Ice Cream Face

by Heidi Woodward Sheffield (Author) Heidi Woodward Sheffield (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

The Ezra Jack Keats Award-winning creator of Brick by Brick brings to delicious life the anxiety and elation involved in waiting in line to get ice cream.

As far as this ice-cream-loving kid is concerned, every meal should include ice cream. In any form, in every flavor, he loves it all. But what he doesn't love is seeing other people with ice cream . . . while he's still waiting in line for his. That's when he can get his mad, no-ice-cream-yet, waiting-in-a-long-line face--until he finally gets his cone, and his mad face melts into something sweet.

Heidi Woodward Sheffield gently explores a range of emotions as they relate to this delicious, everyday experience.

Publishers Weekly

Ice cream elicits an impressive repertoire of expressions from this book's narrator, a self-named "ice cream kid." Impatiently waiting at a candy-striped ice cream parlor, queueing with children and adults of varying skin tones, the brown-skinned child clutches a ticket and scowls at the "ice cream faces all around." (These include "the bearded baby," an infant with ice scream smeared on their chin.) But when patience is rewarded with a big scoop of red, yellow and blue--a classic "Superman" swirl--"my face melts into something sweet." Then comes the high drama of a brain freeze, followed by a "sad face" and full-throated howl of despair when the rapidly melting scoop falls to the sidewalk with a "KERPLOP!" But the community of ice cream enthusiasts is supportive and sharing, and the child quickly attains a new cone made from others' portions. Sheffield (Brick by Brick) employs photographs--most evocatively of the coveted ice cream scoops--digital painting, and subtly mottled collage in this amiable meditation on the joys of a rich emotional life starring a funny, self-aware protagonist who wears their ice-cream-loving heart on their sleeve. Ages 3-5. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary. (June)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Now here's a young man who knows his ice cream. . . . The narrator for this tasty outing is an appealing Everykid with a mischievous, anticipatory smile stretched across his expressive brown face, and his keen observations of the many ways to enjoy a cone (from dribblers to ice cream-bearded babies) ring true. Sheffield's collage artwork is especially evocative in its consistent contrast between grainy cut paper figures and backdrops mixed with photographs of the ice cream itself—smooth, glossy, and technicolor-bright." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Heidi Woodward Sheffield
Heidi Woodward Sheffield received the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for Brick by Brick, her first picture book, and has received numerous awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her illustrations. On any given day, she can be seen taking photographs of textures that inspire her stories and collages. She lives in Northville, Michigan.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
June 20, 2022

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