Cover image for Vanilla ice cream
Vanilla ice cream
Graham, Bob, 1942- , author, illustrator.
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Stowing away in the back of a truck that carries interesting-looking food, a curious young sparrow takes a voyage through the rice paddies of India, across the sea, and into a new city, where he transforms the life of a girl at a café.
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J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Programming Workroom-2nd Floor
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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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 rises high over the city, he finds little Edie at a caf#65533; with her grandma and granddad, and for a fleeting instant, his world meets up with hers and changes her life in the most delightful way. From the masterful Bob Graham comes an invitation to notice the smallest of moments as they unfold around us, full of unexpected promise.

Author Notes

Author and illustrator, Bob Graham was born in 1942 in Sydney, Australia. He attended Julian Ashton Art School where he studied drawing and painting.

His first picture book Pete and Roland was published in 1981. He has written and illustrated over 25 books including "Crusher Is Coming," "Jethro Byrd," "Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten" and "The Adventures of Charlotte and Henry."

His works have earned him numerous awards and recognition. He has won the Children's Book Council of Australia award four times, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Human Rights Award, the Smarties Book Prize and the UNICEF Bologna Illustrator of the Year award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Outside a food shack in India, a sparrow picks food from a diner's plate. Then the bird spies a truck stacked with sacks of rice, one of which is torn open. The bird burrows inside as the truck heads into a crowded city and toward a dock where a ship awaits to take the rice on board. The sparrow has plenty to eat (rainstorms provide water) until the ship lands in a modern, gleaming port. Here toddler Edie enjoys lunching at the botanical garden with her grandparents. And look who else is there the sparrow, nibbling crumbs from their table. The grandparents' dog jumps at the bird, the bird knocks over Grandfather's vanilla cone, and Edie's life changes forever when the cone lands in her lap and she tastes ice cream for the first time. Despite the big idea that interconnections are unexpected and varied, the premise still seems thin. Not so the line and watercolor art with its energy and changing vistas, from teeming city to vast ocean to cozy family scene. Children will enjoy taking this trip and keeping their eyes on the hungry little bird.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Letting his airy, bird's-eye view watercolor images do most of the telling, Graham (The Silver Button) melds the globe-spanning journey of a scavenging sparrow and a toddler's outing with her grandparents in a tale that subtly celebrates the world's interconnectedness, as well as one of the great "firsts" in the life of a child. After the sparrow ("He is young. He is curious... and bold") pecks his way into a bag of rice aboard a truck in India, he's soon an accidental stowaway on a ship that heads across the sea, arriving in a big-city port. Before long, the sparrow's hunger leads it to a cafe, where young Edie Irvine sits in her stroller, beside her grandparents and family dog. When the bird catches the dog's attention, "in just one fleeting moment" Edie is part of a minor mishap that sends an ice-cream cone sailing into her lap and gives the girl her first taste of vanilla ice cream. Graham's sequential panels convey a true sense of travel in a story that calls to mind the "butterfly effect," even as it follows a bird. Ages 4-6. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-A sparrow from a truck stop in India stows away in a sack of rice and ends up aboard a ship heading to a faraway port. Once in the big city, his curiosity leads him to a park where he encounters a family and a series of random occurrences that cause their dog to knock a vanilla ice cream cone onto the baby's lap, her first taste of the treat. Although Graham is clearly a very skilled illustrator, the disparate elements of this rather existential story highlighting the butterfly effect seem too esoteric to hold the interest of young readers. The unnamed sparrow is depicted with lovely realism in both the text and the ink and watercolor art but without much expression or personality. The book design offers a variety of perspectives along with brief snippets of text, including various size panels, spot art, single-page images, and full-page spreads. Despite the technical merit of tenderly sketched characters and dramatic spreads depicting the voyage with grandeur, this quirky but ephemeral picture book should be reserved for Graham's most ardent fans.- Erin Reilly-Sanders, Ohio State University, Columbus (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.