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At Grandpa's Sugar Bush

by Margaret Carney
Illustrated by Janet Wilson

Published by U.S. edition: Kids Can Press, 1998
32 pages
ISBN: 1-55074-341-4

Ages 4 - 7

The steps involved in harvesting maple syrup from more than one hundred trees in Grandpa's sugar bush are related by a young grandson with a February week of school vacation. First Grandpa drills holes on the southeast sides of the trees, and then the boy cleans out the wood shavings with a twig. They tap spikes into the holes, and before long the sap begins to drip into the buckets they've hung on each spike. That's only the beginning. Grandpa predicts that the sap will begin to run on the day they hear the first robin, and it does. This is more than expository writing on the origin of maple syrup, it's a real story. The boy is a genuine help throughout the process, although adults will guess that Grandpa has his hands full in more than one way. This kind, knowing man most certainly realizes that the outcomes of their companionship and the satisfaction they share in creating something special by hand can be as sweet as the "tastiest syrup in the country." Carney is acquainted with the maple woods of her husband's family farm in Ontario, Canada. Wilson's beautiful oil paintings illustrate the two at work, the snowy vista, and some of the wildlife. CCBC categories: Seasons and Celebrations.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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