Outstanding Science Books Galore
What We're Reading, 3.10.09

Maple Syrup Season, One More Time

 It's maple syrup season, so I am re-running a post from last year. Hie thee to a sugar shack. Then make some pancakes, and enjoy.


Here in southern New England, we will not see maple-sugaring season until the end of the winter, but Junior and I always look forward to it. We've latched onto the tradition as if we were members of the Ingalls family, always showing up for the sugaring demonstration at the nature center and discussing the logistics of one day tapping the (very skinny) maple trees in our yard.

I've also read aloud many books on the subject, and a cheerful new picture book makes a sweet addition to the list. Maple Syrup Season, written by Ann Purmell and illustrated by Jill Weber, takes young readers through the whole process. Using sugaring terms (and a glossary), the factual book depicts an extended (fictional) family's experiences:

Dad helps the uncles pour sap from the tree buckets into gathering buckets and then into a giant barrel on the sled.

Weber renders the winter scenes with whimsical, folk-art style illustrations, and in her pictures, even the family pets and animals in the woods get in on the action. Weber and Purmell also teamed up for 2006's Christmas Tree Farm.

For more recommendations, see also

"Maple Sugar Season," Chicken Spaghetti, 3/15/07

"Laura Ingalls Wilder Inspires Kitchen Mess," Chicken Spaghetti, 3/16/07


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Oh, how delicious maple syrup is! I can't say I've ever experience the maple syrup season first hand since I grew up in California. But, my father (83 yrs) has fond memories of tasting the sap from the buckets on the way to and from school when he was growing up in Vermont.

I'd forgotten all about maple sugaring season until I saw, in Massachusetts last weekend, a lot of tubing leading out of a cemetery to a big plastic tub on a truck. They were collecting sap, the modern way, from the sugar maples in the graveyard.

Cathy June, I think of Vermont as Maple Central, but I guess the Quebecois would argue with me! I love molasses, too, but somehow it hasn't lent itself to kids' books the way maple sugaring has!

MJN, what an interesting sight. And in a graveyard, no less. Good scene for a book!

That books sounds like it tastes wonderful! I'd love to experience maple sugaring season sometime. Although I might pass on the kind from the graveyard.

On second thought, maybe that kind would taste the best- those trees have got to have great fertilizer! I think I'll still pass.

That's funny, Holly. Right now one of the trees in our yard is just ripe for sugaring, so we may give it a try. I'm not quite sure where to get the supplies, though.

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