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.