By Author / Illustrator
Caryl Hart, illus Anastasia Suvorova
Nosy Crow Ltd
Paperback / softback
When a little girl's grandad shows her a picture of what the great, grey mountain used to look like, she can't wait to plant a new forest and for the animals to return. Although the girl soon realises growing trees isn't easy, she doesn't give up. After many weeks, a little patch of green appears on the mountain and gives the whole village hope. Then, one day, a terrible storm comes tearing up the valley, destroying every single one of the girl's saplings. Has all her hard work been for nothing? Or has it inspired those around her to share her dream?
In this lyrical and hopeful picture book, one girl's imagination, determination and positivity motivates a whole community to work together to create something amazing that will last forever. With subtle addresses to the reader, children and grown-ups will feel empowered to tackle global issues such as deforestation and realise that, in the words of Greta Thunberg, 'No one is too small to make a difference'. This is an uplifting tale for our time, inspired by Jean Giorno's The Man Who Planted Trees.
The Girl Who Planted Trees is a wonderfully written book that ties in perfectly with one of our school values: perseverance. The story teaches great resilience and determination when things look bad and don't go the way of the main character.
This story had the the Year 2 class hooked! The main character proves anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard. She is not only a great role model to her neighbours but to the class too. The book is illustrated beautifully which really helped to capture the imagination of the children and bring the story to life.
The strong moral running through the story of making the world a better place for those around you is inspiring; the main character learned from her grandpa before passing on her good values to her grandchildren at the end of the story.
This ending of this story reminds me of the old Greek proverb, "A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit".
40 pages / Reviewed by Ashley Clatyon, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+
Once there was a girl. She was just a small girl, about your size, actually. She lived in a dry little village at the foot of a great grey mountain...
The Girl Who Planted Trees is an empowering, powerful and hopeful story written by Caryl Hart. In this text, the girl learns that her village was once at the foot of a great, green mountain forest thanks to the tales her Grandpa tells her. Distraught that the mountain is no longer like this, the girl sets upon trying to put things right - one pip at a time. The overarching message behind this text is one of conservation and being kind to the world around us but it also highlights the importance of resilience, determination and hope. The girl's single actions help inspire a whole village to create change and over the course of generations, the village begins to return to its true beauty.
The text is wonderfully supported by the illustrations created by Anastasia Suvorova , which help paint the picture of how the village has changed over time. The Girl Who Planted Trees is not only a lovely story to share with younger readers but it also makes terrific links to the primary curriculum, particularly to the subjects of PHSE and Science. I found myself thinking about the recent unit of learning year 1 have completed around plants and their life cycles and how this text would support and enhance the children's learning.
Picture book / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+