Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story From Africa, the story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and first African woman winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change. Printed on 100% recycled paper with 50% postconsumer waste.
“As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something—and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans. . . .”
“I just have something inside me that tells me that there is a problem, and I have got to do something about it.” Wangari Maathai
Africa’s first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Kenyan environmentalist, lawmaker and civil society activist, Wangari Maathai. She spearheaded the struggle against state-backed deforestation and founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977 in Kenya, which has planted over 45 million trees in the African country. She’s also been an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and democratic development, and in 2002 she was elected to the Kenyan Parliament.
A biologist, Wangari was the first Kenyan woman to earn a PhD, to teach and chair a department at the University of Nairobi. Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai campaigned to save the Mabira Forest Reserve pictured at the right.
Visionary professor Wangari Maathai passed away on September 25, 2011, in Nairobi at the age of 71.
Jeanette Winter. My parents emigrated from Sweden to the United States and settled in Chicago, where I was born. The three of us lived in an apartment building on the third floor. The view from my corner bedroom through the trees to the sidewalk below led me to daydreaming and imagining.
I have always tried to have “something to look at” in the place where I work. From my drawing table in New York, I see the city. In Texas I looked at hills and desert, and in Maine I saw tall pine trees and a meadow from my window. Looking out the window leads my mind and imagination to the place I want to be.
Except for a brief period when ballerina dreams floated in my head, I always wanted to be an artist. I wanted to make pictures that told stories. But it wasn’t until college that I knew I would make books for children.