative Features I would use in a Mini-Lesson: 1) Sensory Language: Jen Cullerton Johnson does an exemplary job of using such beautiful and descriptive language to describe the Kenyan land, Wangari’s travels of the world, and Wangari’s determination and fight for her beliefs and land. She vividly paints a picture in the minds of her readers, and aptly engages her audience with her mesmerizing words. Students can learn how to effectively utilize imagery and to paint pictures with words for their audience. 2) Metaphors and Similes: Figurative language such as metaphors and similes were beautifully interwoven into this narrative by Jen Cullerton Johnson. Sometimes it is difficult for students to incorporate figurative language without blatantly making it stand out and seem as though it doesn’t flow and fit. Johnson does an exquisite job of this with comparisons of the beautiful Kenyan wildlife with the people of the land. TEACH: Common Core Standards: English Language Arts (Grades 11-12) W.11-12.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. 1. Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events. 2. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. 3. Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution). 4. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. 5. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative. EXPECTED OUTCOMES: I hope students will learn to integrate figurative language such as imagery, metaphors, and similes into their pieces of writing. I want them to become masters of using these techniques and making sure that they flow within their writing, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Audience: The writing has a balanced combination of simple and complex sentences allowing this to read by intermediate and advanced level children. Students of every culture background would benefit from reading a story set in Kenya. The main character is a girl who faces challenges and would be inspirational for young girl readers. Appeal: The illustrations are beautiful and exotic to the average American student. The non-fiction base of the book attracts young readers because they can learn abo Audience: The writing has a balanced combination of simple and complex sentences allowing this to read by intermediate and advanced level children. Students of every culture background would benefit from reading a story set in Kenya. The main character is a girl who faces challenges and would be inspirational for young girl readers. Appeal: The illustrations are beautiful and exotic to the average American student. The non-fiction base of the book attracts young readers because they can learn about history in a sort of made-for-their-age way. It may even appeal to those readers interested in nature because it depicts the circle of life very well. Application: In a classroom, I would use this book for an introduction into a biography writing unit. The students will choose a person and write a biography. However, through reading this multicultural book to them I would hope that their ideas of people to choose would broaden and be limitless. I also loved the environmental work that the story depicts. Simple steps help to protect the world we live in. The book would work great to show students how one event can cause other horrific events. Like the cutting down of trees causing the soil to wear out and be useless for crops. Award: John Steptoe Award for New Talent, copyright 2010 School Library Journal ( April 01, 2010; 9781600603679 ) Gr 2-4-This entry on Wangari Maathai takes a slightly more comprehensive look at her life than several other recent books. Her deep love of nature and her determination, first to get an education and later to save the environment and ultimately the people of Kenya, are discussed. Foreign business interests and the duplicity of "corrupt police" forced her first into prison, then politics, and ultimately into spreading her message to the wider world. The book closes as she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. An afterword adds more detail on the Green Belt Movement. Vivid colors sparkle from within the thick white outlines in the batik-style illustrations that fill the pages.-Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Alex's opinion on the review: Great review! As mentioned in the review, the story speaks about business, politics, and the environment and I believe it speaks about these topics perfectly for children to understand. Children may hear about similar topics but not comprehend. The story supports their grasp of these, at times, complex, world-wide issues.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Allison Webster

