cover image Ice Boy

Ice Boy

David Ezra Stein. Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8203-3

Stein’s intrepid ice cube hero wants more from life than a tenuous existence in a freezer and a destiny of being “chosen”—his fatalist family’s euphemism for becoming part of someone’s drink or cold compress. Ignoring everything Ice Boy has been told (“Never go outside. Never ever go outside”), he makes his way to the ocean and discovers that rather than dissolving into nonexistence, a wide world of adventures awaits: first as “Water Boy,” then as “Vapor Boy,” and then again as a pellet of summer hail. His return to a solid state brings about a reunion with his parents, who are stoically chilling a patio drink; using his newfound knowledge and confidence, Ice Boy rallies them to join him on a new water cycle adventure. Stein (Tad and Dad) renders his funny mixed-media paintings in bright blues and stormy grays, and peppers them with quippy dialogue balloons (“Am I dense, or did I just become a liquid again?”), proving that science can be empowering on many levels and that “you do you” can contain multitudes. Ages 3–7. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Apr.)