Two sisters must adjust to being apart when one starts kindergarten.
Nichols’ pencil and digitally colored illustrations perfectly convey just how close Maple and Willow are—they even sometimes use pig Latin to communicate. The two spend the whole summer together, but they play especially hard the day before the Monday that Maple boards the school bus. Bereft, Willow doesn’t quite know what to do with herself without her best friend. That afternoon, she’s assaulted with a (not unkind) verbal barrage of all the exciting events of the first day at school, Maple’s nose in the air, as if bragging. But as the week wears on, Willow learns to explore on her own and use her imagination to entertain herself, even gaining a new best friend: Pip, an acorn. And as Willow tells Maple about her own day, Maple’s excitement wanes; though she likes school, she misses her sister, who sweetly finds a way to include Maple in what she is missing at home. Spot, full- and double-page illustrations with white backgrounds keep the focus on the girls and their relationship. Willow’s footie pajamas, overalls, and high pigtails emphasize that she is younger than her sister, as do the girls’ activities—Maple rides a two-wheeler, while Willow sits astride a branch with one end bent like handlebars.
Ideal for sharing with sibling pairs about to be parted by the first day of school. (Picture book. 2-6)