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.