Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, , illus. by Mary Azarian. . Houghton, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-618-18655-6

As her brothers and sisters argue about where they want to move when they grow up, the narrator asks her siblings to think of all the things they'd miss. When her brothers retort, "Who'd miss sugaring?" Kinsey-Warnock (A Farm of Her Own) describes the steps involved in collecting the sap and making it into syrup while Azarian's (Snowflake Bentley) full-spread woodcut illustration shows the family in the sugarhouse, snacking on aunt Eunice's doughnuts as they wait for the sap to boil. Season by season, the author (who bases the volume on her own memories) recounts the activities they share—looking for newborn kittens in the haymow, rescuing neighbors' trucks during the "mud season"—each one conveying a sense of family and community togetherness. The brothers' quips keep the narrative from becoming sentimental ("Even you wouldn't miss picking stone," her brothers say, reminding her of their least favorite spring chore). The author and artist remain on this side of nostalgia by grounding the story in a great deal of specific details about farming and the rhythms of nature. Concluding photos underscore the story's authenticity. Most readers will be not at all surprised to learn, at story's end, that the author and all of her siblings have remained in Vermont to carry on their family traditions. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)