As we are relatively fresh to the world of children’s books Arthur Geisert’s style and characters were new to us. Arthur Geisert’s characters are pigs; real pigs that walk and interact with one another like humans do. However, that is where any semblance of normal ends and a head tripping hog tale starts.
The pigs are illustrated in a way with great detail and care. All of the pigs have their own personality, from the proud mother pig in a pink dress, the dad pig in his overalls to the baby pig who helps them navigate the ship. The illustrations in Ice are similar to a less finely tuned picture from Monty Python’s animation. Python’s animation was sharp and Geisert’s pigs are crisp, but drawn in an otherworldly way.
In Ice, the pigs are hot. They live on an island with no ice and are preparing their boat to sail across the ocean so that they can tow an iceberg to their island. Did I say boat? I meant, preparing their hot air balloon boat that flies around the world to get the iceberg. Once they see the iceberg they then erect a sail to it and start the trip back home.
On the way home they dance on the iceberg and work through the night until they get back to their hot, dry island. Once home they chop up the ice, put it in the pool, put blocks of it in front of the fan and have a cool night in with the family.
Ice is a trippy, dreamy book that doesn’t have any words. Toddler Mojo is 18 months old and loves looking at the pictures with me. I tell him about the pigs, point out the dancing ones, teach him the colors of their clothing and pace the story to his attention span. That is the great thing about wordless books, you can go at your own pace, sometimes it’s fast and other times you can really take your time.
Ice is a great blend of imagination, story and pig. Fans of Arthur Geisert won’t want to miss this wordless addition to his work and it’s also a fine entry point into discovering his style of storytelling and illustration.
A review copy of Ice was supplied to us by the publisher.