The Maple books by Lori Nichols feature Maple, a nature-loving, spirited little girl, and her younger sister Willow. The series begins with Maple, followed by Maple and Willow Together, and then Maple and Willow Apart.
The Maple books make a great writing prompt for the classroom. After you read the books aloud, here are a few ways to use this heart-filled trio of picture books with your students:
1) Which of the three books in the Maple series is your favorite? Why?
2) Maple and Willow are both named after trees. What if you had to pick a name for yourself that is the name of a tree, flower, bird, or rock? What name would you pick? Why?
3) In Maple and Willow Together, Maple and Willow have a huge fight that starts over something silly—whether to keep their dandelions or blow the seeds. Write about a time you had a fight with a friend or family member over something silly. How did you work things out in the end?
4) In Maple and Willow Apart, Maple and Willow figure out a way to stay connected even when Maple is at school and Willow is at home: Maple carries an acorn from Willow with her to school. Think about someone you love who lives in a different city or state—a grandparent, a cousin, or maybe a friend who has moved away. How do you stay connected to this person when you can’t be in the same place?
The Maple books are about sisters, but they resonate with every reader, whether the child has a sister or not. This is because these books touch on essential truths of every relationship, showing how our important relationships grow and change over time, that there are always bumps along the way, and that we can find ways to stay close to people we love even when we can’t be with them all the time.