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Review: Ice by Arthur Geisert

By Arthur Geisert
Enchanted Lion
ISBN: 9781592700981
Grades K-2
In Stores March 1, 2011

*Best New Books*

If you’re unfamiliar with Arthur Geisert’s work, it can usually be summed up like so:

Through books like Lights Out and Hogwash Geisert often puts his porcine characters in the position of trying to solve real world problems through staggeringly creative means. The results are almost always must-read. Add Ice to this group. Originally published in France, Ice follows 2010’s excellent The Chicken Thief in Enchanted Lion’s Stories Without Words series. An excellent entry in a series that is becoming one to watch.

The book opens with a two page spread of a tiny island dotted with small A-frame huts, massive sun looming in the sky. A small band of Geisert’s familiar human-like pigs are doing their best to beat the heat – seeking shade and cooling themselves with fans – with lackluster results. Their huge well, which provides water to the entire island, is running low. After gathering to plan a voyage, the pigs spring into action, lifting off in their frigate-meets-hot-air-balloon vessel. They journey north, hitch an iceberg, and pull it back to their home, where it provides much needed relief.

The creativity is off the charts here. Geisert’s detailed illustrations run the show, creating a pleasing mix of nuts and bolts reality and island fantasy. I think the magic comes from the fact that everything seems as if it could almost happen. The civilization looks like something humans would build. The island’s well system seems plausible. Heck, even the cover brings to mind an old photograph of remote real-life island-dwellers, discovered by the outside world for the first time.

A simple, pitch-perfect story that will serve to get the imaginative juices flowing. The year is young, but Ice will likely be a 2011 standout.

Review copy from publisher.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I saw this one on your GoodReads (last week maybe?) and was like, “OHMYGODARTHURGEISERTHASANEWBOOKIHAVETOGETITONORDERNOW.”

    Love him. I feel like he doesn’t get the attention he deserves.

  2. Let me just say that the location of your Venn diagram was perfect, because I was reading the post scrolling down through the first part of Reality, Fantasy, Arthur Geisert …. and then I get Pigs. So funny, and true. Now I have to see the book.

  3. I’ve added this to my list! Thanks.

  4. Ooh! Can’t wait. I think Light’s Out was the first of his books that I saw – I’ve been a fan ever since. (I also love love love The Chicken Thief).


  1. […] Ice, written and illustrated by Arthur Geisert (Enchanted Lion Books) […]