Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Maple, written and illustrated by Lori Nichols. Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin. 2014. $18.00 ages 3 and up
Maple would sing to her tree...
and sway for her tree...
and sometimes even
pretend to be a tree!"
Do you love warmth and charm in the picture books you share with children? If you do, you want to meet Maple. Maple's parents plant a maple tree in the yard to celebrate her impending birth.
Maple loves her name, and the tree that also bears it. They are soul mates, welcomed at the same time and doing their growing together. There is nowhere Maple would rather be than outside with her tree. She loves to lie under the leaves and watch them dance. Through all of the seasons, Maple shows concern for her friend and does her best to ensure that it is safe, warm and has good company.
After a long winter, spring arrives. With its arrival come two surprises...a new tree and a baby sister, both named Willow. How will this new sister feel about first the maple tree, and then her own willow? What lessons has Maple learned that she might share with the baby?
Beautifully written and softly drawn to assure that young readers understand the grace and elegance of living things, and an affection and concern for them, Maple is a book that will be much appreciated. The muted tones of the digitally colored pencil drawings set a perfect mood. They will lure children back again and again to enjoy and to talk about what is on each page. The abundance of white space allows our focus to be on Maple and the many wonderful experiences she shares, both before and after the arrival of her new sibling.
The spreads that show Maple (and Willow) lying contentedly under the maple canopy just make you go aaaah!