Maple Syrup Season

by Ann Purmell and Jill Weber

“ 'Sap’s rising!’ Grandpa shouts. The family cheers and claps mittened... read more

“ 'Sap’s rising!’ Grandpa shouts. The family cheers and claps mittened hands.” So begins maple syrup season for the Brockwell family. Cousins, moms, dads, and grandparents all lend a hand in the multi-step process for making maple syrup. From tapping trees to hanging buckets and from boiling sap to testing the grade, this age-old harvest is described in clear and friendly language. Pastoral artwork shows inviting scenes of the snowy woods and the steamy sugarhouse, while a contemporary feel is portrayed through the family’s winter wear and the modern machinery. A variety of creative page layouts offer different perspectives for viewing the syrup-making timeline, including the tangential antics of sugar-thirsty woodland creatures. Before all the fresh syrup is bottled up, the family takes a break to make some maple taffy in the snow—a sweet reward for all their hard work. While the illustrations make this look like a picture book story, the tone of the text is more informational. Together, pictures and words offer a cozy and inviting glimpse at a family tradition and an accessible introduction to food production. Information on maple syrup lore and a maple syrup glossary are included. (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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