The Tree Lady

The True Story of How
One Tree-Loving Woman
Changed A City Forever

This post joins other
Nonfiction Monday
kidlit blogs hosted today
by Apples With Many Seeds
and joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?

Beach Lane Books
(pub. 9.17.2013) 32  pages 

A True Tale with 
A Cherry On Top

A uthor: H. Joseph Hopkins
           and Illustrator: Jill McElmurry
haracter:  Kate Sessions

O verview from the jacket flap: 

       "Meet Kate Sessions, a young woman with a grand passion for trees. She has guts. She has vigor. And she has a vision - a green, leafy vision that will one day transform a city."

       "Kate received many honors during her lifetime, but the one that pleased her most was being called the Mother of Balboa Park" in San Diego. [Author's Note]

T antalizing taste: 

"Kate felt the trees were her friends. She loved the way they reached toward the sky and how their branches stretched wide to catch the light. Trees seemed to Kate like giant umbrellas that sheltered her and the animals, birds, and plants that lived in the forest.

Not everyone feels at home in the woods.

But Kate did."

and something more: I was drawn to this picture book biography because I have many fond memories of visiting Balboa Park in San Diego, and I can't imagine it without its wonderful trees. Not only was Kate Sessions a true scientist (the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science), but a forward thinker. As the Author's Note of The Tree Lady explains: "In 1892 Kate made a deal with the city leaders to use land in City Park [a dry, dusty barren place] for a plant nursery. In exchange, she promised to plant one hundred trees in the park every year and give the city three hundred more trees for planting in other places."  I like that the book describes her as "a tree hunter. She wrote letters to gardeners all over the world and asked them to send her seeds that could grow in a desert." Thank goodness Kate was such a good tree hunter and tree advocate.


Tammy Flanders said...

Hi Jeanne.
Thanks for taking part in today's Nonfiction Monday event. I've posted your blog. I love the sounds of this one and have it on order for the Doucette Library. It'll be a great addition to use with elementary science students.
Apples with Many Seeds

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Tammy!

That's wonderful that you've ordered the book for the library. Yes, I think it will inspire children.

Thanks again for hosting Nonfiction Monday today.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Sounds like a lovely book!

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

This is my first to hear about Kate Sessions - how fabulous to know about her, Jeanne. I shall look for this one. And I will share this too with Fats, one of the GatheringBooks ladies, who lived in San Diego for a time before she moved to South Carolina. :)

Roberta said...

Kate Sessions sounds like a remarkable woman. I have been to Balboa Park, but I will definitely look at it from a different light now. Will definitely share this with my San Diego friends.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Roberta, Yes, I think Kate Sessions must have been quite an impressive person. I agree -- it's always great to know the background of a place. I've already ordered the book for my niece who grew up there.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Tara,

Yes, it is a lovely book -- who can't like a book that celebrates trees and parks?!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

HI Myra! How nice that you're sharing this book with someone who lived in San Diego -- I think she will enjoy since Balboa Park is such a jewel of the city.

Cathy Ballou Mealey said...

I love this book and it's clever "But Kate Did" refrain and they way it subtly shifts through the book. I am recommending it to fellow readers and writers at every opportunity!