Saturday, July 9, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and ninety

Summer days were made for ice cream, and since it is now summer it seems very appropriate that I should review a book about a child who imagines that he is an ice cream king living in an ice cream castle that has an ice cream fountain in the garden.

The Ice Cream KingThe Ice Cream King
Steve Metzger
Illustrated by Julie Downing
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tiger Tales, 2011, 978-1-58925-096-3
   It is a hot day in July, and Teddy Jones is in town with his mother when he sees that a new ice cream shop called Thrill Chill has opened up. Not surprisingly, Teddy asks his mother if they can go into the ice cream shop.
   Soon Teddy and his mother are sitting inside Thrill Chill and Teddy is trying to decide what he would like to eat. Then the server puts a paper crown on Teddy’s head and the little boy starts to imagine what it would be like if he were “the Ice Cream King.”
   Why, if he were the king he would live in an ice cream kingdom full of ice cream treats that are “all for me.” He would live in an ice cream castle, climb Ice Cream Mountain, and “blast off in my spaceship / up to the ice cream moon.” Everything would be wonderful and splendid except for one thing.
   In this clever picture book, the author and illustrator help young readers to see that even the most wonderful of imaginary worlds are not much fun if one is alone. Could it be that some pleasures are best when they are shared?
   The author and illustrator take readers into Teddy’s imaginary world by shifting from the minimal illustrations and prose of his normal life to brightly colored pictures and verse for his imaginings. The effect is magical and memorable.

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