A Mouse Who Loves Trees

Our little friend Wordsworth the Mouse has been very busy lately. He (with the help of Frances Kakugawa and illustrator Andrew Catanzariti) has a new adventure for you to read, Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer!, has visited the Big Island and planted his very own koa tree with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, and has started up the Wordsworth Plant A Tree Society! Phew, that’s a lot for a small mouse to do!

Wordsworth’s new book, Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! comes out on November 1. You can meet Wordsworth and Frances at Barnes & Noble, Kahala Mall, at 1PM on Saturday, Nov. 3, when Frances will read from the new book. Purchases made on that day will help benefit the University of Hawai‛i at Mānoa Children’s Center.

A second reading will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‛i. The children’s book reading begins at 11AM, but Frances will be holding presentations throughout the morning. Visit our website for the full schedule, along with a listing of her other events.

As Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! begins, we learn that Wordsworth’s life has been full of changes — his best friend Emily has moved away, a new girl from Japan named Akiko is sitting in Emily’s chair at school, and worst of all, a bulldozer has invaded Wordsworth’s special koa grove where he thinks up new poems. What should Wordsworth do?

“I would want someone to be nice to Emily,” thinks Wordsworth. So he and his friends, Eliot and Dylan, invite Akiko to teach them about Japanese poetry. And what a good thing, too, because it is Akiko who has a clever idea to save the neighborhood trees from being knocked down.

In the book, Wordsworth’s favorite tree is a koa tree. We purchased a tree from the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, where it will grow on private conservation land, helping to provide a habitat for native wildlife and preserve our natural resources. As luck would have it, Frances was able to take Wordsworth out to the Hamakua coast to plant his own tree! Here are a few photos from Wordsworth and Frances’ tree planting adventure:

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In the introduction to Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! Frances and Wordsworth ask readers of all ages, far and wide, to each plant a tree in their own community. “It’s not only about trees being cut down where we live,” Frances writes. “Our children and their children must have trees in their future to hug and enjoy and sit under in the shade. Trees also help keep us alive and healthy.”

Wordsworth wasn’t the first one to plant a tree in honor of his new book, though. Frances’ niece, Tammy Antonio, planted her Wordsworth tree quite a while ago, and it’s already as tall as she is! Tammy planted a native ‘ōhi‘a lehua tree with beautiful orange blossoms in her garden in Hilo.

Because she planted the first of what we hope will be many Wordsworth trees, Tammy gets to be Member #1 in Wordsworth’s Plant A Tree Society. Frances hasn’t signed it yet, but here is the certificate that Tammy will receive.

If you would like to be a member of Wordsworth’s Plant A Tree Society and receive your own membership certificate, all you need to do is plant a tree for Wordsworth in your community (your backyard, your school, etc.) and post a photo of you with your tree on Wordsworth’s Facebook page. Please also tell us where you planted it and what kind of tree it is. (You can also email it to Wordsworth at wordsworth@bookshawaii.net.)

Happy planting!

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Posted on October 29, 2012, in Events, Fun Stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hey Wordsworth, that mouse-mom of yours, Frances, is some angel. Here, this is what I wrote in Dedication for my chapbook on caregiving:

    “And to my beloved Frances, who stepped in and took over at the last possible moment before I burned-out and threw in the towel. The caregiving relief she brought me was second only to the laughter I heard from her and Isobel coming from the other room. The two of them giggling away, while I drifted off to a much needed rest. For Isobel and me, the months Frances stayed on to help were the best of all times.”

    Take care of Frances — see you two when you get home.

  1. Pingback: Wordsworth the Poet’s Poe-TREE Contest « Watermark Publishing

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