ALMOST TIME by Gary D. Schmidt


Age Range: 4 - 7
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Time crawls for Ethan as he anxiously awaits the beginning of sugaring season.

Sunday should mean maple syrup on any breakfast his dad cooks. But the maple syrup is used up, and sugaring time won’t happen until the days lengthen. Is the sunny day just a little warmer? Is that a sliver of daylight at bedtime? Or is it only wishful thinking? Dad also says his new loose tooth will fall out when the sap runs. The days creep by, and it’s still cold and dark, and his tooth is still there. Then, finally, the tooth is out, and his father is waiting after school to begin the sugaring process. They work together as a team during the whole process of lifting, carrying, boiling, and pouring to make the longed-for syrup. That first slightly lighter Sunday morning and a breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup are blissful. Young readers will relate to Ethan’s impatience with the slow march from winter to spring, as they hope and wait along with him, even if they are used to the faster pace of city or suburbia. Karas’ illustrations beautifully depict both the wintry farm in day and night and the loving, trusting father-and-son team as they share everyday moments and work together contentedly. Ethan and Dad present white.

A gentle tale that is as sweet and delicious as maple syrup. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-544-78581-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2019


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