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March 4, 2015

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Pick of the Day: Maple

MapleNichols, Lori. Maple. illus. by author. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Feb. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780399160851.
PreS-Gr 1–Readers will fall in love with Maple, whose parents planted a tree in her honor when she was “still a whisper.” Each page turn shows the child growing, playing, and seeking refuge under her leafy companion. She sometimes longs for the friendship of someone who can play with her (“The tree wasn’t very good at throwing snowballs”) and wonders if the tree feels the same way. One day, Maple is surprised to realize that there’s a sapling growing next to her tree, and she soon discovers that a sibling of her very own is on the way. The crispness of Nichols’s lush, leafy illustrations on each thick white page helps Maple’s adventures around the little sapling stand out. This may be Nichols’s debut picture book, but the only thing green about this effort is the perfect shade of a maple leaf. This is a fresh addition to the standard new sibling fare, and young naturalists will identify with Maple’s adventurous and tender spirit.–Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH

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