Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Sugaring-Off Party

The Sugaring-Off Party

Jonathan London
Illustrator:  Gilles Pelletier 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1995   ISBN: 978-1550415964

Paul is very excited, for tomorrow he is going to go for his first sugaring-off party. For now he is sitting by the fire with his grandmother, Grandmere, and at his request she tells him about her first sugaring-off party.

When Grandmere went to her first party she was same age as Paul is now. They set off for Tante Loulou's sugar bush (her maple-sugar forest) in a big sleigh and all the way to her sugar shack they sang songs together. When they got to the shack the children played in the snow for a while and then everyone went inside for a fabulous meal. Soon everyone is full of stuffed pancakes, beans, potatoes, and eggs. In the same room that they ate in large pans of fresh maple sap boiled and boiled and all the children were eager for the moment when it would be ready and they could make la tire, "taffy made from maple syrup poured on snow."

After the meal it was time for a little music and some dancing. Paul's Grandmere had a wonderful time swirling and stamping her feet. In fact she had such a terrific time that she did not notice when the maple syrup was ready. Tante Loulou had to tell everyone that it was now time to make la tire. The sweetest part of the day had finally arrived.

Children who put maple syrup on their pancakes and waffles in the morning will greatly enjoy this story about a special spring celebration in Canada. An engaging narrative and charming folk-loric style artwork makes this book a perfect title for spring days.