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ICE PALACE by Deborah Blumenthal

ICE PALACE

By Deborah Blumenthal (Author) , Ted Rand (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-15960-6
Publisher: Clarion

For so wondrous a spectacle, even upon the book’s bedrock of hope, trust, and community, Blumenthal has concocted a deeply quieting and reflective story of the Lake Saranac Ice Palace. A young girl tells about the palace, delivering her tale with all the pacing of a plough horse, in the mood of the slow but sure construction. The girl notes that one of the prisoners from a local minimum-security prison working on the palace is her uncle. Though “the partnership between the local community and the prison population means a great deal to both groups,” there are few smiles in evidence on either side of the fence (and despite the dazzle of the palace, it’s as though Rand has been ordered to keep things somber). Meanwhile, Blumenthal beats the drum of ephemera, reminding readers more than once that “the ice palace . . . gets smaller and smaller and finally melts away.” Like prison sentences, by golly—and us, too. (Picture book. 5-8)