Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya is both a children’s biography of the Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize and a work of ecological and humanitarian inspiration that shows children that you can make a difference one person, one family, or one tree at a time.
The quality of a book, the beauty of the writing, and of the artwork are a huge deal to me. I want my kids to feel that they are holding something valuable when they have a good book in their hands. So Mama Miti made me very happy. Written by Donna Jo Napoli and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, every page is a work of art.
While there is much more that could be written about Maathai’s life (and, indeed, a fascinating summary is provided at the back of the book), this book tells a simple story of people coming to a wise woman for help. It shows Mama Miti’s wisdom and compassion as she answers each individual need. It shows people – mostly women – going home to follow her advice and to plant trees.
Mama Miti may be famous for the green belt movement that has re-treed Kenya, but that movement was accomplished one tree at a time, one woman at a time, and that is what we see in this book.
Read this book with your children if you want to by inspired by the way one woman can cause change and how that change can be huge.
And I, personally, am ready to read for myself several books written by Wangari Maathai.
I loved this babywearing children’s book: Mama Miti. My kids loved it. It made us think about what we can do in our lives. I may look for more babywearing children’s books to review but I wanted to start with this one, especially for International Women’s Day today!