Pringle, Laurence. Ice!: The Amazing History of the Ice Business. Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Calkins Creek, 2012. Print.
Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover and Pringle’s Ice is no exception. Ice is a well-organized and chronicled history of the ice business. Okay, it’s ice, how exciting can that be? It’s more exciting than watching ice melt. Yes, it exciting and it is simply about the ice industry. But what makes ice interesting? Not having ice? Trying to keep it from melting? Harvesting? You name it, this book delivers in a big way.
Given the emphasis on the Common Core by so many education agencies this book should become an exemplar. It’s not that ice is so important these days as described in the book ; it is what the book doesn’t suggest that makes it valuable. Early keepers of ice were plagued with finding the perfect insulating material to preserve their investment and reduce melting. Can you imagine a group of student conducting their own controlled experiments to determine the same with modern day materials that are often bound for the garbage? Many opportunities for further investigation are ripe for the harvest inside the pages even if the author does not identify them. And that makes this book even better because the author sticks with the program and writes about ice.
The illustrative content is superb. The pictures chosen have significance and are not just something loosely associated with the history. Readers come away with a feeling of the struggle that influenced innovation and made everyday life much more comfortable and profitable.
Libraries and teachers of science and social studies should give this book high priority on their selection lists. Others interested in Americana should also find a way to read it and enjoy the well-written text that is useful and attractive. If I owned a business with a waiting room this book would occupy a prominent place.