Ice Boy

illus. by David Ezra Stein. 40p. Candlewick. Apr. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763682033.
PreS-Gr 2—Ice Boy lives in the freezer with his ice cube community and family. With plenty of dark humor, the story's narrator sets up the main conflict: "Once in a while, someone was taken. Usually for a person's drink. To be chosen was the best thing that could happen to an ice cube. At least that's what Ice Boy's parents said." Ice Boy refuses to surrender passively to this unknown fate and instead decides to make his own way. He ignores all warnings, leaves the freezer, and travels to a sunny beach. From here Ice Boy embarks on a wild and dramatic journey through the water cycle. High-energy linework throughout the pale, icy colors of the spot art and full-page spreads create a fast pace and plenty of exaggerated humor that works well with the comical text. Speech bubbles in the art bring more personality to the characters and help to distinguish Ice Boy within the stages of the cycle as he shifts to Water Boy ("Aaah! Tastes salty!") and Vapor Boy ("Look what I did!") until a storm turns him into a piece of hail and he is Ice Boy again. Coming full circle, Ice Boy falls from the sky right into a drink, where his parents are bobbing about. The drink is tossed out on the ground, and while the ice family wonder what adventures await, budding scientists will likely have some ideas.
VERDICT Funny and entertaining, this book starring an independent ice cube is a truly enjoyable tour through the water cycle that offers insights into the dynamics of life in the freezer.

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