School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 4-8-Iceboxes, icehouses, icemen, and-brrr-more about the history of the harvesting, storage, and delivery of ice are covered in this slim, abundantly illustrated volume. Pringle begins his narrative by asking readers to imagine life before chilled beverages and frozen desserts. He briefly covers early food preservation (think cool streams and underground cellars) before delving into the rise of the ice industry in the early 1800s, and, in particular, the harvesting of the frozen stuff at pristine Rockland Lake in New York. A few individuals are highlighted, including Frederic Tudor, aka the "Ice King," who "dedicated his life" to bringing this precious commodity to the West Indies, and Josephine Walter, a 17-year-old hired to guide horses as they transported ice (the only female known to be hired by one of the larger companies, she was listed in the company record as "Joe" Walker). Readers will view the inside of Thomas Jefferson's icehouse and learn about George Washington's "troubles" with his. This book works on many levels: as an overview of an industry replaced by modern technology; of the culture and artifacts surrounding a ubiquitous product; and as a glimpse into our not-so-distant past. An easy-to-read chart (ice sources), catalog pages (ice tools), and captioned photos and reproductions of cartoons and advertisements suggest a variety of extension activities. The resource list includes two short films (dated 1898 and 1902, available on YouTube); view them with your students as you booktalk this informative title.-Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
The subtitle might seem like a reach at first glance, but Pringle's homage to the frozen water trade, which faded as modern technology made the product easily available and thus taken for granted, will prove to readers that the word amazing is not hyperbole. Incredible numbers of people were employed to harvest and deliver a remarkable amount of ice to homes in the farthest reaches of the continent. Pringle presents this larger picture, beginning with pioneering businesses in the early 1800s, and then spotlights, as a representation of the extent of the industry, the activity at a lake located in upstate New York that became known as the Icebox of New York City, where more than 600 workers toiled to harvest up to 100,000 tons of ice per season. Pleasingly designed with short blocks of crisp text and ample illustrations consisting of archival photographs, drawings, and images of the ice cards customers used to communicate their needs to the deliverymen. Readers will be enticed.--Enos, Randall Copyright 2010 Booklist