Friday, September 13, 2013
Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed
When fall comes the ice slowly transforms from a thin sheet on the top of an ice pail to a solid block freezing streams and lakes. When the narrator describes the transformation of the ice rink in the back yard I was transported to the past of skating in my purple parka with my 4 siblings. We didn't have shows like the author describes or pump music outside over a loudspeaker but they did do that at some of the city parks. We would break off icicles and lick them like ice pops. Of course we didn't think about what we were licking as we broke off the beautiful shapes that formed from condensation dripping down sun-warmed, slanty roofs. Yum - bug and tar flavored ice pops. Obed describes twelve stages of ice and ends with dream ice. This ending captures the magic of ice and the possibilities. As you can see I haven't talked much about the book because my own memories keep cropping into the sentences sidetracking me.
I have noticed when I write book reviews I give 5 stars much more easily with fantasy than realistic books. I think the unbelievable factor makes me more forgiving of elements that aren't realistic in fantasy; whereas, I'm more critical if a book is "real." I also like fantasy as a genre most and must have an unconscious bias towards it. Guess I'm writing this because this could be a five star. I just thought there was a lull in some spots, but I'm such a jet pants I also like lots of action. This book requires more patience. That's my disclaimer anyway. I did enjoy the nostalgia of ice in this book and delicious writing. I confess as an adult I think now of how uncomfortable ice skates are, how many times I've frostbit my toes, and how hard it is shoveling mountains of wet snow. This is a good reminder of the joys of winter as a child. The magic of the ice rink, playing hockey with my brothers, pretending with my daughter we were Olympic ice figure skaters, racing across the ice and sliding on our seats, flipping into snowbanks going full speed, playing broom ball, and more. I need to keep that child alive inside me, and this book certainly does that well.
Reading Level: 4.6