Read Aloud Thursday: Twelve Kinds of Ice

I’m not a great lover of ice and snow but this charming new book by Ellen Bryan Obed made me almost wish that we lived in a much colder climate. The Twelve Kinds of Ice in the title range from the first skim of ice on a bucket early in the morning to the ice on a homemade backyard ice rink to the last ice where hockey pucks and lost mittens are revealed during the melt.

There are twenty short vignettes, each one can be read separately but the last few words of each lead to the title of the next tying the book together as a whole. The stories told here are both exotic and familiar to those of us who live where the idea of being able to skate in and out of the trees over an entire frozen meadow is both completely imaginable and unimaginable. Each vignette is illustrated with beautiful black and white ink drawings by Barbara McClintock that invoke the same nostalgic feel as the stories themselves.

I wasn’t sure what my kids would think of this book. It’s somewhere between a picture book and a chapter book and although the language is lovely and poetic I wasn’t sure if it would appeal to them as it’s somewhat slow without either humor or much of a story. The big surprise to me was that both boys really loved it. I chose to read it over several days instead of all at once and they both were always excited to hear more.


Stop by Hope is the Word for more Read Aloud Thursday.

5 thoughts on “Read Aloud Thursday: Twelve Kinds of Ice

  1. We read this one awhile ago and enjoyed it! I agree that it’s a little slow, but some of the characters — especially the dad — are really enjoyable, and the whole idea of a family sharing this winter passion is fun. It’s good to see your thoughts on it!

  2. I would think the title comes from what I’d heard of eskimos, that they have many, many different words for ice/snow…right?

  3. I remember Janet’s review of this book very well, and your review has further convinced me that this is a book I want to read with my girls!

  4. Pingback: This Week in Books | Supratentorial

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