Reviews /

The Girl Who Planted Trees

Authored by Caryl Hart
Illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova
Published by Nosy Crow Ltd

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Beautifully illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova, The Girl Who Planted Trees by Caryl Hart tells of a small girl in a small village on the side of a great grey bare mountain. We learn that the days are hot and there is little respite in the evening, meaning that sleep is difficult to come by. One sleepless night, the little girl learned from her grandpa that once there had been a forest on the mountain. She is determined to grow another one, and planted some seeds.  Setback after setback from storms and too little rain meant that the girl needed to come up with fresh plans. Eventually, the trees were grown in pots, and with the help of other villagers, carried up the mountain and planted, this time successfully. It is a story of inspiration, determination, community and the sense that every individual can play a part in caring for our world.

I found the last line rather detracted from the tale, as Hart tries to ensure that the reader understands that they too can make a positive contribution through small actions, and it would perhaps have been best left to the interactive discussion for this particular point to be pressed home – but that aside the language and tone are just right. There is also the option to download an audio version of the text.

The story is reminiscent of Jean Giono’s The Man Who Planted Trees but speaks to a different, younger audience – with the same message of hope.  Much recommended for the Early Years and KS1 classroom.