WE PLANTED A TREE by Diane Muldrow

WE PLANTED A TREE

by and illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Using a quote from Wangari Maathai as a springboard, Muldrow’s poem delineates the tree’s seasonal cycles and celebrates its benefits for living creatures. In natural language, the narrator adopts a global view, lauding her subject’s abilities to cool the earth, clean the air and prevent erosion (“The tree kept the soil from blowing away— / Now rainwater could stay in the earth”). Staake is an accomplished illustrator with many New Yorker covers under his belt. His ultra-stylized depictions rove from Brooklyn to a presumed African plain, to Tokyo, Paris, New England and possibly the Cinque Terre (though one where apples and lemons yield concurrently), riding roughshod over the poet’s delicate allusions. The stripped-down computer-generated pictures vie with the ecology-focused subject rather than extending it, and the pie-eyed, inane expressions of the humans depicted around the globe flirt visually with the stereotypical cultural caricatures common to the mid-century European advertising posters that the illustrator credits as influences. Consider instead other children’s works inspired by Maathai, such as Donna Jo Napoli’s Mama Miti, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (2010). (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-86432-2
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Golden Books/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2010




MORE BY BOB STAAKE

ChildrenI LOVE CATS! by Sue Stainton
by Sue Stainton
ChildrenTRUCKS GALORE by Peter Stein
by Peter Stein
ChildrenTHE BOOK OF GOLD by Bob Staake
by Bob Staake

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE NIGHT THE FOREST CAME TO TOWN by Charles Ghigna
by Charles Ghigna
ChildrenTHE FAMILY TREE by David McPhail
by David McPhail