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Aani and the Tree Huggers Hardcover – 14 Apr 1996

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About the Author

Jeannine Atkins is the author of several books for young readers about courageous women, including" Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science" and the highly praised "Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters". Jeannine teaches children s literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and writing at Simmons College. She lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tree huggers of the world, unite! 27 Mar. 2000
By Carolyn A. Walley - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a plea for an ecological consciousness in regard to the forest. India has its share of tree rustlers, in spite of strict laws, and much irreparable damage is done by irresponsible felling. This story is well written for younger people with good illustrations. It is the story of a girl's fight to save the trees of her village from tree-cutters, and illustrates her and the village's feeling of reverence for the trees upon which they depended. It does represent one aspect of Indian culture (unfortunately, the tree cutters are another aspect) and can well be used as an introduction to village life; it is also interesting from the point of view of the exotic. My own love of the exotic has led me to many places around the world, and I feel that this sense of wonder about the world is a valuable characteristic and very much worth nourishing; this kind of book can encourage dreams.
The incident described, although fictional, is very reminiscent of an actual event that took place in the State of Rajasthan. The Maharaja needed wood for a building project, and sent his men to cut in a forest near a village. The people, who venerated their trees as the suppliers of many things necessary for their lives, literally hugged the trees. Several hundred villagers were killed before the Maharaja's men stopped. The trees, or their descendants, still stand as a testimony to the interdependence of the people and their environment. The villagersare also well-known for providing a refuge for both a kind of antelope and for birds, and for their reluctance to kill anything. Note: the paper and binding are excellent quality. My only complaint, and it is a minor one, is that the tale should have taken place in the desert, where trees are both more valued and more endangered.
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a beautiful story and really could be amazing 11 Dec. 2014
By Arie Farnam - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful story and really could be amazing. Mostly I give it four stars because the illustrations are done in an adult-centric way. I am very frustrated that most of the culturally diverse children's books out there insist on artsy illustrations for adults that turn children away. The illustrations in this book are awkward and not lifelike. They are artsy. That's nice for adults but kids have hard time relating. That said, the story is very good and I definitely use it and get kids interested in other things when they get bored with the illustrations.
4.0 out of 5 stars Justice and the network of life 26 Sept. 2013
By KATHLEEN A FREEMAN - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The children I teach could identify with Aani and her feelings of helplessness when the workers came to chop down the trees. They learned how important trees are to life - cleaning the air, providing food and warmth. They learned that children can influence adults to act for justice in an unjust world.
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