THE ICE CREAM STORE by Dennis Lee

THE ICE CREAM STORE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A gifted Canadian presents a charming collection of accessible, lighthearted verse, heralding its multicultural spirit in his cheerful title poem (""Oh, the kids around the block are like an/Ice cream stored,/'Cause there's chocolate, and vanilla,/And there's maple and there's more...""). Lee's lilting, upbeat voice is uniquely his, but his sly updating of the patterns, topics, and even the words of some hoary greats is a beguiling extra dimension here. There's an echo of l_gar in a nonsense poem about Martians; an inspired use of grand place names, worthy of Kipling; deft versifying and a childlike imagination recalling Milne; and an implicit rebuke for the condescension of Stevenson's ""Little Indian, Sioux or Crow..."" throughout. In several entries, Lee effectively mimics children's folk rhymes; there are also lovely lyrical passages, a delightfully garbled ""Happy Earthday!"" (""So I gapped a little rift,/Yes I lipped a riddle gaffe...""), and plenty of contemporary references. Set on generous white space, McPhail's illustrations extend the meaning with imagination and humor. In his usual style, bears and pigs are especially appealing, cats oddly awkward, and humans-wistful or comical--pay admiring tribute to Sendak. An excellent contribution.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Scholastic