Angelina Ice Skates

It snowed here last week.  I mean, it really snowed. And for the months of November and December, I am a snow-lover. By mid-January I’m sick of it, but for the time being every flurry will stir excitement!  So I wanted to write about a book that has lots of snow, but is not necessarily dripping with Christmas. I chose Angelina Ice Skates by Katherine Holabird, illustrated by Helen Craig.

Angelina Ice Skates is just one entry in the Angelina Ballerina series by Holabird and Craig, but it’s the only one we’ve got.  We have watched the cartoon on television too, but there’s something more special about holding the book and looking at the pictures that a short cartoon can’t do justice.  Once again, it is the marriage of a sweet story and beautiful pictures that proves so appealing.

Holabird tells of Angelina and her friends trying to rehears an ice ballet for the village’s New Year’s celebrations, while the boys skating on the pond try to ruin their efforts.  Of course it all works out in the end, but I really love the interactions the mice have. While the boys tease the girls, and the girls eventually get them to be involved, the whole thing feels very kind.  At the bottom of it, it’s a nice story about patience and diplomacy.  And skating mice.

Craig’s illustrations deserve a big mention. While some pages are pictures that support the words, there are several spreads (I’m thinking the snowball fight, as well as the village people coming out to see the play) that carry the story on their own. I’m showing my own Euro-centric bias here, but I really loved the illustration of the girls back at Angelina’s house, chatting with her mother, Mrs. Mouseling — so cozy!

If you’re interested in the series, there are picture books, activity books, and books for independent readers available.

Published in: on November 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

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