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Almost Time

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  76 reviews
A tender father-and-son story about the passage of time, the change of seasons, and the excitement of reaching a goal.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Clarion Books
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  372 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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This book is about waiting. This boy is excited for the sap to start running so they can make syrup. The days have to get warmer, the nights have to get shorter. Every day it’s wait, wait, wait. Then his tooth gets loose and he has to wait for that to fall out too. But in the end we see time does pass and they do make their syrup.

I wasn’t crazy about the artwork. It feels more like a comic strip and it didn’t help the story for me. This is a beginning book for anyone.

I thought this was more of
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Ironically I keep finding and reading books about patience and waiting. In this weird, new world, we’re all doing a lot waiting right now. And so is little Ethan and his teddy bear, Roosevelt. :)

Ethan is looking forward to homemade syrup for his pancakes, corn bread, and oatmeal. It’s almost time! But his dad says Ethan has to wait until the days get warmer and the nights get shorter. And for his loose tooth to fall out! Ethan has two things to wait for—his wiggly tooth to fall out and the sap t
La Coccinelle
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Almost Time is a sweet (pun intended) little story about a boy who's eagerly awaiting the year's fresh batch of maple syrup. He asks his father how long it will be until the sap starts running, and his father offers various answers that help the boy gauge the passage of time. Finally, after a lot of waiting, it's time for the sap to start flowing, the trees to be tapped, and the syrup to be boiled. Ethan gets his sticky treat... and it was worth waiting for.

The story is simple but understated. S
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Preschool-2nd grades, first grade teachers
For every child who wishes for something that takes a long time, this story will ring true. A boy and his father have run out of maple syrup and he is eager for the sap to run so they can make a new batch. But it takes so long! Through the passing of everyday events, darkness and cold gradually give way to early spring with warming temperatures and more hours of daylight. And finally the sap begins running!
Told in easily understandable terms that children can relate to, and beautifully illustra
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gary D. Schmidt and his late wife, writing under the name of Elizabeth Stickney, have penned a more intimate fictional account of sugaring and the wait for maple syrup. Almost Time (Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, January 14, 2020) illustrated by G. Brian Karas is an endearing story about a boy and his father. It's about anticipation, patience and love set within the changing seasons.

My full recommendation:
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is so hard to wait - for maple syrup time AND for loose teeth! Gary and Anne's sweet text made me tear up and Brian Karas's charming illustrations are a perfect match.

A wonderful book for using in primary classrooms to show the maple sugaring process, or for all of us impatient for the next event or season.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ethan has to wait... for sugaring time so he can have maple syrup for his breakfast, for his tooth to fall out. Patience is hard. But good things come to those who wait. A lovely story about anticipation and the passage of time including a bit of information about the change of the seasons and how maple syrup is made.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Tree blood
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
A boy is waiting for the sap to run. Then it will be sugaring time.

He's waiting.

And waiting.

And then his tooth is loose.

And he's waiting for that, too.

Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime
A cute book about being patient and good lead-in for a lesson in tapping maple syrup. Although I have not used it for an actual storytime, I think kids would enjoy the story and it's the right length to keep little ones' interest. ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good book that teaches kids how to wait.
Connie T.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the dead of winter when Ethan has to eat his pancakes with applesauce he knows they've run out of syrup. Each Sunday, there's something else to eat, all without syrup. Waiting for sugaring days is hard but Ethan marks the time by going to school, sledding, and waiting for his loose tooth to come out. Then the big day arrives; his tooth comes out and the sap is running! The next few days he helps his Dad tap the trees and boil down the sap. Then they enjoy their new batch of syrup.

A nice story
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very cute book! This would be good for storytime.
Amanda Walz
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
about time and waiting for something you are looking forward to.
Anneke Alnatour
This was an okay read, with a great introduction into maple syrup.

We were a bit confused about some of the structure of the book, but the illustrations made up for it.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Five plus plus plus stars!! A book about waiting and sugaring...
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this author so very much.
Abby Johnson
Ethan knows it's almost maple syrup time, but it's so hard to wait! This quiet picture book pays homage to maple syrup farms and the slow, gradual change of the seasons as Ethan waits for small changes that mean the sap will start running - the days will get warmer, the nights will grow shorter...

