By: Ellen Bryan Obed
Illustrated by: Barbara McClintock
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: November 2012
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: November 27, 2012
Reading Twelve Kinds of Ice was a unique treat for me. Written by Ellen Bryan Obed and illustrated by Barabara McClintock, this is a simple and tender account that resurrects fond childhood memories to the surface. The setting is a place I am personally quite familiar with: Waterville, Maine. As a child, I spent six glorious years of my adolescence in Winslow, Maine; the only separation between the two towns being the Kennebec River.
The vivid and mental pictures Obed writes of the cold Nor’ Eastern winter and the intrinsic anticipation of ice skating is seeded because that was what most kids embraced once the endless winter settled into that part of the country. Ms. Bryan Obed describes the natural progression from the first ice of “pail ice,” a paper thin precursor to the eventual garden ice of the Bryan Gardens ice rink. Barbara McClintock complements Obed’s words with her detailed ink-etched illustrations. Together, author and illustrator have accomplished a wonderful tale devoted to the innocence of youth. It is a time when children get to be children and play crack the whip as they careen with reckless abandon around the rink. Obed affirms the innocence through her references of young girls in all their flirtations who are taunted by young boys who could care less. The latter’s greater interest is consumed with passing the hockey puck and smacking it toward the end of its journey… the victory of a goal.
Ms. Bryan’s tone throughout this brief tale is a resurrection of yesteryear that brings distant childhood memories clearly into present day. She artfully rekindled the innocence once abound when we were children and reignites the fire of imagination and wonder that Bryan Garden’s ice rink enticed many children to experience.
This is the perfect tale for children both young and old. It is an affirmation that it is the simplicities in life that allow the memories to live within our souls forever. Thanks to both Ellen Bryan Obed for her poetic words and Barbara McClintock for her equally creative artistry in Twelve Kinds of Ice. It is the perfect escape for any season of the year.
Quill Says: You’re never too old to experience the joy and memories a turn on the ice is certainly capable of delivering.