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Vanilla Ice Cream

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  381 ratings  ·  101 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
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Average rating 3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  381 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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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".
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
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
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.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bob Graham Fans / Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Interconnectedness
Following a bag of rice, a little sparrow leaves behind its life in India and travels overseas to Australia, where it encounters a little girl named Edie. This chance meeting leads to an accident, which in turn introduces Edie to the pleasure of vanilla ice cream...

Australian author/artist Bob Graham, creator of such lovely picture-books as How to Heal a Broken Wing and "Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate , spins a delicate tale here, one that emphasizes the unseen but nevertheless important con
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.
Dimity Powell
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-lit
Never before has a sparrow been more endearing.
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.
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
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The book is about a sparrow that goes on a journey to different places.

The illustrations are created like a storyboard and there a variety of colours.
Heidi Burkhart
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bob Graham writes and illustrates with charm and simplicity. I loved the global story! Great for Preschool to Gr 3.
Abigail Mason
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are limited words therefore allows for imagination and for the children to tell the story.
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
An utterly charming tale that involves a small sparrow who travels a thousand miles only to inadvertently provide a new taste sensation for a toddler. (And, NO - the child does NOT eat the sparrow!) Graham's illustrations, always a treat, seem especially delightful in this one.


Wonderful in a butterfly-flapping-its-wings, happenstance kind of way.
 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 ill
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
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.
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.
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.
Rommel Sison
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
6-year-old daughter: 4 stars
5-year-old daughter: 2 stars
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
Philippa N
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Beautiful illustrations but story seemed disjointed at the end.
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
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.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Totally random. Pictures are pretty, but it doesn't make a lot of sense.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A contemplative story about how small things can make huge impacts in the world. Lovely illustrations as well.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-children
No coherent throughline on the story, but very pretty illustrations.
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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

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