- TITLE: Maple
- WRITTEN & ILLUSTRATED BY: Lori Nichols
- PAGES: 30
- ISBN: 9780399160851
- Available on Amazon, here.
Since it is officially Fall, I needed to make sure we incorporated some Fall related reading into our day. The beautiful simplicity of the cover and the title of this book made me feel like we just had to give it a try, and I’m happy we did. This is Lori Nichols’ first book (though I have now found out that there’s a part 2 to this book…with an equally as adorable title) and I was blown away. Her detailed illustrations are heartwarming and quite beautiful. I admire the way she used the colors green and blue to represent the changing seasons. Even the end papers are green on the front but blue on the back cover – the little details really matter!
Super Speedy Summary
This story follows the life of Maple, a young girl, and the maple tree her parents planted in her honor when she was born. She grows with the tree, dancing and singing with it. When the tree is cold (Fall arrives) she gives the tree her jacket. Maple loves the tree, but realizes she would love another person to play with – and that the tree probably would love another tree to be with. All through Winter and Spring, Maple and her tree are inseparable. Then, she notices a small sprout next to her tree – followed by her mother’s own new “sprout” (a growing belly!). Maple becomes a big sister and takes on all the sisterly responsibilities. She takes her sister outside and the two lay together under their trees. Her sisters name, is Willow.
Okay, give me one second to wipe these tears off of my keyboard really quick. This book was a knockout! Let’s just address right now that the sister’s name was Willow. How perfect is that? This book is incredible, the correlation between the natural world growing and children growing is phenomenal. It reminds me of what the book Hello, Hello was trying to get at with our need and yearning for a connection with nature.
What I found quite interesting was the idea of planting a tree in honor of your child’s birth. I have heard of people doing this before, but I never really saw the value. Now I understand that your child sees this growth as a reflection of their own, and they in turn can learn to nurture and love that tree themselves. Trees are one type of plant that have an incredibly long lifespan, so planting a tree in your child’s honor leaves a legacy in their name.
I also got to thinking that this would be an adorable “we’re expecting” announcement. Plant a new tree for every child you are getting ready to welcome into the family, and send your family members a photo of the sprout. This is also a great way to help your other children understand what is happening in mommy’s tummy. Just as the plant grows and needs lots of love, fertilizer, and sun light, the baby also needs love and nutrition. It is a very tangible way to explain new life.
Finally, this book was a heartwarming tale about the love between siblings, and the desire of the older siblings to watch over the younger ones. I am the oldest of 6 as I mentioned before so I completely relate to wanting to be the best big sister I can be. I also relate to the surprise of finding out your mom is expecting a new little baby! I definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to introduce their child to a new sibling – it’s an excellent resource for discussing the value of family.
Respect Nature + Love Your Family
While I initially thought this book would be focused on the Fall, it really applies any time of the year – especially because the book addresses all 4 seasons. I do think it would be a great story for priming your child for a new sibling and is a good reminder to love one another. This book receives a perfect 5 star review.
In the book I am writing, releasing in December, I dig deep into the process and importance of including books related to family values in your child’s library. This would be an excellent one to have on the shelf if your values include: respecting nature and / or loving your siblings.
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