cover image Bear Goes Sugaring

Bear Goes Sugaring

Maxwell Eaton III. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4448-9

Getting real maple syrup from tree to table is no day in the park, but Bear is up for the job. She marked the sugar maples during the fall so she can distinguish them from species that have less sugary sap; she even knows how to build a backyard evaporator. Most importantly (and the biggest takeaway for readers): Bear is a careful planner and diligent worker who also has vast reserves of patience—even though it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup, and especially when her pancakes-obsessed friends, a gopher, a squirrel, and a dog, keep mentioning their affinity for the food (“How are those pancakes coming?” asks the dog as Bear taps her first maple). Watercolor and pencil illustrations by Eaton (the Truth About series) have a cheery, get-’er-done orderliness, efficiently conveying a wealth of information with comics-style panels, cinematic framing, text callouts, and just the right number of comic asides from Bear’s peanut gallery. The afterword takes a broader view, noting that sugaring helps preserve stands of sugar maples, and that the result isn’t “manufactured in a distant facility with chemical processes. No corporations. Just backyards, buckets, campfires, and friends.” (And pancakes?) Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Jan.) [/em]