A young ice skater finds his métier on the ice in a family full of hockey players. And it doesn’t involve a stick.
Henry Holton’s family is “HOCKEY MAD.” All of them: Mom drives a Zamboni to work, and their dog wears a Wayne Gretzky hockey shirt. Henry takes to the ice like a martini. But...that stick doesn’t feel right. Getting mashed into the boards doesn’t feel right. It is the ice that calls. He’s got a touch of individuality that befuddles, even angers, the Holton clan. “No way,” his father booms when Henry mentions he would like picks on the fronts of his blades. “We’re a hockey family, Henry...a HOCKEY FAMILY!” Henry’s sister, Sally, helpfully chimes in, “Ice dancing is for girls.” But Grandma knows that skating affects people in different ways, and she dusts off her pair of figure skates, which Henry—and bully for him—straps on and takes to the rink. He shines. Both the illustrations—despite the ice, it has the warmth of pencil-and-wash artwork—and the story have a strong but unmenacing quality, neatly conveying an acceptance of Henry’s inclinations and an appreciation of his talent.
It doesn’t matter what you do on the ice, suggests Bradley, just do it with a song in your heart. (Picture book. 4-8)