Susanna Leonard Hill sponsors Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog.  It’s a wonderful resource for parents, teachers and book lovers of all ages.  I'm participating today with a book review related to the city in which I live:  San Diego, California.

Title:  The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever

Author and Illustrator:  Written by H. Joseph Hopkins, Illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Publisher: Beach Lane Books, 2013.

Genre:  Non-fiction

Ages: 5-10

Themes:  Biography, trees, nature, notable women, San Diego history

Opening/Synopsis:  “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.”

After graduating from the University of California (the first woman to do so with a degree in science), Kate Sessions took a teaching position in San Diego. Accustomed to the giant redwoods of her Northern Californian birthplace, Kate found the dry and dusty landscape of San Diego lacking. Never one to accept the status quo, Kate set out to “be the change she wished to see in the world.”  The lifelong nature lover left her teaching position and became a gardener, seeking out and planting trees that would thrive in the San Diego soil. Kate single-handedly started a movement that transformed the drab, desert town into the lush and vibrant city it is today. More than 100 years after her arrival, residents and visitors alike enjoy the gardens and parks that Kate created.  Thanks to her, San Diego lives up to its nickname - “American’s Finest City.” 

Why I like this book:  Kate had a "can-do" attitude.  She followed her dreams and used her talents to make her small corner of the world a better place. 

Activities and Resources:  You don’t have to wait until Arbor Day to enjoy Shauna Evan’s fantastic tree related activities. Her site includes book recommendations, craft  and snack ideas. For a short video about Kate Sessions, check out the Women’s Museum of California.  Kate was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

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