111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh, illustrated by Marianne Ferrer – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I am thrilled to be able to share my agency friend’s upcoming book, 111 Trees, with you all on Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF today. It celebrates a book birthday on Tuesday, October 6th, so make sure you look out for it next week!

I was looking forward to meeting Rina in Spring this year. She had planned to travel from her home in Toronto to meet me at the Bologna Book Fair, but due to the virus we had to cancel our plans. We were so sad not to meet in person, but we now chat and check in most weeks and that’s just brilliant!

Here is the beautiful cover:

Title: 111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl

Written by: Rina Singh

Illustrated by: Marianne Ferrer

Published by: Kids Can Press (Citizen Kid) 6 October 2020, Nonfiction

Suitable for ages: 6 – 9 years

Themes/Topics: environmental awareness, education, nature, activism, gender inequality

Opening: Sundar watches how his mother balances the water pot
on her head. Walking to the well with her every day in the
blistering heat is hard, but it’s his favorite thing to do. It’s
the only time he has her all to himself. On the way back,
they stop under some trees, and she asks him to collect
pieces of firewood for cooking.
He sees her smile at him through her veil.

Book Synopsis: (taken from Amazon)

In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism.

This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs. As he grows to be a man, Sundar suffers much heartbreak and decides it is time for change to come to his village. Sundar is determined to live in a place where girls are valued as much as boys and where the land is not devastated by irresponsible mining. Sundar’s plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive.

Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh’s uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author’s note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included.

Why I liked this book:

This book makes for fascinating reading, especially for a slightly older primary class. In beautiful lyrical language, Rina Singh portrays the true story of Sundar Paliwal with such thought and tenderness. It touches on grief, culture and traditions, environmental awareness, and water stewardship. Happily, Sundar’s gritty determination makes change a positive thing for his village, and a much better place for everyone to live. An absolute must have for schools and libraries everywhere. Marianne Ferrer uses beautiful warm, muted colors in the book and a collage-type style, which complement the story perfectly. Further back matter and photographs are not to be missed!

Activities to link with the book…

  • Plant a tree
  • Make a tree collage, recycling old magazines

Thanks so much for popping by everyone and have a lovely Friday!

16 thoughts on “111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh, illustrated by Marianne Ferrer – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

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