THE TREE LADY

September 26, 2013
Lola Schaefer is a children's book author

I remember years ago when I heard an editor state that she was looking for picture book biographies about lesser known people who did something important. My mind raced with ideas. This week I read a book that definitely fits that category.

THE TREE LADY: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins is just such a book. Everything about this story is important and worth sharing with our children. Katherine Olivia Sessions loved nature. She grew up in the late 1800's when it wasn't the norm to see a girl playing in dirt, or studying science, but she did. The author takes us quickly to San Diego where Katherine taught school - briefly. The rest of the story is her vision to turn a desert city into a green habitat. Along the way it was her persistence and hard work that helped her reverse the accepted misconceptions of the people. Tree by tree, plant by plant, San Diego flourished.

This book is a tribute to the necessity for study, thought, collaboration, and celebration. I hope it finds its way into many classrooms, homes, and libraries.