Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ice in the Jungle by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

Generally, I've found I prefer Child's Play's board books to their picture books, but this one fills a niche very nicely and has adorable illustrations as well.

When Ice's mother tells her they are moving to a land far away, Ice is not happy. She is scared and worried about leaving all her friends. Her new home is very hot and strange and she doesn't understand anything the other children say. The other children make some overtures, but Ice is overwhelmed by the differences in her new home. Only when her new school makes an effort to understand where she comes from does Ice start feeling at home and settling in.

The illustrations have a friendly, warm feeling with rich colors and thick lines. The facial expressions of most of the animals, except for Ice, are limited but that keeps the emphasis on Ice's emotions and struggles to settle in to her new home.

Verdict: This is a sweet read-aloud on its own, but it would also make the perfect story to read to children welcoming a new classmate or getting ready for their own move. It's a gentle introduction to empathizing with someone who comes from a different culture or background and, although simplistic, is at a good level for preschool children to understand. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781846437311; Published 2015 by Child's Play; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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