Title: Maple Syrup Season
Author: Ann Purmell
Illustrator: Jill Weber
Publisher: Holiday House
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 4.5
Concepts: natural resources, production
Review: The Brockwells, a large extended family, enjoy producing maple syrup together. Every member of the family, including the little cousins and the grandparents, has a job to do in the various stages of production. First they tap the maple trees and hang buckets to collect the sap, and when the buckets have filled, they pour the sap into a giant barrel to take to the sugarhouse. From a storage tank in the sugarhouse, the sap runs into evaporating pans and is heated to a boil. Once the correct temperature is reached and enough water has boiled off, the syrup is ready to be filtered, poured into jars, and graded according to sweetness and color.
This excellent book is sure to please with its informative text and delightful art work. The clear descriptions, detailed illustrations, and author’s note in the back all work well together to make Maple Syrup Season a useful resource for teachers seeking to spice up a lesson about natural resources. Armed with new knowledge about the difference between Fancy Grade and Grade A-Dark Amber, the reader may see a whole new side to things while walking through the maple syrup section of the local grocery store.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children