Twelve Kinds of Ice

Written by Ellen Bryan Obed
Illustrated by Barbara McClintock
Houghton Mifflin (hardcover) 2012
Harper Collins Publishers (paperback) 2015

American Library Association (ALA)  Notable Children’s Book 2013

With the first ice—a skim so thin, it breaks when touched—one family’s winter begins in earnest. Next comes ice like panes of glass, and then ice too thick to crush with the heels of boots. Then suddenly, ice that is ready for skating! Twelve Kinds of Ice takes a literary skate over field ice and streambed, winter lake and icy pasture, on frozen garden, through sleeping orchard, and beyond. The first ice, the second ice, the third ice…perfect ice…counting ice…the last ice…Twelve kinds of ice are carved into twenty vignettes, each exulting the beauty of ice and ice skating that comes year after year. Charmingly, delightfully illustrated in detailed pen and ink drawings.

PRAISE FOR Twelve Kinds of Ice

*Starred reviews in Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

  • Kirkus Best Children’s Book of 2012
  • Booklist Best Children’s Book of 2012
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

“That was the most awesomest book that has ever been read to me.”
~ Leif, 7 years old, Colorado (youngest reviewer)

“Obed’s prose is crystalline: clear, pure, and entrancing. The real subject of the book is not ice, but happiness; a happiness so contagious that readers of all ages will close the book with a sigh.”
~ Laura Amy Schlitz, Newberry Medal-winning author of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village

“Her language shimmers and sparkles; it reads like poetry…Irresistible.”
~ Starred, Kirkus

“Evocative and at the same time marvelously real, this is as much about expectation and the warmth to be found in family and friends as it is about cold ice. Children who don’t live in a cold climate will wish they did, and everyone will find this a small gem.”
~ Ilene Cooper, Starred, Booklist

“A perfect snowflake of a book.”
~ New York Times

Skater illustration courtesy of Barbara McClintock, from Twelve Kinds of Ice.