Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review - From Maple Tree to Syrup


From Maple Tree to Syrup

By: Melanie Mitchell
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0761391814
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 2012

Cold Hollow Cider Mill often bottles their maple syrup in little containers that look like a maple leaf. The pure, sweet syrup is awesome, but how is it made and where does it come from? The "maple syrup comes from sugar maple trees" that are planted so workers can make syrup. All of these trees that are planted together are "called a sugar bush." As these trees grow they also produce a sap which is a "clear sweet liquid." When springtime rolls around it is time to harvest the sap that is flowing in the trees.

The first thing is to drill a hole in the trunk of each sugar maple tree. These trees need to be "at least fifty years old." Larger trees can have more than one hole, but the smaller ones can only have one. Once this is done metal spouts are inserted into the holes so the sweet liquid can flow into buckets that have been attached to the spouts. Once the buckets are full they are emptied and replaced to collect more sap. You'll also learn where the sap is taken, what a sugarhouse is, how it is processed, and put into those little maple leaf shaped bottles.

This is an excellent book for the young student to learn about maple syrup processing. This book can be read by the confident reader or read and discussed during circle or storytime. The layout is alive with vivid photographs, visuals that are almost self-explanatory. There is a brief sentence explaining the concept of the paragraph beneath. For example, when talking about the spouts the sentence simply says "Spouts are put in the holes." Words highlighted in orange are found in the glossary. This is one of six titles in the "Start to Finish" series about food for the beginning nonfiction reader. In the back of the book is an index and a glossary. There are additional complimentary downloadable resources on the publisher's website.

Quill says: This is a sweet book that the young student can learn about a food that most of them love and are very familiar with!