    1. Junior, Biography 2. This biographical text focuses on the life of a Kenyan woman,Wangari Maathai, whom was the first African woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts as an environmentalist and women's rights activist. Wangari was best known for her Greenbelt Movement, in which she planted and encouraged others to plant trees. These trees changed Kenya for the better; Kenya's economy was strengthened and their environment cleansed. 3. I would like to critique this book on i 1. Junior, Biography 2. This biographical text focuses on the life of a Kenyan woman,Wangari Maathai, whom was the first African woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts as an environmentalist and women's rights activist. Wangari was best known for her Greenbelt Movement, in which she planted and encouraged others to plant trees. These trees changed Kenya for the better; Kenya's economy was strengthened and their environment cleansed. 3. I would like to critique this book on it's accuracy. As a biographical text, it is expected that the facts be accurate and reliable. This book, though written for children, could easily impress an adult with the accurate content. This biographical narrative could easily be found on the shelf of an seven year old, an seventeen year old, and an seventy year old. It was clearly written to transcend age, gender, and class. This book is brimming with facts, and is, therefore, a great read for anyone looking to learn about Wangari Maathi, the Greenbelt Movement, the Women's movement, or reforestation. It is full of beautiful quotes from Wangari, "...like a seedling with sun, good soil,and abundant rain, the roots of our future will bury themselves in the ground and a canopy of hope will reach the sky", that are sourced in notes. The author Jen Cullerton Johnson, wastes no space in this book. Every sentence is absolutely essential for the story of Wangari Maathai, leading from fact to fact. Even though it is written at a child's reading level (4th or 5th grade), it is written with an accuracy and learning content that an adult will appreciate. 4. Despite its beautiful illustrations and biographical text, it is the endless curriculum connections that makes this book a teacher's dream. Environmentalism, women's rights movement, ecosystems, earth science (erosion), biography, moral strength and character, and even art. It is bound to become a classroom classic especially since it boasts several awards, most notably Coretta Scott King Award.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Audience: Primary Genre: Picture Book (Biography of Wangari Maathai) Text to World: In this book, the author tells the story of Wangari Maathai, a woman from Kenya who leaves her Kikuyu village to become a scientist. Because she has an affinity to trees and living things, Wangari studies biology and the environment. When she returns home to Kenya to become a professor in Nairobi, Wangari is disconcerted when she sees that her country has changed. Much of the land has been sold to foreign compani Audience: Primary Genre: Picture Book (Biography of Wangari Maathai) Text to World: In this book, the author tells the story of Wangari Maathai, a woman from Kenya who leaves her Kikuyu village to become a scientist. Because she has an affinity to trees and living things, Wangari studies biology and the environment. When she returns home to Kenya to become a professor in Nairobi, Wangari is disconcerted when she sees that her country has changed. Much of the land has been sold to foreign companies who use the land to produce coffee and timber. Wangari begins to work with the women of her community to replant trees. She traveled to other villages and eventually started what is now known as the Green Belt Movement. After corrupt politicians placed her in jail for a time for interfering with the country's industries, she began to travel the world to inform people about the importance of seedlings, the environment, and food. In 2004, she was the first African woman and environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Foreign industries taking over land in developing countries is not unique to Kenya. This has happened in Brazil, Peru, and Panama to name a few. Many of these countries' lands and rain forests have been replaced with foreign agriculture by foreign companies. As I read this book, I thought of an inspiring way that Wangari's story relates to the real world. It is becoming increasingly popular for people who live in urban areas to build "rooftop gardens". CIty dwellers are prompted to use their roofs and balconies as gardens because of a need for organic food and a lack of green space. Both rooftop gardeners and Wangari displayed creativity in their ways to grow food. Additionally, both Wangari and rooftop gardeners used networking in their communities to work together. Wangari did this by traveling to far away villages and talking with other women, while today there are blogs, tumblr accounts, and twitter to spread ideas, pictures, and methods of rooftop gardening.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Browning

    Format: Biographical Reference Format: Biographical Reference Item Title (APA Style): Johnson, J. (2010). Seeds of change: Planting a path to peace. New York: Lee and Low Books. Call number: SB63.M22 J646 2010 Reviewed in: Wildner, K. (2010). Book reviews. [Review of the book Seeds of change: Planting a path to peace, by J. Johnson]. Library Media Connection, 29(3):90. Retrieved June 16, 2012, from Academic Search Premier. Description: This biography is about the life of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize-winne Format: Biographical Reference Format: Biographical Reference Item Title (APA Style): Johnson, J. (2010). Seeds of change: Planting a path to peace. New York: Lee and Low Books. Call number: SB63.M22 J646 2010 Reviewed in: Wildner, K. (2010). Book reviews. [Review of the book Seeds of change: Planting a path to peace, by J. Johnson]. Library Media Connection, 29(3):90. Retrieved June 16, 2012, from Academic Search Premier. Description: This biography is about the life of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize-winner and environmentalist, Wangari Maathai. She made a stand in the face of opposition to women's rights and started an effort to restore Kenya's ecosystem. Relevance and Relationship— This book will be a great addition to the biography collection in the library. This book would be appropriate for the collection analyzed during my field experience hours because the collection is lacking in books about the second most prominent ethnicity in the school, African American. The book could also be a great resource for teachers and students in units on environmental studies. The list price for this book is $18.95 which is very affordable. Purpose:— This picture book, provides a closer look into the life of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. The book provides direct quotations from Maathai. Validity— This book has received favorable reviews by School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Media Connection, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. Format– This book is in print. It includes oil and scratchboard illustrations. Arrangement and Presentation: This book is a picture book and would be great for read alouds. Diversity: This book is available in English, and supports culturally diverse education.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Dykes

