Bella and I are thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Ice Cycle: Poems About the Life of Ice written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Jieting Chen. This expressive and educational picture book celebrated its book birthday this week on October 4, 2022. Thanks to author Maria Gianferrari and Lerner Publishing Group for sharing an electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
When I think of ice, I visualize ice cubes to keep my drink cold, an icy windshield I have to scrape or the beauty of icicles hanging from my house. After reading Ice Cycle, my knowledge of ice was only the tip of the iceberg.
Ice is created from freezing water, but it can take on many forms, On the very first page, I love how Gianferrari starts with something familiar-shapes and how Chen’s illustrations and labels will help young readers understand.
Using rich, rhyming text, the next poem, “Ice Grows” describes how ice builds on plants, for it swirls and curls and binds and winds. The imagery continues with “Ice Plays” as Chen’s illustrations capture the ice’s movement as it drips and drops, sticks and pricks, and smacks and cracks. This poem introduces readers to cat ice and pancake ice, which are forms I have never heard of before.
In “Ice Speaks,” Gianferrari’s lyrical language engages the ears with sound. As I was reading the text, I could literally hear the noises that ice makes and Chen seamlessly incorporates the sounds in her artwork with swirling, dotted yellow lines.
The last poems transition from ice on land to ice at sea. Readers find out that wind and waves play a role in how ice is shaped. New forms such as ice rind, anchor ice, shuga, hummock, and bummock are introduced with text, illustrations, and labels. In the poem, “Sea Ice Ages,” Gianferrari’s text is full of emotion as ice “weeps, leaks, ebbs, and oozes, and floods.” I love how kids are exposed to rich vocabulary to help them visualize the ice as it changes forms. And while, ice does die, all it takes is a temperature dive for ice to once again come alive. Gianferrari’s last three words, “Ice is born…” connects back to the first poem reminding us of its life cycle.
Beyond the poems is extensive back matter providing definitions of terms, experiments with ice, and additional resources which includes books, websites, photos, videos, and sounds. Combining poetry and science, Ice Cycle warms souls and stimulates minds of readers of all ages.
Check Out These Ice Cycle Extras!
To view the book trailer, click here.
To view and download the Teacher’s Guide, click here.
About the Author:
Maria Gianferrari thinks ice is nice. After seeing editor Carol Hinz’s feathery frost photos on Instagram, she was inspired to find out more. During her research, Maria was amazed by all the diverse kinds of ice that exist, and this book was born. Her favorite form is pancake ice. Maria lives in Massachusetts with her family, where winters usually bring ice and snow. You can learn more about Maria at her brand new website, mariagianferrari.com
Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway!
- Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Ice Cycle giveaway tweet (US residents only).
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