From chunk of ice to evaporation and back again, a young ice cube decides to break away from his ice tray to see what’s beyond his destined outcome.
Readers meet Ice Boy, who leads an ordinary life in the freezer with his siblings, parents, and other ice cubes. The omniscient narrator also explains “Once in a while, someone was taken. Usually for a person’s drink.” Getting “chosen” is “the best thing that could happen to an ice cube.” Opting instead for an extraordinary path, Ice Boy proceeds to sneak out of the freezer, where he embarks on a water-cycle escapade: he wanders to the salty beach, where his “edges…blur,” and he becomes Water Boy; he is then washed in with the tide, plays with seashore wildlife, soaks into a beach towel, begins to steam, and becomes Vapor Boy. Now a cloud and light as air, he rises higher, gets denser, and runs into a thunderstorm, until he freezes and gravity pulls him down to be Ice Boy once more. An allegory for breaking away from the mold, the story doubles as a light lesson on the water cycle. While a mostly blue-gray watercolor palette appropriately fills the spreads, the nuances in the book may fail to charm readers. Despite cheeky dialogue-bubble interjections, Ice Boy may be just too twee to connect with readers, leaving them uninterested in this well-meaning adventure.
It misses the mark—skip it. (Picture book. 3-7)