    Cullerton Johnson, Jen. Seeds of Change. Lee & Low Books, 2010. 40 pg. Gr. K-4. Plot Summary: Deep in the heart of Kenya, young Wangari set off on her journey towards earning an education, leading her to a path of great purpose. She was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to obtain an education, unlike many of the other girls in her village. As Wangari grew, so did her thirst for knowledge, especially in the subject area of science; where everything came to life. Her schooling took her many Cullerton Johnson, Jen. Seeds of Change. Lee & Low Books, 2010. 40 pg. Gr. K-4. Plot Summary: Deep in the heart of Kenya, young Wangari set off on her journey towards earning an education, leading her to a path of great purpose. She was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to obtain an education, unlike many of the other girls in her village. As Wangari grew, so did her thirst for knowledge, especially in the subject area of science; where everything came to life. Her schooling took her many new places, where she learned to have a voice. When Wangari returned to her village she found destruction had surged through as big corporations uprooted her homeland, bringing her to take action by educating those around her. She and other women worked hard to bring life back to their rich soil, creating a green belt movement. Wangari’s greatest lesson learned was that change can take shape in the smallest of form and grow big and strong, like a mugumo tree. Classroom Connections: Seeds of change is a wonderful book to inspire young children that they too can make a difference in the world around them. After reading the book to students, the teacher can have each of them write an entry on what they would want to see changed and how they would go about doing so. This would allow students to using critical thinking skills about how to take action in solving a problem, which can be applied to their real life situations. Another way to integrate this story into the class is to tie it in with a science lesson on plants and their life cycle. Then the teacher could lead the students outside and have them plant seeds in a small garden patch, taking trips to take care of the plants, observe, and record what they see. This allows students to get out of the classroom and actively grow something, seeing the resemblance to the work Wangari did in Kenya.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Seeds of Change presents an interesting view of the Wangari Maathai's childhood, drawing on her autobiographical writing. Although it was unusual for girls to receive formal education in rural Kenya, Wangari’s parents agreed to send her to school. Wangari’s determination and hard work continued as she went first to high school in the city, and then to university in the United States to study biology. She returned to Kenya to teach and inspire women scientists, but became concerned when she saw t Seeds of Change presents an interesting view of the Wangari Maathai's childhood, drawing on her autobiographical writing. Although it was unusual for girls to receive formal education in rural Kenya, Wangari’s parents agreed to send her to school. Wangari’s determination and hard work continued as she went first to high school in the city, and then to university in the United States to study biology. She returned to Kenya to teach and inspire women scientists, but became concerned when she saw the environmental damage that was occurring throughout the country. Maathai established the Green Belt Movement, bringing about environmental and economic change in Kenya by helping local women plant over thirty million trees. In 2004, Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first time an African woman or an environmentalist had received this prestigious prize. Johnson’s prose reads aloud smoothly and is full of rich metaphors which draw on the environmental themes. In an interview about Seeds of Change, Johnson says, "What moves me the most about Wangari’s story is her message of harabee, which means “let’s work together.” We can solve problems if we work together." This is a powerful story that can encourage students to pursue their passions, take risks and make a difference. Sonia Lynn Sadler’s colored scratchboard illustrations are bright and engaging, full of the greens and browns of nature and the bright patterns of African cloth. Sadler was recognized for her artwork with the Coretta Scot King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustration, given by the American Library Association to recognize an African American illustrator at the beginning of their career who shows promising talent.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Croaning

    by Jen Cullerton Johnson; illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler Lee & Low Books, New York, 2010 ISBN: 978-1-60060-367-9 Description: 40 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm. Dewey: 333.72 Subject: Narrative nonfiction; biography; Kenya; conservation; environment; women’s rights Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 4.8 Lexile measure: 820 Awards: Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustrations 4 out of 5 stars Summary from the publisher: “A picture book biography of scientist Wangari Maathai, the first by Jen Cullerton Johnson; illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler Lee & Low Books, New York, 2010 ISBN: 978-1-60060-367-9 Description: 40 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm. Dewey: 333.72 Subject: Narrative nonfiction; biography; Kenya; conservation; environment; women’s rights Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 4.8 Lexile measure: 820 Awards: Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustrations 4 out of 5 stars Summary from the publisher: “A picture book biography of scientist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman - and first environnmentalist - to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for planting trees in her native Kenya. Detailed narrative and vibrant images paint a robust portrait of this inspiring champion of women's rights and the environment and engagingly capture the people, clothing and landscape of Kenya.” Evaluation: This biography not only tells the story of Wangari Maathai, but also provides information about the culture of the Kikuyu people. The text flows chronologically and reads like narrative fiction. Children will be interested to learn that most women are not sent to school and that big corporations at one time were destroying the Kenyan landscape. The scratchboard and oil illustrations are visually captivating and match the tone and style of the text. They invoke images of a green and colorful country. The illustration style resembles quilts and will keep the read-aloud listeners engaged. The author’s sources are listed in the back of the book, along with a brief update on Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. I recommend this book for both independent reading as well as read-alouds.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma Hughes

