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May 26, 2015

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Pick of the Day: Twelve Kinds of Ice

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skaters in foregroundOBED, Ellen Bryan. Twelve Kinds of Ice. illus. by Barbara McClintock. 64p. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-618-89129-0.
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

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