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 doesn't always make an ideal playmate, it doesn't mind when Maple is in the mood to be loud - which 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. Lori Nichols' enchanting debut features an irresistible, free-spirited, little girl who greets the changing seasons and a new sibling with arms wide open.
"When she was still in her mother's belly, Maple's parents planted a maple sapling in her honor. As the tree grew, so did the girl. Maple, who could be loud at times, sang songs to her tree, swayed around it, and even, sometimes, pretended to be a tree. Seasons passed, and through strong winds and falling snow, Maple and her tree still had each other. Then things changed. A tiny wisp of a willow tree is planted, just as Maple's mother is about to give birth again. Turns out the noisy baby, Willow, is just as enchanted by the maple tree's shifting leaves as her older sister. This sweet story about seasons of change and love in different forms reads like a wistful recollection of childhood. Nichols is a talented debut author and illustrator: her voice is quiet and unique, and her pencil-on-Mylar illustrations, digitally colored, are similarly both nostalgic and fresh in feel. Share with siblings-to-be and, of course, anyone named Hazel or Juniper.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"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. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved