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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Maple & Willow's Christmas Tree, written and illustrated by Lori Nichols. Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin. 2016. $22.99 ages 3 and up

"This year, Maple and Willow were getting a real Christmas tree. Choosing the right tree was the hardest work of all. But when the work was done, the girls were convinced their Christmas tree was the best Christmas tree ... in the whole wide world."

These endearing sisters are back; and I am happy to welcome them.  Red-cheeked, smiling faces show the delight they find in the wintry wonderland and soon, their thoughts turn to Christmas. There is much to be done. They work together to hang lights, and bake cookies.

This year is very special. This year they are going to a tree farm to find their own 'real' Christmas tree. It is a much-anticipated outing and, after careful thought, they make the perfect choice. Only when they get home and bring the tree inside do they realize there is a big PROBLEM.

It takes no time until Willow notices her sister's watery eyes, red cheeks, and hears the sneezing. It lasts all afternoon. Once outside, the symptoms go away. The tree must go.

"At least we have an outside tree,"
said Maple.
"I wish you weren't allergic
to Christmas," said Willow.

"I'm not allergic to Christmas,"
said Maple.
"Just Christmas trees."

Sad that her sister is angry, Willow decides to fashion a special surprise. Using ingenuity and available resources, it is a most inventive and ideal solution! Young readers will get great enjoyment as they pore over the pictures, remembering similar Christmas joys from their own lives. Delightful!

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