Eaton, Maxwell III

Bear Goes Sugaring

(2) K-3 This busy, boisterous, and information-­packed picture book explains the multi-step maple-syrup-making process--from tree to table. Bear, anthropomorphized and wearing cold-weather garb, begins her project when the temperature is below freezing at night but above freezing during the day: "sugaring time!" The third-person main text narrates Bear's undertaking as she locates a tree, drills into it, collects sap, and more. Tools are labeled throughout (brace, spiles, evaporator), and occasional sidebars include additional facts. The illustrations, too, help scaffold ­readers' understanding; one picture demonstrates how it takes forty gallons of sap to create one gallon of maple syrup. Bear's pancake-loving ­companions, Squirrel and Dog, follow her process impatiently, inserting questions, affirmations, and comic relief. (When Bear cuts a hole in a milk jug, Dog breaks the fourth wall and declares, "I lost scissors privileges long ago.") Sound effects and speech-bubble dialogue emphasize these humorous moments, while the watercolor and graphite illustrations, rendered in light hues, emit a cool winter vibe. This dynamic title succeeds in showcasing the complexity, can-do spirit, and fun behind "maple syrup splendor." Back matter includes an author's note and suggestions for further reading.


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