Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

At Grandpa's Sugar Bush

At Grandpa's Sugar Bush

Margaret Carney
Illustrator:  Janet Wilson 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Kids Can Press, 1997   ISBN: 978-1550746716

It is spring break and a boy is going to spend some time on his grandpa's farm. Grandpa's needs help because it is time to work in the sugar bush. The warm weather in February has made the sap rise in the maple trees and now the boy and his grandfather must drill holes in the trees, tap spiles into the holes, and hang up buckets under the spiles to catch the sap.

As they walk through the sugar bush the boy and his grandfather see all kinds of creatures and many signs of spring.

Together Grandpa and his grandson collect buckets and buckets of the sap and take them to the "boiling place." Grandpa builds a fire and then with great care they begin to boil the sap. As the sap boils it gets "sweeter and stickier." It is turning into maple syrup. After the syrup is strained Grandpa and the boy take it to the farmhouse and the very next morning they have their syrup with pancakes for breakfast.

This distinctive picture book not only describes how maple syrup is made but it also celebrates the special and loving relationship that grandchildren can have with their grandparents. Helping his grandfather is hard work but it is rewarding and it gives the boy the sense that he is part of something special.