ALMOST TIME by Gary D. Schmidt & Elizabeth Stickney. Illus. by G. Brian Karas. New York: Clarion Books, 2020. 32p. ISBN 978-0544785816 hc. $17.99 Gr. K-2 E PIC
Where there are sugar maple trees, there's potential for maple syrup! Ethan noticed that his family's supply of syrup was gone because his Sunday breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup had been abruptly switched to alternate breakfast foods. He also knew the routine for making maple syrup. When spring days are warm and the nights are still cold, sap runs through the trees and it's time to tap them. Then the sap is boiled down into sweet maple syrup, a process which is brilliantly illustrated in two pages of panels. But this story is really about waiting for the weather to warm up; waiting for longer days and shorter nights; and waiting for the reward of maple syrup. During this long period of waiting, Ethan noticed that he had a loose tooth - another process not to be rushed. Young readers will relate to the experience of waiting for good things to happen. Ethan found that his patience paid off when he finally lost his tooth and once again enjoyed his favorite breakfast.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI