Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Sugar White Snow and Evergreens: A Winter Wonderland of Color

Swan, Susan (Illustrator)
Albert Whitman 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780807572344 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this book of colours, winter starts out muted, with gray skies and brown snowsuits. But everything brightens, as a family visits a sugar shack: “A snowman pointed out the way,/and what do you suppose?/A plump red cardinal landed/on his orange carrot nose.” As the tale covers the steps of syrup gathering and processing, colour words are printed in bold type, in their corresponding colour.

Illustrations in collage techniques use a gorgeous array of cut-out textures. The tones of each spread reflect the text’s featured colour. In one image, the hues of kitchen table and syrup bottle are warmed by sunlight streaming through the window: “We’re going to the farm,’ Dad said./‘You want to know the reason?/To hunt for winter’s hidden gold./It’s maple syrup season!’” In another, a grey squirrel perches on a wire fence, as sap pours into battered tin buckets “Each tree contained a wooden tap./A silver pail below.”

In the end, all the colours come together in radiant spreads that depict a sugar shack breakfast and a vivid country landscape, “white sun on snow,/bright colors everywhere!”

  •  Brainstorm what you know about the production of maple syrup.
  •  

    Go for a picture walk and discuss what you see. Make connections with your own experiences of winter.

  •  

    The children in the story are hungry because they have not yet had breakfast. What are the words the author uses and images the illustrator has drawn that make you think of eating?

  •  As a group, create a mind map of the winter words you know.
  •  

    Go for a picture walk and discuss what you see. Make connections with your own experiences of winter.

  •  

    Why are some words written differently in the text? Add words to your winter mind map. Include the sugar shack words.

  •  

    Bring in a few winter pictures of yourself. Write colourful sentence captions in the author's style. Organize the pictures in rainbow order.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology