The Tree Lady

The Tree Lady

The True Story of How One Tree-loving Woman Changed A City Forever

Book - 2013
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Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens. Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees. Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city. Part fascinating biography, part inspirational story, this moving picture book about following your dreams, using your talents, and staying strong in the face of adversity is sure to resonate with readers young and old.
Publisher: New York :, Beach Lane Books,, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781442414020
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: McElmurry, Jill - Illustrator


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A lovely illustrated biography of Kate Sessions, the first woman to graduate with a College Science degree, who planted San Diego's Balboa Park and transformed the desert town into a gloriously green city. Charming, interesting, and well researched, Jill McElmurry's watercolors really deliver the message of the lush greening of a bleak and dusty Cowtown.
Rose in PR

Aug 15, 2017

An important book about a very special women that turned a desert into a paradise. The 'Tree Lady' Katherine Olivia Sessions was not only the first woman to graduate with a science degree from the University of California but also transformed San Diego's dry lands into a lush garden of a city. She did what others thought to be impossible.

This living book will walk you through her childhood and getting her hands dirty all the way to creating what is now known as Balboa Park by 1915. An incredible story to empower young woman, environmentalists and be in general awe of what is possible. Kate transformed not only the landscape in San Diego but the possibilities for what we can achieve anywhere on the planet.

A thoroughly astounding book.

forbesrachel Mar 10, 2015

Kate Sessions did a lot of things that people, and especially women, in the 19th century didn't do. As a girl she had a passion for science, she got a degree for it in college, and most of all she loved trees. When she moved to San Diego, she demonstrated this love by creating a nursery, and filling this desert town with greenery that could survive there. A short biography in the back fleshes out some of details of this amazing woman's life. Illustrations are similar to that of Charles Wysocki's Americana paintings; stylized, colourful, and on a flat plane. The Tree Lady has positive messages about nature, women, and possibilities. People will often say "you can't do that", or "it's impossible", but this book encourages children to try.

BCD2013 Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
The inspiring story of Kate Sessions, a science teacher who became a tree hunter - searching far and wide for plants that would prosper in San Diego’s harsh desert climate.

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