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Sugaring by Jessie Haas


by Jessie Haas

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Sugaring by Jessie Haas, with illustrations by Jos. A Smith, is not only an engagingly narrated, informative account of the early spring sugaring process (maple syrup production) at a grandfather's sugarbush, it is also a loving tribute to the special relationship between Gramp and his granddaughter Nora. Jessie Haas' narrative is exquisite, slow, flowing and sweet, capturing both the loving relationship between Nora and her grandfather and the slow, sweet and rewarding process of maple syrup production. I love how the grandfather, although clearly in charge of the maple syrup production process, has enough confidence in his granddaughter's abilities to delegate some of the easier tasks to her (of course, Gramp does not allow Nora to put logs onto the fire, but she is allowed to watch the boiling syrup by herself when Gramp has to get more firewood). The calm love and respect that emanates from both Nora and her grandfather is as sweet and as fragrant as the maple syrup being produced; one mirrors the other.

As a horse enthusiast, I am really tickled by the fact that horses are used to haul the syrup, and that both Nora and her grandfather seem to view them as partners, and not just as a form of cheap, unpaid labour. Bonnie and Stella are given treats of maple syrup and maple candy (not good for their teeth, of course, but this is a special occasion) and both Nora and Gramp are always aware of and concerned for their welfare. I also like the fact that the author has Nora being slightly nipped in the hand by Bonnie when she tries to feed her the wrong way. Horses should always be fed with a flat hand, and I have seen far too many avoidable injuries caused when individuals unaware of this fact try to feed horses the wrong way and end up accidentally getting their fingers caught in horses' mouthes (horse teeth are strong and sharp). The second time Nora has a chance to feed the horses (maple sugar), she remembers her previous experience and holds her hand flat so that her fingers are well out of the way.

The illustrations by Jos. A. Smith are also quite spectacular. Like a series of exquisite, realistic paintings, they capture the essence of the sugaring process as well as the loving, respectful relationship between grandfather and granddaughter (and the horses as well, of course) both complementing the narrative and expanding on it. Highly recommended for children interested in maple syrup production, Sugaring is also a perfect book for grandparents to share with their grandchildren. ( )
  gundulabaehre | Mar 31, 2013 |
It's a very sweet book. Pun intended. ^_^ ( )
  timothyl33 | Jan 30, 2011 |
A grandpa and grandchild go through the sugaring processs from start to finish. Can be used to investigate the properties of the insides of trees. ( )
  marqrm02 | Mar 15, 2010 |
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In early spring when sap rises from the roots of sugar maple trees to the buds, farmers collect some of it for making maple syrup. This does not harm the tree. All trees have sap, but only sap from sugar maples can be made into maple syrup.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688142001, Hardcover)

Nora and Gramp are collecting sap from maple trees to make maple syrup. The horses, Bonnie and Stella, are working hard, too, pulling the heavy sap tank through the snow from tree to tree. This third story about Nora and her grandparents brings the beautyof a Vermont farm in early spring vividly to life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:37 -0400)

Nora wants to find a way to give the horses a special treat for helping her grandfather and her gather sap to make maple syrup.

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