Picture Book Love #3: Celebrating picture books that are just too good not to gush over.
Such an intriguing premise for a picture book. A community of pigs live on an unbearably hot, treeless island. Life is focussed on sheltering themselves from the unforgiving sun. It is not really working. The island water supply will soon be in dangerously short supply. Meetings happen. Plans are made and a group of pigs sail off. Sail off, it must be noted, on a gorgeous flying airship: part hot air balloon, part sailboat. Completely beautiful.
The ship drifts around the globe and locates icebergs. The pigs attach their ship via an anchor in the ice and then begin to celebrate their luck. Dancing pigs by firelight. Simply delightful. And then by attaching a sail to the iceberg, the pigs manage to navigate the iceberg back to their hot, dry island and then the real work begins.
Scaffolds are built. Ice saws utilized. Pulleys, ladders, assembly lines. These pigs have it all worked out! Large chunks of ice are added to the almost dry island reservoir turning it into part water storage, part water/ice adventure land.
The hardworking pigs celebrate with satisfying swims, make shift waterslides and high dives from iceblocks into the cool deep water! Then ice chunks are hauled to home water sources and the pigs can finally indulge in cool relief from the island’s heat.
Arthur Geisert‘s wonderfully wordles book Ice appeals to me on so many levels. First of all it celebrates industriousness. Hardworking pigs one and all, old and young pitch in to make a poor situation (unbearable heat) better. I love that these pigs plan carefully and then, in completely unexpected ways (via a flying sailship), execute this plan. And finally these pigs again sit together and celebrate their mutual success. I also love these pigs. Pigs. It should seem absurd but these pigs are highly relatable in their simple dresses or overalls and communal committment to a task. In witnessing the pig’s inventiveness and high adventure, one comes away with a satisfied feeling. So much happens in just a few pages. Problem. Idea. Execution. Solution. Satisfaction. If only every problem could be approached with such creativity and success.