Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson
Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson
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Annotation: As a testament to his courage, Jackie Robinson's daughter shares memories of him, from his baseball career to the day he tests the ice for her, her brothers, and their friends.
Catalog Number: #39218
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Illustrator: Nelson, Kadir,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-05251-3 Perma-Bound: 0-605-26553-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-05251-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-26553-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2008038838
Dimensions: 31 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Jackie Robinson's bravery extended well beyond the world of baseball, as demonstrated in this heartwarming family story by his daughter, Sharon. At their lakeside home in Stamford, Connecticut, Jackie never joins his children in their aquatic activities. Sharon eventually realizes her father can't swim, but it takes a frozen-over lake and Jackie's brave testing of the ice for Sharon to fully appreciate the courage that defined her father's life. A brief author's note gives details about Jackie's contribution to integration in baseball. Nelson's sumptuous illustrations, with larger-than-life figures and beautiful landscapes filling the double-page spreads, are perfectly suited to the text. The baseball scenes are clearly on par with those in Nelson's highly praised We Are the Ship (2008), and the spreads with the children interacting with Jackie have a Norman Rockwell like quality. Pair with Teammates, by Peter Golenbock (1990), about Jackie Robinson's bravery on the playing field.
Horn Book
Jackie Robinson's daughter describes her family's Connecticut home, complete with a lake perfect for swimming and ice skating. Through the text we learn that Jackie's courage on the ball field doesn't mean he's fearless: turns out he's scared of the water. Nelson's pencil, watercolor, and oil paintings--both expressive closeups and pastoral, glowing nature scenes--reinforce the story's message about strength and bravery.
Kirkus Reviews
In 1955 Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers beat out the Yankees and the Robinson family left New York City for a secluded home in Connecticut. Sharon Robinson's remembrance of this time includes a concise description of how her father became the first African American to play in the major leagues, accompanied by sepia-toned illustrations. This recollection's Connecticut scenes are painted in lush seasonal colors, as swimming and boating are favorite pastimes at their new home, although Jackie always sticks to the shore. The first winter in Connecticut offers a new entertainment: ice skating. Sharon, her siblings and their friends beg Jackie to take them on the ice. As the legendary ballplayer tentatively makes his way onto the frozen lake Sharon has a dramatic realization—her father can't swim. Nelson uses varied perspectives to create tension and then resolution as Robinson signals the all-clear. This fond daughter's reminiscence is a welcome addition to the life story of one of America's best-known athletes and civil-rights advocates. (Picture book/memoir. 7-10)
Publishers Weekly

The daughter of the baseball legend recalls the moment when she fully understood the courage it took for her father to break baseball’s color barrier. Jackie Robinson never learned to swim and refuses to join his kids in the lake that fronts their Connecticut estate. But when winter comes and everyone wants to go skating, Robinson overcomes his fear to test the ice for his children. “We waited for what seemed like forever,” recalls the author (Slam Dunk!), describing how the ice moans and heaves as her father taps it with a broomstick to determine its thickness. “That was Jackie Robinson. And that was my dad. Big, heavy, out there alone on the lake, testing the ice to be sure it would be safe for us.” Nelson (Henry’s Freedom Box), a Caldecott Honor artist, contributes sumptuous, cinematic paintings that immerse readers in every scene, whether it’s an eye-to-eye meeting with Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey or an idyllic summer afternoon at the family home. Readers will close the book understanding that there are many ways to be hero—and Robinson had all the bases covered. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)

School Library Journal
Gr 13 An affectionate tribute to Robinson's father's courage and character. In 1955, the family leaves New York City for a lakeside home in an idyllic, woodsy setting in Connecticut. Sharon and her brothers quickly make friends with the neighborhood kids and spend much of their time playing in and around the lake, though she notices that her dad never joins them in the water. Her new friends are awestruck by him and his stories of his breakthrough into the Major Leagues. When he bravely tests the ice so that the children can play on the frozen lake, Sharon realizes that he can't swim. Robinson neatly sums up the significance of her father's achievements while depicting him as a loving family man. Nelson's large paintings, done in pencil, watercolor, and oils, dramatically convey Robinson's public persona, the intensely competitive athlete, and contrasts that with the relaxed, yet commanding father Sharon and her brothers knew. This book is for a younger audience than the author's Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By (2001) and Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America (2004, both Scholastic), but it adds another facet to children's understanding of the man and should resonate with a wide range of readers. Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal (10/1/09)
Publishers Weekly
Wilson's Children's Catalog
ALA Booklist (10/1/09)
Kirkus Reviews
Horn Book (4/1/10)
Word Count: 1,566
Reading Level: 3.9
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 133638 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q47342
Lexile: 800L

Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, has crafted a hearwarming, true story about growing up with her father.

When Jackie Robinson retires from baseball and moves his family to Connecticut, the beautiful lake on their property is the center of everyone's fun. The neighborhood children join the Robinson kids for swimming and boating. But oddly, Jackie never goes near the water.
In a dramatic episode that first winter, the children beg to go ice skating on the lake. Jackie says they can go--but only after he tests the ice to make sure it's safe. The children prod and push to get Jackie outside, until hesitantly, he finally goes. Like a blind man with a stick, (contd.)

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