Through a series of twenty vignettes, the author takes you through the various kinds of ice found throughout the year and the excitement that accompanies each--I should say the author and illustrator, truthfully, because Barbara McClintock's pen and ink drawings take the book from "Wow, this is amazing," to "Is it weird if I just hug this book now?" (Is it weird? Don't judge me until you've read it...)
I think I need to provide a semblance of logic at this point, so I shall give you a list of my favorite things:
1) Every word is perfect. The text is an ideal example of what prose can be when approached by a poet--it's not poetry, mind you: it's perfect prose. Every line is beautiful, but every paragraph is also beautiful. There are no extraneous words to take away from the emotion and story that the author is creating.
2) Every line of illustration is perfect. I couldn't imagine a more fitting match between words and pictures.
3) The story itself is a tribute to the kind of life that I am trying to create for my family, and that in itself is rather against-the-grain and pretty incredible. It's a story of a family that knows how to have fun with the very simple things that life gives them. It's about togetherness and joy and--it bears repeating--fun. And it makes me want to go turn my garden into an ice rink.
I know I gush about books a lot and there are thousands I love...but this one goes on the list of "Can't recommend it any more highly." Please do yourself a favor and read it as soon as you can.
To find more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations, visit the blog of Shannon Messenger, the genius behind it all...