    "Seeds of Change" is a colorful picture book biography about the first environmentalist and African American woman to win a Noble Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai. It shows the chronology of her life through beautiful illustrations and text, beginning with the foundations of her appreciation for nature to her experiences leaving home and going to school. She broke many barriers, and worked hard to create positive change in her community and in the world as a whole. She spread her conviction througho "Seeds of Change" is a colorful picture book biography about the first environmentalist and African American woman to win a Noble Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai. It shows the chronology of her life through beautiful illustrations and text, beginning with the foundations of her appreciation for nature to her experiences leaving home and going to school. She broke many barriers, and worked hard to create positive change in her community and in the world as a whole. She spread her conviction throughout the world through patience and peace, discussing the importance of trees in the community. I love the ending of this book because it talks about how Wangari held firmly the belief that children are the hope and future of our world. I think that this book is appropriate for grades 2-4 especially, and would be a great read-aloud in any of those grades. I believe that this book has the ability to inspire children to become agents of change just like Wangari. I consider this a WOW book because of its vivid, bold illustrations and detailed yet readable chronology of the life of Wangari Maathai.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    An amazing story surrounded by vibrant art. A gift for the soul and the eye. Wangari grows up in a small village in Kenya where her mother imparts a knowledge and love of tree and her big brother shares the knowledge he is acquiring in school. Amazingly Wangari is sent to school and progresses in her studies ending up in the US for college. She returns home when Kenya elects a president from her tribe. She sees first hand the destruction of her homeland's resources as the forests are cut for ti An amazing story surrounded by vibrant art. A gift for the soul and the eye. Wangari grows up in a small village in Kenya where her mother imparts a knowledge and love of tree and her big brother shares the knowledge he is acquiring in school. Amazingly Wangari is sent to school and progresses in her studies ending up in the US for college. She returns home when Kenya elects a president from her tribe. She sees first hand the destruction of her homeland's resources as the forests are cut for timber and the land is cleared for coffee plantations. Bit by bit she seeks to replant trees. and restore the soil so that people can once again feed themselves from the land. This is a great story to share with children about following your dream and how a small idea of planting trees can become a movement to restore the forests.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne Mukendi

    Seeds of change is a fiction book written by Jen Cullerton Johnson and illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler. The story is about the young girl from Kenya that planted trees to restore the greenery of her country. This book is different from Wangari's Trees of Peace, because it dives more deeply into the story. The colors are much more bright and vibrant than the other book as well. I believe the cultural connection that this book creates is with the clothing. The clothes are very colorful, like the Seeds of change is a fiction book written by Jen Cullerton Johnson and illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler. The story is about the young girl from Kenya that planted trees to restore the greenery of her country. This book is different from Wangari's Trees of Peace, because it dives more deeply into the story. The colors are much more bright and vibrant than the other book as well. I believe the cultural connection that this book creates is with the clothing. The clothes are very colorful, like the different african material. I believe this book is for an older audience, like 4th graders, because of the higher reading level. I believe that the book would be very interesting for these students.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aolund

    Jen Cullerton Johnson does an excellent job telling the story of Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai. Readers feel involved as they watch Maathai's childhood determination lead to her achievement of an American college education, return to Kenya, beginning of an environmental movement, political imprisonment, and eventually being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The language is clear and detailed. Sonia Lynn Sadler's vibrant and whimsical illustrations fill the book with joy and make it a plea Jen Cullerton Johnson does an excellent job telling the story of Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai. Readers feel involved as they watch Maathai's childhood determination lead to her achievement of an American college education, return to Kenya, beginning of an environmental movement, political imprisonment, and eventually being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The language is clear and detailed. Sonia Lynn Sadler's vibrant and whimsical illustrations fill the book with joy and make it a pleasure to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Kotkin

    Text: 5 stars Illustrations: 5 stars Picture book biography of Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist and activist. Beautiful painted-scratchboard illustrations burst with color, depth, and life. Art has a real African feel to it. A bit wordy by today's picture book standards, but the text flows well and sustains interest. Page layouts are superb and accommodate all that text with prowess. Includes a brief author's note and sources. Text: 5 stars Illustrations: 5 stars Picture book biography of Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist and activist. Beautiful painted-scratchboard illustrations burst with color, depth, and life. Art has a real African feel to it. A bit wordy by today's picture book standards, but the text flows well and sustains interest. Page layouts are superb and accommodate all that text with prowess. Includes a brief author's note and sources.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melodie Beacham-Boyd

    This book is about a young woman who changed Kenya by planting trees and taking back her land from people who were trying to destroy it. I really liked this book because she did not let anything stop her from accomplishing her goals. It would help teach kids to stand up for what they believe in. They can create change. Plus it is about a real woman, Mama Mahitti.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    Amazing true story and equally amazing illustrations. This book is a work of art in every way. Likely to inspire children and adults to do more to help the planet and the people on it...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Biography of Mangari Maathai. Takes us from childhood to beyond her Nobel Prize.

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