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Children's LiteratureA "First Facts" book in the "From Farm to Table" series, this book appeals to a wide reading audience with fresh information, clear harvest and production processes explanations, and photographs. Readers view what looks like a family-operated sugarbush harvesting in Vermont. A horse carries along the tank into which the sap is poured. Close-ups show the drills or drill-plus-hose and the large flat vats from which water is boiled off. Unfortunately, the steam obscures the workings and text doesn't explain what readers are viewing (Is that foil? Why? Where's the syrup?) Also pictured are filtering, bottling, and at last, a supermarket shelf on which several brands of maple syrup are displayed (including Karo syrup which is corn based, not tree based). While the process is clearly delineated, the pictures are not as well chosen as other books in the series. Text ends with a note about a sugaring festival in Ontario, Canada, a recipe ("ask an adult...") for maple sugar candy hardened on snow, glossary, index, several other maple sugar titles, and a hosted Internet site. 2005, Capstone Press, Ages 7 to 10.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.