"We cheered as loudly as we could, and we skated circles around Dad as he walked back onto solid ground. All I could think was: 'My dad is the bravest man alive.'" - Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
He's known as the bravest man in baseball, the man who broke the color barrier in the major leagues. In 1947, Jackie Robinson made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African American to play in the modern era of Major League Baseball. But Jackie Robinson was more than a great baseball player. He was an all-around gifted athlete, a business man, a civil rights activist and a husband and father. His daughter, Sharon Robinson, tells a story of his bravery on and off the field in her newly released picture book, Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson.
A compelling storyteller, Sharon Robinson shares two ways in which her father "tested the ice," first in his baseball career and then later in a more literal manner on a small lake near their home in Connecticut. Sharon describes her father's legendary entry into the major leagues, a move that broke the color barrier and paved the way for others. She layers that historical period of time alongside a more personal one -- a touching family moment when her father tested the ice on a lake near their home, checking it for weak spots before he allowed his children and their friends to ice skate, despite his fear of water and his inability to swim. In an understated way through the use of powerful metaphor she effectively relates Robinson's strong character, his fortitude and patience, despite his fear and the obstacles he faced.
Children often understand best when they have a way of relating to the subject matter. By recounting a personal event from her own childhood, Sharon Robinson draws children into the book and helps them learn a little about one of the greatest baseball players of all time and the fight to end racial injustices in our nation. Kadir Nelson's detailed, brilliant paintings sweep across the pages, perfectly capturing special moments from Robinson's memorable steal of home in the first game of the 1955 World Series to a breathtaking view of Robinson tapping on the frozen lake. Meant for children ages 7-10, the book contains a suspenseful moment and will keep their interest. Even those that are not baseball fans will find the story and illustrations awe-inspiring.
Testing The Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Scholastic Press (October 2009); 40 pages; ISBN 9780545052511
Book Source: Review copy provided for free by Scholastic Press and Big Honcho Media (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)
NPR Story - "Jackie Robinson, 'Testing The Ice' For His Children"
Sharon Robinson -Biography on Scholastic.com
Kadir Nelson - Illustrator Website
In the early 1950s, legendary baseball hero Jackie Robinson literally "tested the ice" for his kids who so eagerly wanted to skate on the frozen lake near their home. Under Sharon Robinson's skillful authorship and Kadir Nelson's vivid illustrations, Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson also becomes a stunning metaphor for her father's remarkable racial breakthrough.
Thanks to Scholastic and Big Honcho Media, Brimful Curiosities' readers can enter to win the book. 5 WINNERS!
One (1) grand prize winner will receive a TESTING THE ICE prize pack that includes:
* Kidorable Hat, Glove & Scarf set (random styles – see image to the right)
* copy of Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson.
Four (4) additional winners will receive a copy of the book, Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson.
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