Vanilla Ice Cream

Overview

A wild sparrow?s journey sets in motion a toddler?s new experience in Bob Graham?s tale of life?s surprising little turns ? and unlikely connections.

Following some food, a curious young sparrow stows away in the back of a truck and takes an unusual voyage south ? through the lush rice paddies of India, across the rough sea, and all the way into a bright new day. As the sun rises high over the city, he finds little Edie at a caf? with her grandma and granddad, and for a fleeting...

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Overview

A wild sparrow’s journey sets in motion a toddler’s new experience in Bob Graham’s tale of life’s surprising little turns — and unlikely connections.

Following some food, a curious young sparrow stows away in the back of a truck and takes an unusual voyage south — through the lush rice paddies of India, across the rough sea, and all the way into a bright new day. As the sun rises high over the city, he finds little Edie at a café with her grandma and granddad, and for a fleeting instant, his world meets up with hers and changes her life in the most delightful way. From the masterful Bob Graham comes an invitation to notice the smallest of moments as they unfold around us, full of unexpected promise.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/18/2014
Letting his airy, bird's-eye view watercolor images do most of the telling, Graham (The Silver Button) melds the globe-spanning journey of a scavenging sparrow and a toddler's outing with her grandparents in a tale that subtly celebrates the world's interconnectedness, as well as one of the great "firsts" in the life of a child. After the sparrow ("He is young. He is curious... and bold") pecks his way into a bag of rice aboard a truck in India, he's soon an accidental stowaway on a ship that heads across the sea, arriving in a big-city port. Before long, the sparrow's hunger leads it to a cafe, where young Edie Irvine sits in her stroller, beside her grandparents and family dog. When the bird catches the dog's attention, "in just one fleeting moment" Edie is part of a minor mishap that sends an ice-cream cone sailing into her lap and gives the girl her first taste of vanilla ice cream. Graham's sequential panels convey a true sense of travel in a story that calls to mind the "butterfly effect," even as it follows a bird. Ages 4–6. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Everyday life conspires to change the world. Want to try an ice cream cone? ... The text is minimal, as compressed as a prose poem, letting Graham’s spacious, impeccably placed and paced watercolors tell the tale. ... Heed Graham: Get up, get out of bed (drag a comb across your head, if you must), and go forth.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
School Library Journal
09/01/2014
K-Gr 2—A sparrow from a truck stop in India stows away in a sack of rice and ends up aboard a ship heading to a faraway port. Once in the big city, his curiosity leads him to a park where he encounters a family and a series of random occurrences that cause their dog to knock a vanilla ice cream cone onto the baby's lap, her first taste of the treat. Although Graham is clearly a very skilled illustrator, the disparate elements of this rather existential story highlighting the butterfly effect seem too esoteric to hold the interest of young readers. The unnamed sparrow is depicted with lovely realism in both the text and the ink and watercolor art but without much expression or personality. The book design offers a variety of perspectives along with brief snippets of text, including various size panels, spot art, single-page images, and full-page spreads. Despite the technical merit of tenderly sketched characters and dramatic spreads depicting the voyage with grandeur, this quirky but ephemeral picture book should be reserved for Graham's most ardent fans.—Erin Reilly-Sanders, Ohio State University, Columbus
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-06-25
Everyday life conspires to change the world. Want to try an ice cream cone?For Graham, great events can have the most quotidian beginnings. To start: The weather is hot, and the ground is dusty—this is India in the summer. There is an open-air, roadside eatery—samosas, lassi, puri and muri—and a table with chairs under a few palms. A trucker stops his rig, filled with sacks of rice. Truck-stop sparrows are a bold breed, and one notices that one of the rice sacks is spilling its precious cargo. Time to feast, even as the truck pulls away: "Like all wild birds, he follows the food." The text is minimal, as compressed as a prose poem, letting Graham's spacious, impeccably placed and paced watercolors tell the tale. The truck drives to a port; the sacks are loaded on a freighter, which sails to a new city. Another day dawns. The sparrow finds another eatery in a city park. The weather is hot. A grandma and granddad are having ice cream cones. The sparrow drops onto the table to investigate, which agitates the dog, which bumps granddad's arm, which dumps the cone in the baby's lap: A new world is born.Heed Graham: Get up, get out of bed (drag a comb across your head, if you must), and go forth.(Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763673772
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Graham

Bob Graham is the author-illustrator of many extraordinary books for children, including How to Heal a Broken Wing and The Silver Button, about which School Library Journal said in a starred review, "Graham celebrates what can happen in a single moment and reminds readers to pause and observe." Bob Graham lives in Australia.

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