Written and Illustrated by Lori Nichols
Published by Nancy Paulson Books, February 2014, an imprint of Penguin Group
Themes: trees, siblings, seasons
Maple loved her name.
When Maple is a wee baby girl, her mom and dad plant a maple tree in her honor. This young maple sapling is the perfect playmate in Maple’s eyes. It is happy to be with her even in her loudest moments (which aren’t infrequent,) and through all the seasons, Maple finds games and activities to do with her friend. One spring, Maple is in for some big surprises including the arrival of a little sister. While caring for her tree came easily to Maple, caring for her baby sister doesn’t seem so instinctive. But Maple has a giving spirit and as she perseveres, she finds just the right thing to share with her sister to make her happy. (I am holding back so as not to give away the delightful ending)
Why I like this book:
I love Maple’s carefree, happy, creative character. She loves her tree, nature, the seasons, life and her baby sister. There is a lightness of spirit in all her actions, which tiptoes across the pages and makes you want to smile and go out and plant your own sapling. It is a super debut story that inspires a wonder for nature and the joy of life and family. This would make a great addition to any topics on seasons, siblings or nature’s cycles. My surname is mistaken for Maple all the time and it is a tree I love, and not just for its syrup! Maple is the sort of kid with whom I would love to hang around. Lori also made a great choice in only ever illustrating the parents from the waist down (though their love is still evident) and focusing the large, soft, flowing illustrations on the tree(s) and two girls!
Plant trees with your kids! It can even be a miniature bonsai in the apartment! I think this is a fabulous thing to do as families or even as classes. When I was working at the International School of Monaco, each year I took my older students on a service trip to Madagascar. One of the things we joined in with was with an incredibly poor rural school, where every Wednesday afternoon the students were involved in their reforestation project.
Every Friday, authors and Kidlit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the perfect picture books with resources, please visit Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.