Thursday, October 15, 2009

Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson By Sharon Robinson - Book Review and Giveaway

"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.)

Related Links:
NPR Story - "Jackie Robinson, 'Testing The Ice' For His Children"
Sharon Robinson -Biography on
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.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post.

• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US only
• Contest ends on Monday, November 2nd, 2009 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winners will be chosen at random and notified by email
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4):
1st extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
2nd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
3rd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.


Z-Kids said...

Thanks for the chance to win such a beautiful book!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Our whole family loves the stories that we know about Jackie Robinson so we would love to read more! Please enter me!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

The Allen Family said...

My husband is the biggest baseball fan ever! This would be a great book for us to read with our 4 boys, to get them learning about history without even realizing it. :)

windycindy said...

What a marvelous prize package give
away! The wonderful book about Jackie Robinson would make a great combination gift for my sons!
The hat/glove and scarf set would
be very useful! Please enter my name in your delightful drawing. My husband and our sons are very much into baseball and its' heroes.
Many thanks, Cindi

windycindy said...

I am an email subscriber to your site!
Again, many thanks.....Cindi

windycindy said...

Also, I follow you on Twitter!
Thanks for this fun opportunity!

wmmahaney said...

I love biography's written for children. Would love a copy for our home library.

Chelsea S said...

I would love to share this book with the children I volunteer with at the local hospital. Thanks for the chance at winning it!

-- Chelsea

Chelsea S said...

Subscribed via email.

-- Chelsea

Chelsea S said...

Twitter follower and tweeted.

-- Chelsea

Anonymous said...

I have always been a baseball fan. I would love to read this book to my class.


ossmcalc said...

This is a wonderful opportunity to win a book like this. Please enter me into this giveaway.

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

I subscribe via email.

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

I follow you on Twitter and tweeted about this giveaway

Thank you,


Bebemiqui said...

I enjoy children's books based on true things, count me in.

cstironkat said...

It is so nice to have a book based on a true story that is inspirational.

Staci A said...

This sounds like an interesting read. The only things I ever learned about Robinson were about his baseball ventures. I would love to read a little more about him, especially from his daughter's point of view.

Terra Heck said...

I had never heard of Robinson before now. I think my son would enjoy this. Thanks.

ehhogan said...

I'd love to give this to my daughter's class

ehhogan at

Stephanie said...

Looks like a wonderful book that I would enjoy reading with my sons.

Melanie said...

my daughter loves books and the kidorable goodies are just too cute

melanieinaz2003 at yahoo

Melanie said...

twitter @kaiasmommy


Carl said...

I've heard a lot about Jackie Robinson...but never this story.

Sounds like an interesting book!

mail4rosey said...

My husband loves Jackie Robinson, so he'd really like this for our son, I think!

Thank you.

Sweeter the berry said...

follow in twitter/tweeted

AngelFabs said...

My husband is a big Jackie Robinson fan so this would be a great book for him to read to our daughter.

AngelFabs said...

Twitter and tweet.

Jaime said...

This would make a wonderful gift for my grandson
copperllama at yahoo dot com

judybrittle said...

My grandson would absolutely love this book! What a great story this would be. Thank you!

judybrittle said...

I follow on Twitter and tweeted

Winning Readings said...

I love kids' books that are more than just entertainment! This one looks both interesting and informative...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Winning Readings said...

And we've posted about this at Winning Readings:

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge baseball fan and love reading anything about the subject.


Unknown said...

This book looks awesome, I'd love to share it with my family. I love kids books with a good background and meaning.

Anonymous said...

My brother is the biggest baseball fan!

mindy said...

this looks like a great package thanks minsthins at optonline dot net

Deb K said...

My granddaughter would love this~Thanks so much for the chance :)

I follow you with Google

{Deb K}

Deb K said...

I follow you on Twitter

degood said...

This looks like a very interesting book that my family would love

degood said...

I follow on twitter and tweeted

Hotsnotty2 said...

I would love to win this for my daughter, thanks!

Kristie said...

Sounds like a really neat book!

khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Tiffany819 said...

My son would love this book and I would love him to learn about jackie robinson. Thank you!

tiffanys819 at gmail dot com

cookster77 said...

My daughter would lvoe the book/ They love sports.

cookster77 said...

I tweeted about the giveaway

Unknown said...

My daughter is interested in the civil rights movement. She would enjoy hearing about Jackie Robinson.

~*~lilshuga2001~*~ said...

I follow n a tweet~!!

Unknown said...

This must be an interesting book considering how racial discrimination was rampant in that era. Reminds me of President Obama being the 1st black President

Unknown said...

follow on twitter and tweeted

lilyk said...

This book sounds very interesting. I'll definitely check it out!