Carol Royce Owen's Reviews > Twelve Kinds of Ice

Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed
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's review
Nov 22, 2013

it was amazing
Read in November, 2013

As I read this book I kept wondering where the author grew up (Maine), because I can remember living in Connecticut and waiting for that time in the winter (usually just after Christmas) when Washington Park pond would finally freeze over and we were allowed to skate on it. For weeks before that we'd walk down, skates over our shoulders, only to be discouraged by the no skating sign, or we'd call the rec center information line and hear the recording, "There is NO skating on Washington Park today." Then, finally, would come the time when one of my brothers would come home from school in the afternoon and excitedly announce, "Mom, Washington Park is open! Can we go?" Thank you to Ellen Bryan Obed for transporting me back to those days. We certainly were not the skaters that did the figure eights, pirouettes, and jumps (I even broke my ankle falling while just standing on my skates in 5th grade), but we loved going down and gliding on the ice and then warming ourselves in the shed where a blazing fire was going. We also weren't officados of the types of ice, but we were certain to stay away from the far back edge of the pond where every year there was a new story of some child who had broken through the ice, never to be seen again. Of course now I know these stories were made up, but as an 8, 10, or 12 year old it was all believable.
In Twelve Kinds of Ice the author relates the anticipation of waiting for the ice to get thick enough for skates to be donned, and for the family to prepare a large skating rink over their now empty vegetable garden. The writer gives vivid descriptions of each kind of ice that are excellent for use as mentor texts in a writing workshop. The book is only 61 pages long, including the illustrations by Barbara McClintock, which remind me of those that would be seen in some of the old primers of the 50s and 60s. Beautifully done.

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11/22/2013 marked as: read

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