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SUGAR ON SNOW by Nan Parson Rossiter


by Nan Parson Rossiter & illustrated by Nan Parson Rossiter

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-46910-9
Publisher: Dutton

Rossiter’s (The Way Home, 1999, etc.) story of a family’s day in the sugar bush is a bit too solemn for the occasion, and there is a static quality to the artwork that drains much of the life out of the elemental act of sugaring. Seth and Ethan eagerly announce that it looks like sap-gathering weather to their mother one March evening, though the boys’ gestures in the accompanying illustration look like they have been carved from stone. As the boys try to crank up the excitement, their mother keeps saying things like “We’ll see” and “Whoa! Food first,” tamping any electricity that might begin to flow. The narrative crawls at the same speed as the tractor making its way through the maple trees: “Mom poured the contents into the holding tank. Dad was next, emptying his bucket from the other side of the trailer.” So it goes, all the day long, to end upon this upbeat note: “She had a thermos of coffee tucked under her arm, since she and Dad would be up most of the night tending the syrup.” Pass the oxygen. Fun is an alien concept to this event, where the boys are dutiful day laborers, their payoff a snow cone and their parents’ approval. They ought to organize and demand a minimum wage. (Picture book. 5-8)