The Girl Who Planted Trees
Caryl Hart and Anastasia Suvorova
On learning from her grandpa that the mountain at the foot of which their village home is situated was once covered in a green forest a little girl becomes distraught.
The following morning she sets out up the mountain and at the top begins to dig. Then she plants a single pip and returns home forgetting to water it. When she returns there’s no sign of a shoot and back home Grandpa explains that without water a seed will never grow. Later on she enlists the help of other villagers and after a week she’s ready to return up to the mountain top with a large number of seeds all shapes and sizes. She does this day after day always remembering to water the seeds and it’s not too long before seeds are sprouting up.
Eventually she’s able to show her grandpa the results of her endeavours – a patch of green atop the great grey mountain. But then a fierce storm destroys all the trees.
Refusing to give up, the girl suggests planting more seeds and keeping them close to their home until they’re strong. She and her grandpa do just that and over the weeks their yard becomes filled with pots of thriving seedlings. Then comes the time to transplant them, but the little girl is despondent as she sees that even after all their hard work, it will take ‘a thousand years to cover the whole mountain by ourselves.”
Happily they don’t have to for the little girl has inspired the entire village to help restore the forest to its former greenness – a place where future generations too will appreciate the beauty and richness of nature.
Caryl Hart’s powerful story with its ecological theme shows the importance of conserving our precious trees and is superbly complemented by Anastasia Suvorova’s illustrations showing the changes brought about over the months and years, and all thanks to the determination and resilience of one little girl and a whole lot of pips. A terrific book to share, and bursting with potential for KS1 teachers.