cover image Maple Syrup from the Sugarhouse

Maple Syrup from the Sugarhouse

Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton, illus. by Kathryn Mitter. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-7943-5

A girl named Kelsey joins her father and other family and friends when the time is right to harvest sap and turn it into maple syrup. Knowlton gives Kelsey a chipper narrative voice, which is matched by the bright colors and friendly interactions in Mitter’s illustrations. While informative, the descriptions of how syrup is produced lead to some dry moments in the book (“Daddy starts the pump to suction the tap through a filter into a large holding tank,” notes Kelsey). But both the text and the art make clear how much work goes into producing maple syrup, how slow the process is, and how a community comes together to get the job done. A closing list of facts should intrigue readers who can’t imagine eating their pancakes without a good glug of syrup. Ages 5–7. Author’s agent: Victoria Selvaggio, Jennifer De Chiara Literary. (Nov.)