cover image Ice Cream Work

Ice Cream Work

Naoshi. Overcup (SCB, dist.), $14.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-9834917-3-6

Using the Japanese art of sunae, which involves sprinkling colored sand over an adhesive surface, newcomer Naoshi follows a character named Ice Cream Man through a week’s worth of work. Ice Cream Man isn’t a vendor making the suburban rounds in his truck—he’s a human/ice cream cone hybrid, whose long lashes, waffle-cone romper, and knee-high boots give him a decidedly feminine appearance. In softly textured, slightly psychedelic spreads, Ice Cream Man picks up a variety of odd jobs, spending Monday curled up next to a slice of cake, Wednesday crouched in a manhole wearing an ice-cream cone turned traffic cone on his head, and Friday risking life and limb as a golf tee (five forest creatures give grim salutes as the golfer tees up, his club inches from Ice Cream Man’s head). Much of text consists of lists of each job’s pay, qualifications, and duration (the golf gig requires “courage” and pays “20,000 cream/hour”). It’s as strange as it sounds, but it’s also the sort of book that could easily capture the imagination of kids drawn to the culinary fantasylands of Strawberry Shortcake or Candyland. Ages 3–up. (Oct.)