Mama Miti

Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya

Mama Miti

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
For Ages: 4 - 8
  • 5
“Nelson’s pictures, a jaw-dropping union of African textiles collaged with oil paintings, brilliantly capture the villagers’ clothing and the greening landscape…This is, in a word, stunning.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Nelson’s (We Are the Ship) breathtaking portraits of Maathai often have a beatific quality; bright African textiles represent fields, mountains, and Maathai’s beloved trees…Napoli (The Earth Shook) creates a vivid portrait of the community from which Maathai’s tree-planting mission grows.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A beautiful introduction for children just learning about the Greenbelt Movement.” —School Library Journal

Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award
CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Council)
California Collections
NAACP Image Award Nominee

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.
  • Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books | 
  • 40 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416935056 | 
  • January 2010 | 
  • Grades P - 3 | 
  • Lexile ® AD610L
List Price $18.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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About the Author

Donna Jo Napoli
Photo Credit:

Donna Jo Napoli

Donna Jo Napoli is the acclaimed and award-winning author of many novels, both fantasies and contemporary stories. She won the Golden Kite Award for Stones in Water in 1997. Her novel Zel was named an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, a Publishers Weekly Best Book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon, and a School Library Journal Best Book, and a number of her novels have been selected as ALA Best Books. She is a professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband. Visit her at DonnaJoNapoli.com.

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