cover image Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Bob Graham. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7377-2

Letting his airy, bird's-eye view watercolor images do most of the telling, Graham (The Silver Button) melds the globe-spanning journey of a scavenging sparrow and a toddler's outing with her grandparents in a tale that subtly celebrates the world's interconnectedness, as well as one of the great "firsts" in the life of a child. After the sparrow ("He is young. He is curious... and bold") pecks his way into a bag of rice aboard a truck in India, he's soon an accidental stowaway on a ship that heads across the sea, arriving in a big-city port. Before long, the sparrow's hunger leads it to a cafe, where young Edie Irvine sits in her stroller, beside her grandparents and family dog. When the bird catches the dog's attention, "in just one fleeting moment" Edie is part of a minor mishap that sends an ice-cream cone sailing into her lap and gives the girl her first taste of vanilla ice cream. Graham's sequential panels convey a true sense of travel in a story that calls to mind the "butterfly effect," even as it follows a bird. Ages 4–6. (Aug.)