But oh, it’s not.
For a child, particularly a very young child, the richness to be found in the ordinary is still sharp. A bright colour, a crinkle, some texture, a new flavour on the tongue. These are all monumental joys to a baby or toddler—everyday treasures that are lost as we age. This is what Vanilla Ice Cream celebrates—and more.
Far away, at a truck-stop in India, a sparrow rises from the dust and hitches a ride on a truck carrying rice to the docks. By chance, he manages to become an inadvertent stowaway and soon finds himself navigating the skies above a vast ocean—and soon enough—the land of a very new place. A place of skyscrapers and eucalyptus trees.
There, he meets toddler Edie Irvine who’s off to Café Botanica with her grandma and grandad for a wee treat. A series of everyday moments, of nothing unordinary—a dog, a leash, an ice cream from the café—lead to a moment in time for Edie that cannot really be appreciated unless it’s first-hand experience. Luckily, both children and adults—at least most of them in this fortunate place we call Australia—have had this first-hand experience. And as Edie feels it, we too feel it. Really feel it.
And the moment is truly precious.
I’m hoping you don’t read a review of this book that reveals too much more (please, reviewers, no spoilers). The impact of Vanilla Ice Cream is in both its first-time reading … and in those first-hand experiences we’ll never forget.
Title: Vanilla Ice Cream
Author/Illustrator: Bob Graham
Publisher: Walker Books, $27.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 August 2014
For ages: 3 – 8
Type: Picture Book