The Iciest, Diciest, Scariest Sled Ride Ever! by Rebecca Rule, illustrated by Jennifer Thermes
Released November 9, 2012.
After sleet and snow have created a thick crust of ice on the ground, what are Lizzie and her friends going to do? It’s almost impossible to even walk on the stuff! They slide downhill on their backs and it was a lot of fun, but they wanted to really find a good place to slide. Snow saucers just spun on the ice, and that’s when Lizzie remembered the sled with metal runners that her grandpa had, a travis sled with an extra long seat. Grandpa remembered his own childhood when they were able to sled down the roads on days like this. He warned them to stay off the roads, stay safe, and not go too fast. But when the children finally reach the summit of the huge hill, they wonder if they will be able to keep that promise!
Rule has created a book that captures the wildness and pure joy of sledding. Growing up in Wisconsin, we had a sledding hill that we would build ramps on and have a great time. My father also had his childhood runner sled that could only be used in perfectly icy conditions. So this book took me right back to those childhood memories of days that were blistery cold and icy, but you were having too much fun to care. Rule builds suspense really well here, having the children figure out what sled to use, where to get it, and then the puzzle of how to climb an icy hillside without all sliding back to the bottom.
Thermes’ illustrations have a wonderful old-fashioned quality to them but also show modern sledding and a modern community. The colors are bright and fun, the sky often adding a punch of coral to the white landscape. There is also plenty of action and movement throughout, creating a perfect pacing along with the text.
Get this one on your shelves for the holidays and sledding season. You may just see your breath in the air as you read it aloud. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Islandport Press.