Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vanilla Ice Cream” as Want to Read:
Vanilla Ice Cream
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vanilla Ice Cream

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  336 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Candlewick Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vanilla Ice Cream, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vanilla Ice Cream

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Wendi Palasak
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This is a cute story. My son and i enjoyed following the sparrow with each turn of the page. I was delighted the story centers around the bird since it being on the cover is what drew my eye to the book and why we ended up checking it out at the library.

Another reviewer said it best: "Never has a Sparrow been more endearing".
Kristy McRae
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I simply ADORE all of Bob Graham's books, and this was no exception. The illustrations are fabulous, and the story just makes me smile. It's a fun take on that old theory about a butterfly in one part of the world fluttering its wings, causing a storm in another part of the world....all about the chain of events that lead from point A to point B....but told in such a sweet, endearing fashion!
Michael Earp
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love how Bob's books are simultaneously grand and intimate.
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Omg a new Bob Graham book! I had to read this twice in a row to fully appreciate it; I hope you do, too, before passing judgement. What a wonderful philosophy about how the world is connected by the mundane. What an illuminating (to me, from the US) portrait of a truck stop (somewhere, presumably) in rural India.

Though the point of the message seems one of celebration of our small world, the book could even be used with older children to springboard a discussion of invasive species.

I assume the
In search of food a hungry sparrow leaves a tiny truck stop in India to perch among some bags of rice on their way across the ocean. The bird survives and thrives since the rice is plentiful. Upon disembarking, the sparrow has a chance encounter with Edie Irvine, a little girl who is enjoying the day with her doting grandparents. Although the sparrow causes a little bit of confusion, its passing by also results in Edie's enjoyment of the delicious taste of vanilla ice cream. I liked this philoso ...more
Mar 17, 2015 rated it liked it
The title--the focus--of the story only took place over 2 pages, at the very end. The real story was about the sparrow and his journey...not the vanilla ice cream. Ok, the sparrow was the impetus for the vanilla icecream but the whole book was NOT about that one tiny moment.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, 2014
Another delightful book which looks at the simple happenings in life - both in India and here
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful story! Bob Graham always gets it right. I wonder, were the grandparents really going to eat the ice cream cone without giving Edie a bite? Not possible.
Dimity Powell
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-lit
Never before has a sparrow been more endearing.
 Creative Kids Tales
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
An action driven picture book that engages mainly visual narrative to reveal the story of a little sparrow’s journey across the sea from India to Australia. The sparrow follows the food, and at the Café Botanica he chances upon little Edie Irvine and her grandparents.

The story’s theme is that of freedom, choice and chance, and how these simple things can bring so much joy and enrichment our lives.

Bob Graham’s tender and sensitive cartoon drawings are set against more realistic watercolour illu
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Now that 2014 is over, I say that this is my choice for best picturebook of the year.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations, wonderful, as in full-of-wonder, story, thoughtful and thought-provoking and just lovely, really.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I think I'd like to be a bird.

This is really pretty.
Lucy Allison
This book has some words but so little that is could be classified as a wordless picture book. The story is a little complicated for younger children to understand through just the use of pictures, so I would use this story for EAL children who are a little older. EAL children can discuss the story and practice spoken English skills and their understanding of the story. The story also focuses on the theme of journeys and travel which may be suitable for EAL children who may have come on a simila ...more
The Brothers
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: birds, ice-cream
A swallow accidentally gets caught in a bag of rice heading from India to another (European I'm guessing) country. There it comes across a human child in a stroller who experiences ice cream for the first time. A kind of odd story.

Illustrations are nice to look at.
Sonia Trujillo Martinez
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet story. It's not towards the end that the tittle makes sense, and I found that charming.
Philippa N
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Beautiful illustrations but story seemed disjointed at the end.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is totally named the wrong thing. Vanilla ice cream is only a tiny part of it. Don't bother.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: children-s
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Well, I didn't expect that ending. Someone likes their ice cream!
7/25/18 Read with Julia & Simon
Rommel Sison
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
6-year-old daughter: 4 stars
5-year-old daughter: 2 stars
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Award-winning Australian author, Bob Graham, has again written and illustrated a gentle & warm book. This story is about a sparrow as he journeys through the world. After being a stowaway on a large ship, the sparrow discovers a large city and a small boy. The sparrow interacts with the boy with surprising results. Young children will enjoy reading this story again and again because of the engaging plot. The ink and watercolor illustrations are detailed yet soft. All ages will smile when sha ...more
Drew Graham
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
A sparrow from India follows the food and starts a journey to a bright new world where he never knows the impact he'll end up having.

I admit the first time I read this book I didn't really get it. It seemed random and the ending felt like it came out of nowhere, but after I thought about it and read it a couple more times it made a little more sense and even felt a little profound (maybe a little deep for younger readers but they enjoyed the visual and story elements anyway). It's good to be rem
Andy Hickman
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Vanilla Ice-cream” by Bob Graham

This sweet story does for sparrows what “How to Heal a Broken Wing” does for pigeons.

The truck-stop sparrow's perilous journey from the rice plantations of India to Australia via boat concludes with a lovely encounter with young Edie Irvine and her first taste of vanilla ice-cream.

Once again, thank you Bob Graham.
Judy Desetti
Dec 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
How the small events of life around the world are connected.
Emily Kelin
The plot in this story is very simple, but the setting is very important. We begin with the sparrow in India before it sneaks into a bag of rice and is transported far away. The book tells us that we are in India and the illustrations match this. Yet, when the sparrow travels to Australia, we are introduced to the fact that we are in Australia through images (we see the skyline depicted on the horizon and the gum trees in the background). The story is about interconnectedness - how a sparrow who ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a story of the journey of a sparrow from a rural truck-stop in India to a metropolis in the south. Told in simple writing, readers follow the sparrow as he tries to steal food from a customer of the truck stop. Then he flies aboard a truck carrying bags of rice. The rice is loaded aboard a ship and the sparrow follows the food aboard. They head south and he is able to find food and water on the long slow journey. When the sparrow arrives in the city, he spots Edie Irvine, a toddler walki ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
A copy of this book came into the bookshop - great cover, intriguing title - so I had to read it through. I loved it! But I thought to myself that I wasn't sure what the grandchildren would think. The thing is, it needs explaining. It's not just the talking one does naturally to expand on what's seen in the illustrations, and I'm mostly okay with pages in picture books that have no words at all (although I say that untruthfully, because I realise as I type that I don't really like it), but child ...more
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A little sparrow following food and leaving India for the first time glides into the life of young Edie giving her a wonderful first experience that she will never forget.
Nature and humanity gently collide in first experiences for a toddler and a sparrow. Beautiful ink and watercolor illustrations accompany the simple text, taking the reader on a long journey from the rice fields of India to an ice cream shop in an unknown city. Really, it could be any city. It could be any child. It is the con
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
cute book!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Deep in the Sahara
  • The Bear's Sea Escape
  • Peggy
  • Grandfather Gandhi
  • Captain Cat
  • At the Same Moment, Around the World
  • Jimmy the Greatest!
  • Orani: My Father's Village
  • My Bus
  • A Library Book for Bear
  • My Two Blankets
  • Telephone
  • Shooting at the Stars
  • Matilda's Cat
  • Ten Things I Love About You
  • Elephants Never Forget
  • How To
  • Shackleton's Journey
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

An Australian children's author and illustrator. His books include Max, which won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, Jethro Byrd, Fairy Child, which won the Kate Greenaway Medal, and "Let's Get A Pup!" Said Kate which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award