Julie and the Mango Tree

Illustrated by Sayada Ramdial

“Julie loved all kinds of fruit. But the ones she loved most were mangoes.”

Julie loves mangoes but the ones on the tree in her Jamaican backyard just aren’t ready to fall yet. She speaks to the tree, asking “Can I please have just one mango, Tree?” She tries begging the tree, offers it June plums in exchange, and sings the tree a special song, but it won’t give her any of the juicy mangoes that she loves. That is, until a big storm hits. When the rain finally stops, Julie’s backyard is covered in fallen, ripe mangoes. She eats mangoes until she has a stomachache. Now her new problem is that she has too many mangoes. After several impractical plans, Julie comes to the realization that the best thing to do with the mangoes is to give them away to others in her community.

Julie and the Mango Tree is a silly story that will appeal to mango lovers everywhere. It’s great for teaching students about nearby nature and the importance of local food. This book would also be useful for discussions about where our food comes from. The ending focuses on the importance of interconnectedness in the community. In thinking about how much she wanted mangoes, Julie realizes that there are others in her neighborhood who would probably enjoy her excess mangoes as much as she had. She sets up a stand with the help of her father to give away these mangoes. Students who have fruit-bearing trees or herbs at home may see this story as a call to action to do something similar, bringing these discussions outside of the classroom. Teachers may also consider encouraging students to plant their own fruit bearing trees or join a community garden in the area.

©2024 ClimateLit (Rachelle Saint Louis)

More:

  • The last two pages have recipes for a mango smoothie, mango salad, and mango juice. These are all easy to make with kids and show how local food can be used in creative ways.
  • This book would pair well with How Does My Fruit Grow? by Gerda Muller. Muller’s story focuses on fruit trees in southern France. Pairing the two together can help students form a global understanding of where their fruits come from, whether local or shipped from overseas.

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, 2023

Pages: 32

ISBN: 9781250806345

Audience: Ages 4-7

Format: Picturebooks

Topics: BIPOC Protagonist, Biodiversity, Ecocentrism, Ecosystems, Fruit, Individual Action, Interconnectedness, Land Care, Land Ethic, Local Food, Nature, Nearby Nature, People Care, Plant Needs, Plants, Sustainability

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