Foreword Reviews

Icy the Iceberg

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Icy the Iceberg is an appealing tale for young, inquisitive minds.

One snowflake makes a transformational journey in Larry Friend’s Icy the Iceberg.

The story of Icy begins near Vancouver, Canada, where he becomes a snowflake. He happily flits about until he lands. With subsequent snowfalls piling on top of him, Icy’s happiness turns to uncertainty as he is subjected to extreme darkness and pressure.

Icy is happy once again when he realizes that he is floating on the ocean as a part of a huge iceberg. A whale, salmon, otters, seals, and a polar bear join him on his journey before he eventually melts and the process is repeated.

Friend uses relatable elements to highlight a common scientific topic—the water cycle—in a delightful children’s debut. The personification of a snowflake and of animals builds human familiarity.

Dialogue captures the bonds of friendship between Icy and the animals, and encourages kindness as Icy provides the otters, seals, and polar bear a place to live.

The book’s playful scenes are depicted in Sidney Makis’s dimensional and childlike illustrations. Facial expressions add lightheartedness, even to scenes that evoke a dark mien. Icy’s expressions capture different seasons in his journey: the grogginess following his formation, the happiness he feels while flitting about and spending time with the animals, the fear that comes with snow piling on top of him and melting.

Silly and unrealistic situations also offset scarier scenes, such as when Icy uses a flashlight during his experience in extreme darkness. Warm pastel tones provide a welcoming tenor.

Although the narrative keeps to a lilting storytelling mode, some sections are confusing. Complex terms are used without clarification—words such as evaporate, vapor, molecules, and particles.

There is no explanation as to why Icy turns a brilliant blue color—a real phenomenon that is characteristic of icebergs. Icy’s portrayal in connection to the iceberg (instead of presenting him as one extremely small part of an iceberg, Icy appears to have suddenly transformed into a huge iceberg on his own) is confusing. And while ecosystems are incorporated in the plot, there’s no mention of the loss of icebergs due to global warming, and the real threat this poses to animals.

Icy the Iceberg is an appealing tale for young, inquisitive minds.

Reviewed by Anita Lock

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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