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*Starred Review* Everything about this small book is precise. Twenty short chapters introduce the different kinds of ice that take one family through the winter, while McClintock's pen-and-ink drawings, subtle yet celebratory, capture ice in all its incarnations. The first ice, you see, is a skim so thin it breaks when the children touch it. Second ice is like glass. But third ice doesn't break. The narrator and her sister hear it coming: We lay in our beds, listening to the cold cracking the maple limbs in the yard. Field ice arrives as a narrow strip. Then stream ice, when you can watch fish swim beneath the surface. Black ice is a little scarier, but it's good for skating. After the first snowfall, skating can be done at home on garden ice, made by packing the snow and turning on the hose. So it goes throughout the winter, as the family garden becomes a neighborhood hockey rink. When it's perfect, it's time for a skating party. Finally, the ice is gone. Lost mittens and pucks appear. But dream ice still exists and you can skate on it no matter what the season. Evocative and at the same time marvelously real, this is as much about expectation and the warmth to be found in family and friends as it is about cold ice. Children who don't live in a cold climate will wish they did, and everyone will find this a small gem.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
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Gr 3-6-The coming of winter in the rural north brings ice. The first ice "came on the sheep pails.a skim of ice so thin that it broke when we touched it." Gradually as the weather grows colder, the ice becomes field ice, "short-lived but glorious.," stream ice, black ice from "water shocked still by the cold before the snow." The ice and its activities continue until finally it becomes only fond memories as the narrator and her family enjoy never melting "Dream Ice," the kind that can be skated on until the first ice came again, "a skim so thin, it broke when we touched it." The brief, lyrical vignettes evoke each and every sense as readers share the cold, feel the bumps on ice, see the creation of "oozing yellow sun spots" as ice melts, and hear music at the skating party and the noise of children playing hockey. Delicate pen-and-ink illustrations enhance the action, emotions, and humor of each short description of ice and frosty goings-on. Regardless of where readers spend their winters, they are sure to enjoy sharing the author's memories of the season in Maine in this brief but unforgettable volume.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Like a souvenir from a bygone era, this homage to rural winter celebrates the gradual freezing of barn buckets and fields, the happy heights of ice-skating season, and the inevitable spring thaw. Obed (Who Would Like a Christmas Tree?) crafts an autobiographical first-person narrative of a farm family and lists her dozen crystalline varieties in ascending order. "First Ice" glazes "the sheep pails in the barn"; a second heftier ice lifts "like panes of glass.... in our mittened hands"; another ice, thicker still, heralds after-school skating. Short-lived pleasures, like sinister see-through "black ice" on Maine's Great Pond, give way to homespun fun on a DIY rink built on the vegetable patch. McClintock (A Child's Garden of Verses) sets cozy mid-20th century scenes with her crosshatched pen-and-ink illustrations; children, bundled in woolly layers, imagine themselves Olympic figure skaters and twirl to the sound of "John Philip Sousa marches, Strauss waltzes, Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals." This quaint volume could have been written 60 years ago, alongside One Morning in Maine and The Little Island. Today's readers will marvel at the old-fashioned amusements, chronicled with folksy charm. Ages 6-9. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.