Synopses & Reviews
Celebrating imagination and inventive play, Lori Nichols follow-up to Maple
perfectly captures the dynamics of siblings and their ability to figure things out on their own and find a way to meet halfway.
Maple and Willow do everything together. They love playing outside throughout the whole year, welcoming the sun, rain, leaves, and snow. But its not always sunshine and rainbows, because sometimes big sisters can be bossyand sometimes little sisters can be frustratingand even the best of friends need a break from each other . . . at least until they can no longer bear to be apart.
"Debut talent Nichols explores the relationship between a girl and the tree she's named after, planted by her parents in her honor. It's less a story than a string of affectionate reminiscences: 'And even though Flavia, Millie Jane, Lena, Lily, and Constance were all good names... Maple was the perfect fit.' Maple sings and dances for her tree and offers her coat to it when it loses its leaves. In return, the tree offers shade, 'and its leaves would dance just for her.' A new sapling appears along with a new baby sister, Willow, whom Maple is old enough to welcome without jealousy. Nichols draws Maple as a sort of everygirl, with pin-dot eyes, a pert nose, and a curved line for a smile; her tree and its surroundings are similarly generalized. The narrator's voice, by contrast, has its own distinctive, understated humor: 'Then something really surprising happened,' one page reads, as Maple notices her mother's bulging middle for the first time. An exploration of different kinds of love and different kinds of acceptance. Ages 3 5. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“The narrators voice . . . has its own distinctive, understated humor. . . . An exploration of different kinds of love and different kinds of acceptance.”
* “Sweet debut. . . . Free-spirited, bracing sessions of solitary, outdoor fun. . . . Heres a childs world, where . . . private reverie recurs as an all-consuming pastime. . . . Maple, sweetly nondescript . . . could easily sit next to any young reader at preschool or day care. Leaf rubbings (from real maple leaves!) dazzle. . . . An arboreal homage perfect for children reveling in alone time or reeling with a new siblings arrival.”
* “Readers will fall in love with Maple. . . . Lush, leafy illustrations. . . . This is a fresh addition to the standard new sibling fare, and young naturalists will identify with Maples adventurous and tender spirit.”
* “Raw, real, and easily imagined by any child who's finally had enough from a close friend, classmate, sister, brother (or even mommy or daddy). Sisterly love abides, of course. . . . Strong sibling bonds are perfectly described through spare language and artwork as lush as a forest of maple and willow trees.”
* "Paean to sisterhood. . . . The story is delightfully recognizable, especially to sisters, and is matched by marvelous pencil artwork . . . Nichols is clever enough to build the sisters' subtle differences, so their breakup comes from somewhere. Children will feel all that the girls do: love, anger, and the happiness that comes with making up."
Lori Nichols enchanting debut features an irresistible, free-spirited, nature-loving little girl who greets the changing seasons and a new sibling with arms wide open.
When Maple is tiny, her parents plant a maple tree in her honor. She and her tree grow up together, and even though a tree doesnt always make an ideal playmate, it doesnt mind when Maple is in the mood to be loudwhich is often. Then Maple becomes a big sister, and finds that babies have their loud days, too. Fortunately, Maple and her beloved tree know just what the baby needs.
Funny, relatable sibling dynamics make this story a wonderful way to address navigating big changes. Lori Nicholss expressive artwork beautifully portrays Maple and Willows strong bond, and children will love the creative, kid-powered solution.
Maple and Willow have always been inseparable. So what happens when Maple starts big-girl school and Willow stays behind? Well, of course, both girls have marvelous adventures of their own, but the truth is, they miss each other. And when they see that the missing is mutual, they find a unique way to feel connected even when they have to be apart.
What night sounds do you hear as you fall asleep? This enchanting bedtime book evokes the sounds and animals of the night and shows how two children on different continents are connected by all that is between them.
About the Author
Lori Nichols (www.lorinichols.com) also wrote and illustrated the award-winning Maple and Maple and Willow Together. She spent her childhood in northwestern Pennsylvania picking up acorns, playing rock school and befriending bugs. She now lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband and three free-spirited daughters. Many days you can find Lori and her family climbing trees or collecting discarded birds nests. She still picks up acorns.