Friday, May 9, 2014

Rock-a-Bye, Baby

…in the tree top. That gently  swaying tree you planted when your first child was born can be more than an imaginative cradle for each baby as your family grows.  It could be the first child’s friend, too. (Speaking imaginatively, that is.)

MAPLE by Lori Nichols, Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014

My parents planted trees for special occasions. So do I. The flowering cherry tree in my front yard was planted on one of my birthdays. I won’t tell you when it was planted or how old it is today, but it blooms in time for my birthday every year.

Maple, the sweet-faced little girl in Lori Nichol’s debut picture book, grows along with her special tree. She sings to her tree, dances in rhythm with its graceful branches, and sometimes even pretends SHE is a tree. She believes the tree loves her back. (I think it does, too.) She can be as loud as she wants, and the tree doesn’t mind at all. To a little girl, that’s unconditional love.

Through the seasons of falling leaves, winter cold, and melting snowmen , Maple worries about her tree friend. Then one spring day she spots a seedling sprouting beneath her tree. Maple also becomes a big sister.
 
It’s hard to make a crying baby happy. As Maple observes, it seems all of them cry sometimes, even the happiest ones.  Maple, who is a really good big sister, works out the answer. Her tree helps. Can you guess the new baby’s name? 

The book jacket announces that Maple is an “enchanting” debut. It’s true. For more about this emerging writer/illustrator visit her on the web.

 

10 comments:

  1. I have a shelf dedicated to my favorite picture books. Your review of Maple makes me want to squeeze yet another one in with the rest of my books. However, my five-year-old granddaughter loves books, too, so I'll need two books so that one is left with me. Thanks for sharing this great find!

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    1. What a lovely bond you have with your granddaughter. Thanks for commenting, Nancy.

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  2. Such a sweet book! I love the plant-a-tree-for-a-special-day tradition. Thank you for your review!

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    1. Planting trees for special occasions helps me feel less guilty about all the paper I use for revisions. I do use the backs of other revisions, however. Makes for some interesting plots if a reader doesn't know page one and two are different manuscripts. Thanks for all you do for authors and their readers, Irene.

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  3. Gosh, I keep hearing such lovely things about this book! And now that I think about it, I'm pretty darn fond of trees--I don't know why I haven't read MAPLE yet. (But I'm going to remedy that today!) ;-)

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  4. Lovely - I'll be looking for this book. When I lived in Kansas City, I planted several new trees in my already-treeish yard -- and they all had names. There's no room for more here in Atl though, and that's too bad.

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    1. You could plant one in a pot and put it on your front porch. :0)

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  5. O. Joan. If only more of us could be like you, the world would be a more leafy place. We plant trees, now & again, but not with the tradition you have for each special occasion. Lovely!

    And for this enchanting-sounding title, it sounds tree-riffic. I am a softie for tree books & will want to look for this lyrical title from Nanci. What a great find.

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    1. Yes, a find. Quiet books take more time to find an audience, but when they do, it's a lovely bursting into bloom for those of us who are patient. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, always, Jan.

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