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Author: Ellen Bryan Obed

Illustrator: Barbara McClintock

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, ©2012

Material: Galley

Summary: From the first ice, a thin skin on a bucket of water, through thickly-iced fields, streams, and gardens, a girl, her family, and friends anticipate and enjoy a winter of skating, ending with an ice show complete with costumes, refreshments, ... This is a set of short, personal stories about winters in Maine.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, transitional reader, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 8 and Up; read yourself: 9 and Up

Interest Level: 9 and up

Reading Level: 3.9

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: 12 Kinds of Ice is creative, imaginative, and well written. It doesn't focus on the ice. It focuses on the girl and all the special moments she had with family and friends. I would call it Twelve Kinds of Happiness because it fills you with all the happy memories you experience in winter. The illustrations are great and add even more charm to the book. Last but not least, I love the fluidity. At the end of each chapter Obed leaves an unfinished sentence to allow the reader to think about the various possibilities how the sentence would have ended and how the story would progress. This is a great addition to the book as it immerses you even more into Obed's well crafted winter wonderland. Even though this book is aimed for readers 8 to 11 years old, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good book to read. Twelve Kinds of Ice is a great book full of emotions and a great experience.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a perfect cuddle-up read to share over a cup of cocoa. It is a special little book with vivid imagery and a very personal feel. I felt like the author had invited me to her winters in Maine. Because of the complexity of the stories but simplicity of the text, this is a great choice for high interest / low readability audiences, too.

Pros: Twelve short stories combine for one heart-warming book meant to be shared as a family. This is a book bound to stir up warm memories and nudge you to create new ones.

Cons: This could be a book that appeals more to adults than kids.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. It would be an excellent gift for a transitional reader (perfectly sized) or an adult who loves winter, short stories, and biographies.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Island: A story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin; Tallulah's Nutcracker by Marilyn Nutcracker; What's Your Favorite Animal by Eric Carle ON A WINTRY MORNING   THE LONGEST NIGHT   APRIL WITHOUT SPRING

Educational Themes: Each story builds on the previous one and offers a chronological look at winter and how it progresses. It is also a great way to to talk about family, traditions, and different ways of presenting biography.

Notes: The Reading Tub® picked up an uncorrected proof of this book at Book Expo America. Our Teen Reviewer picked up a copy at the library.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - short stories, winter, biography, family

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2012; July 2014

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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