It’s time for back to school clothes, books and colorful new lunchboxes. New teachers, new schedules, new places to be and new friends to meet can bring excitement to many children. But some children don’t like the big C word: change. Over the years there have been numerous books to relate to children not ready for kindergarten. But what about those left behind?
For siblings who are close and play well and often together, it can be drastic when the older sibling leaves for school. Now there’s a picture book that can help that child too. In the delightfully written and illustrated Maple series comes the new book Maple and Willow Apart by Lori Nichols (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015). Nichols perfectly portrays Maple’s excitement about school and Willow’s loneliness during the day. Willow has her own individual take on the common phenomenon where a younger sibling creates fantasy stories about also going to school, as well as a unique solution to feeling better about the separation—sending a part of her to school with Maple.
Maple and Willow Apart is perfect for any parent with a ‘left-behind’ child. It’s also a great classroom read to invoke empathy for any new kindergartener that may have a younger sibling at home missing them.