cover image Ice Cream Summer

Ice Cream Summer

Peter Sís. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-545-73161-4

Sís, whose multilayered The Pilot and the Little Prince and The Tree of Life show a boundless curiosity, turns his research attention to a sweeter subject: ice cream. In this appealing book, watercolored in sherbet hues of raspberry and tangerine, a grandson writes a letter to his grandfather. The boy reports having “a delicious summer,” and promises, “I read every day.” An illustration reveals his literary inspirations—including “big words like tornado and explosion”—on an ice-cream shop’s list of flavors. The boy keeps up with math (“If each scoop costs 50¢ and I have $2.00”), studies cartography by mapping cocoa and pistachio landmarks, and learns about history: his fanciful timeline reveals that Marco Polo introduced China’s frozen confection to Italy and that the waffle cone was invented at the 1904 World’s Fair. “I always take a break on sundaes,” the boy admits. At the conclusion, the grandson and grandfather meet and scale a cone-shaped “Ice Cream Peak.” Such a vanilla conclusion could use a cherry on top, but even so, Sís gives summer dreamers the scoop on a cool treat. Ages 4–8. [em](May) [/em]