The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Familiesby Susan L. Roth, Cindy Trumbore
For a long time, the people of Hargigo, a village in the tiny African country of Eritrea, were living without enough food for themselves and their animals. The families were hungry, and their goats and sheep were hungry too. Then along came a scientist, Dr. Gordon Sato, who helped change their lives for the better. And it all started with some special
For a long time, the people of Hargigo, a village in the tiny African country of Eritrea, were living without enough food for themselves and their animals. The families were hungry, and their goats and sheep were hungry too. Then along came a scientist, Dr. Gordon Sato, who helped change their lives for the better. And it all started with some special trees.
These are the trees,
That were planted by the sea.
With alternating verse and prose passages, The Mangrove Tree invites readers to discover how Dr. Sato's mangrove tree-planting project transformed an impoverished village into a self-sufficient community. This fascinating story is a celebration of creativity, hard workand all those mangrove trees that were planted by the sea!
Here is a grand deed, as basic as a science-fair project, that had a profound application bringing health and economic bounty to a small coastal town, Hargigo, in Eritrea. Dr. Gordon Santo had a brainstorm: Why not plant mangrove trees in the waters off Hargigo? The leaves would feed the town's hungry herds of sheep and goats and provide wood for fuel; the trees' root system would attract fish (a food and revenue source); and the trees themselves would do what trees are so good at—converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. Roth's artwork is a treat, cut-paper and fabric collages of intense, shimmering color on a ground of paper that is electric with thick veins of fiber (photos join glossary in backmatter). Roth and Trumbore's cumulative verse goes about its merry way on the left page—"These are the shepherds / Who watch the goats / and watch the sheep / That eat the leaves"—while a narrative on the right takes readers on Santo's journey. He has named the project Manzanar, after the internment camp where he was placed during World War II, because he wanted to turn that experience (where he first grew desert plants) into something good. Hitting home hard is the project's simple practicality: no high-tech, no great infusions of capital or energy—in a word, motivating, in the best possible way. (Informational picture book. 6-9)
Meet the Author
SUSAN L. ROTH's unique mixed-media collage illustrations have appeared in numerous award-winning children's books, many of which she also wrote. Her bookParrots Over Puerto Ricowon the Robert F. Sibert Medal for Nonfiction from the American Library Association.About the illustrations for this book Roth says, "I cut blade after blade of grass to fill the prairies. I guess I cut about fifty billion!"Roth lives in New York.
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I enjoyed the way the story was told. I felt it was a great way to explain about different cultures and communities for students to understand in their own words. I also loved the illustrations used. The collages were captivating and a different type of picture book brought to life. A great book and I would use this for my classroom one day!
An interesting tale of a society very different from our own and one man’s mission to save its people. Although and informational book it is anything but boring. Using the mix of photography and mixed media it offers young readers the chance to learn about another country and culture yet still leaves readers captivated and entertained. This is a read that any social studies teacher should defiantly have on their shelf. Though the story told does focus on the science and human relations this book would be easy to use across curriculum. The story might also inspire young readers to think beyond themselves and the possibilities for making the world around them a better place.