Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Review - The Ice Cream Store

The Ice Cream Store
by Dennis Lee
illustrated by David McPhail
Date: 1991
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: illustrated poetry collection
Pages: 64
Format: e-book
Source: library

Young readers will fall in love all over again with Dennis Lee’s light-hearted verse, which embraces universal childhood experiences of every flavour, from digging holes to foreign lands to searching for the perfect pet. David McPhail’s gorgeous watercolour paintings capture Lee’s subtle celebration of multiculturalism and offer a colourful feast for the eye.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Meh. Not great.

I think there was maybe one poem I liked in here. The rest were either too boring, too repetitive, or too outdated. Microaggressions abound. The age of this book may be causing many of its problems; such a thing would probably not be published today.

Aside from the problematic content (like the very first poem that compares children of different races to ice cream flavours), many of the poems are just weak. A few attempts at rhyme fall flat. "Canary" doesn't rhyme with "Kalahari", for example. Nor does "Maine" rhyme with "Spokane". As a result, some of the rhymes seem forced. The meter isn't all that consistent, either. You think you're reading something like a limerick, and right in the middle it'll change. I don't like that.

I read Alligator Pie a few years ago, and I think I probably enjoyed that one more. This one is just so full of cringe-worthy moments equating certain nationalities with negative traits that I can't really recommend it to today's audience.

Selection: 2/5
Meter: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5
Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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