I AM FARMER: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon
by Baptiste and Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
I am Farmer: Growing an Environment Movement in Cameroon by Baptiste and Miranda Paul is a non-fiction title that introduces readers to a number of different topics, including clean water issues in Cameroon, how one person can make a difference in the lives of others, and sustainable farming. The book details the rise of the environmental gardener, Farmer Tantoh, from mocked child to a respected, inspiring environmental leader in Cameroon. When Farmer Tantoh became sick with typhoid fever from unclean drinking water, it led him to learn how to access and collect clean drinking water for villages in Cameroon which resulted in him saving many lives. He positively changes the lives of many people and has even set up a non-profit organization, Save Your Future Association, to collect supplies and money to help other villages access clean water.
The illustrations of the book help bring his story to life and show the contrast between the dry/drought of Cameroon and the beauty and bounty that are possible there. The writing is clever in phrases such as:
When he begins school, Tantoh drinks up facts and figures faster than his teacher can pour them onto the chalkboard. His hand shoots up like a cornstalk.
Imagery created here matches his passion.
Throughout the story, the reader learns of proverbs that Farmer Tantoh used to motivate himself and those around him. One example is:
When you don’t have what you want, use what you have.
When the resources were limited, as he did not have access to tractors, irrigation systems, or motorized tillers to bring clean water to the village, he used the resources he did have, the people of the village to help him. This quote below from Farmer Tantoh encourages all of us to do simple things to improve our world.
The book would fit nicely as a resource for any classroom looking at topics such as:
- clean water issues
- environmental impacts of local gardening and farming
- the power of 1 individual to bring about positive change for many
- following one’s dreams and passions
This book is to be released in February of 2019 published by Millbrook Press, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.
I hope you have enjoyed this review and I encourage you to check out all of the information below about Multicultural Children’s Book Day. There are so many new titles to discover!
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Please feel free to download this worksheet to use with this book or others in your classroom.
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MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board
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Bonnie is an admitted book, planner, craft, coffee and chocoholic. She loves sharing her passion for books, journaling, mindfulness, meditation, crafting and gaining confidence in developing our creative souls. Former high school teacher now she is the creator and owner of