ICE DREAM’S WISH

A snowman explores his wintry world with unexpected results in this debut children’s book.

Three friends of different ethnicities decide to give their snowman, named Ice Dream, three special gifts. The children search on a computer for the perfect items and decide on a pair of sparkly marbles for his eyes, a red rosebud for his heart, and a yellow apple for his brain. These three gifts, easily identifiable and given a sense of magic in Dadgar’s images, combine to bring Ice Dream to a kind of life: he’s aware, but to his dismay, he can’t move to follow the children to school. “I wish I could move just once in my life and go where I like,” Ice Dream muses, bemoaning all the things that can run—children, pets, the nearby brook, cars, and airplanes—while he can’t. His secret wish is granted by Angel Cloud, whose feathered crown and wings give her an ethereal look that counters her very earthy bare feet. But, she warns him, by the end of the day, he’ll go through a big transformation. As Ice Dream follows the children’s snowy footprints, he encounters a number of people and creatures who require help. Each time, his special gifts inspire him to feel love, concern, and kindness toward the animal or person in need, and he sacrifices one of his features—his carrot nose to a hungry bunny, his bead buttons to a little girl whose mother can’t afford to buy her beads, his red mittens to a man who, barehanded, helps an old woman get her car out of the snow. Once Ice Dream reaches the school, he’s caught in an exhilarating snowball fight, but his chilly form, without its attributes except the three gifts, crumbles. In Mottahedeh’s charming story about the power of love, the three children find their gifts and realize Ice Dream has changed. When they rebuild him, the gifts bring him back to life, altered and happy (“They all saw that even though he looked the same, there was something wonderfully different about him”). While some children may not adore the illustration style, which is quite abstract, the book offers delightfully diverse characters, heartfelt lessons, and eye-catching colors in the painted compositions. An engaging and beautifully illustrated tale about the bountiful rewards of kindness.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9888829-0-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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