111 Trees

Hardcover Jacket
978-1-5253-0120-9 | Oct 6, 2020 List Price:
USD $18.99, CAD $19.99

4-color • 9 x 10 • 36 pages
Grades: K To 3 / Ages: 5 to 8

In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism.

This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from Piplantri, a small village in North India. As he grows to be a man, Sundar witnesses how irresponsible mining ravages the countryside and how ancient customs and beliefs cause gender inequality and discrimination. He decides it’s time for change to come to his village. Sundar’s plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive.

Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh’s uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author’s note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included.


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Educational Resources


Women's roles


Guided Reading
Guided Reading Grade Level
Lexile Level



environmental awareness   nature   character education   activism   making a difference   gender inequality   girls   inspiring true story   narrative nonfiction   children’s rights   social studies   feminist picture books   STEM


Teaching Guide

Reviews & Awards


“An inspiring picture book about eco-feminism in action …”
Kirkus Reviews, September 2020

“Girls are one with nature in ... this inspiring true story …”
New York Times, September 2020

“… an interesting and inspiring true story …”
CM Magazine, October 2020

“… an homage to trees, girls, and a planet that is sure to return the favor when we care for it.”
Booklist, Starred Review, October 2020

“… inspiring …”
Globe and Mail, October 2020

“This engaging story serves as a compelling introduction to the concept of eco-feminism …”
School Library Journal, November 2020

“This is an amazing book with a strong message …”
Owl Magazine, December 2020

“… vibrant …”
International Examiner, January 2021

“Accompanied by Ferrer's stylized illustrations in muted earth tones, Singh's approachable text conveys how one person's passion and commitment can have tremendous impact on their community.”
The Horn Book, February 2021


2022 Yellow Cedar Award, Ontario Library Association, Nominee
2021 Green Earth Book Award, The Nature Generation, Long-listed
2021 Top 10 Sustainability Themed Children`s Books, Sustainability Roundtable of the American Library Association, Winner
2021 Skipping Stones Honor List, Skipping Stones Magazine, Winner
2021 Social Justice Literature Awards --- Nonfiction, International Literacy Association, Joint winner
2021 Best Children's Books List, Bank Street College, Winner
2021 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, The Canadian Children`s Book Centre, Finalist
2020 Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, Booklist, Winner
2020 Picture Book Non-Fiction Category, Northern Lights Book Awards, Winner