This is a perfect late winter book for sharing, especially if you have a maple syrup farm nearby (like we do!). I think it would have benefited from back matter explaining how we get maple syrup.

Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
Maple syrup yah
FM Family
I wanted to like this a bit more than I did, but I appreciate having a seasonal book to go to about maple sugaring. I think my issues were that I didn't love the illustration style, and I felt like the payoff of finally getting to see him enjoy the maple syrup wasn't quite there. But the story is well done in terms of showing the changing season and the waiting and waiting for maple syrup to come. My three year old enjoyed it but seemed MOST interested by the teddy bear looking at the maple syru ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Waiting is really difficult - especially when you're out of a favorite item. The young boy and his dad are waiting for the sap to run so they can make more maple syrup. He continues to play and enjoy winter but watches for the signs that syrup making time is here.
The text is easy to follow and the characters come to life on the pages.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Ethan finds it really hard to wait for the maple sap to start running in the late winter. He knows the signs of the time approaching. It’s when he doesn’t have maple syrup for pancakes or oatmeal. His father explains that the days have to get warmer for the syrup to run as well as the nights getting shorter. Ethan thinks he notices it changing, but sometimes gets too eager like not wearing his winter coat anymore. When Ethan’s tooth gets loose, his father tells him that it should fall out around ...more
Shinae Wyckoff
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My kiddo (4) is obsessed with this book. He wants to read it every day, and he calls it “waiting for maple syrup”. If I leave blanks, he can fill in almost every word. That is part of the genius of having such trimmed-down text.

Another advantage of the trim text: it leaves lots of room for interactive questions. For example: on one page, it says “Now Ethan had two things to wait for”, with an illustration of Ethan occupying himself to pass the time but looking a little unhappy ...what two thing
It's hard to wait, especially when it's ALMOST TIME for the sap to run and for the loose tooth to come out! Day by day, Ethan has to eat his pancakes, his cereal, cornbread, too, without syrup. Night by night, Ethan waits for some light to show that days were longer. And one time, he notices he has a loose tooth. Dad says it will fall out before long. Gary Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney (the pseudonym of Gary Schmidt's late wife) show the s.l.o.w trail that waiting takes when one waits for some ...more
Laurie Hnatiuk
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, 2020
This book will resonate with readers who have difficulty WAITING. Ethan knows with the changing of the seasons it is almost time for sugaring - but how much time does he have to wait? His father gives Ethan things to look for or wait for such as the shorter nights and waiting for his loose tooth to fall out. Finally it is time and we are introduced to sugaring to make maple syrup. This book would pair nicely with @maxwelleatonIII recently released book Bear Goes Sugaring. This book will be a wel ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot. It's sweet and heartfelt and has an original spin, seeing as there are not many picture books about how syrup is processed. And that is what is lacking here. The pictures are not entirely clear enough to explain what the process really involves. I had to help my kid infer based on other reading I've done in my life about maple syrup. Otherwise, we both would have been left a little confused. A little more specific info about how many buckets of sap it takes to make one b ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this book about waiting (and about harvesting maple syrup!). I remember that time felt different as a kid and waiting wasn't very easy, especially if it's something you are excited about. So while I think most kids won't have a connection to harvesting maple syrup (but will find it cool to learn about like it did), they will be able to relate to waiting for something they are excited about (or at the very least, connecting to the waiting for a tooth to fall out). ...more
A little boy is waiting for the sap to run so that he can have maple syrup for breakfast again. But it’s awfully hard to wait. The days have to get warmer, the nights have to get shorter. He also has a loose tooth. His father tells him his tooth will probably fall out around the time the sap starts to run. Now he has two things to wait for!
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beautiful picture book that celebrates the slow process of producing maple syrup. A little boy is eager for the sweet syrup on his pancakes, and dad patiently reminds him that he must wait until the days get warmer and the nights shorter. A parallel story of waiting for a loose tooth to fall out makes the waiting relatable to the younger set. A terrific March read aloud.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
My son was kind of meh with this one. I think for some picture books, he's just getting too old for them. He said, there's kind of not a lot of plot here.

That being said, it is a simple story of patience that some kids would relate to. A young boy tries very patiently to wait for it to be time for sugaring time, so he could enjoy maple syrup again.
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Gary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.


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