Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: The Mangrove Tree, Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

The colorful multi-media collage on the cover created by Susan L Roth instantly draws you in to this amazing story of one man and a great idea. The layers of paper and fabric create a wonderful sense of perspective and texture even on the end papers, and supports the text beautifully.

On the right hand side of every double page spread the reader learns how Dr. Gordon Sato, a cell biologist, came up with the idea to plant mangrove forests along the coast of the impoverished country of Eritrea. There is a lot of science in the story as Roth and her co-author Cindy Trumbore explain how the mangroves need to be supplemented with fertilizer and iron, and how the forests are planted.

On the left hand side, the text builds in the style of “the house that Jack built,” reinforcing the accumulative good that the mangrove provides. The leaves and seeds are used to feed goats and sheep, the trees and the healthy livestock provide an income for the women, and provide food for the families, and even the roots create a healthy habitat for fish and other sea creatures which can be harvested by the fishermen.

The Afterword is filled with much more detail about Sato’s life. He grew up in the Manzanar War Relocation Center during WWII and even named the mangrove project after that camp where he learned to grow corn for his family to eat.

The Manzanar Project continues in Eritrea and has spread to Mauritania and Morocco with plans to help South American countries as well. For more information about the project check out


  1. Wow the story title is really good and i think story would be more interesting. i will surely read this story...

  2. Nice. This looks like a very meaningful book that would also make children realize their blessings. It's the first that I'm hearing of the Manzanar project, so many thanks for sharing this book. :)