Maple & Willow Apart
Written and Illustrated by Lori Nichols
Friends can be found just about anywhere, including your imagination. When Maple heads off to big girl school, Willow is lonely and bored for a little while. Then she makes up an imaginary friend based on the acorns she and Maple played with before school started. As Maple comes home with exciting stories about kindergarten, Willow has stories of her own about adventures with Pip.
The pencil drawn, digitally colored illustrations clearly show each emotion experienced by siblings as one heads off to school. Parents, librarians and teachers will find this text useful in helping the youngest students cope with the separation. First grade readers will recognize the signs of fall, and younger children will love the illustrations as this story is read aloud. Teachers can meet core standards of science while also addressing the feelings of those brothers and sisters left at home. Stories like this help us all understand each other a little bit better.
Art teachers of older students can use this as an excellent example of color blending, as well as the intricacies of showing emotion with the simplest of pencil strokes.