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Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Through artful prose and beautiful illustrations, Donna Jo Napoli and Kadir Nelson tell the true story of Wangari Muta Maathai, known as “Mama Miti,” who in 1977 founded the Green Belt Movement, an African grassroots organization that has empowered many people to mobilize and combat deforestation, soil erosion, and environmental degradation. Today more than 30 million trees have been planted throughout Mama Miti’s native Kenya, and in 2004 she became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Wangari Muta Maathai has changed Kenya tree by tree—and with each page turned, children will realize their own ability to positively impact the future.

My first encounter with Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli and Kadir Nelson was actually at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books two years ago when Kadir appeared on a panel with David Shannon and Pam Munoz Ryan. They were quite the combination, but it definitely made for a fantastic panel. One of the biggest impressions I took away from the panel was in regards to Kadir Nelson’s methods for creating the illustrations found within this book. He used fabrics and other materials to created each image, it was fascinating to hear him talk about it!

They’ve recently announced the panels for this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and Kadir will be in attendance again as well as a favorite author of mine Patrick Ness! It’s going to be very exciting and I hope to see many of you there if possible!

Pick Up Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Interested in learning more about our feature “The Year of the Picture Book“? Please check out our opening post and be sure to leave your recommendations as well as links on that post. Thank you so much for your participation!

One Response to The Year of the Picture Book – Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli

  1. PragmaticMom says:

    This looks great. I’m always looking for more multicultural books on Africa. Thanks!

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