When I finished reading Testing the Ice- A True Story about Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson, I sighed and read it again. There are so many things I love about this book. First, the story is about a man that not only talked about being brave and standing up strong, but who was a living proof of all that. Jackie Robinson, knows as the man who opened the doors for blacks in Major League Baseball changing history for ever. So knowing this about Jackie Robinson, makes you appreciate this picture book even more. Especially when the story is told by his daughter, Sharon Robinson, the author of this book.
When Jackie Robinson moved to Connecticut, the family is able to spend time and fun moments around the beautiful lake in their property. Regardless of what season it was, the lake provided endless hours of entertainment and fun. Except that Jackie never went past the shore, and even though the children begged him to join them in the lake, he just wouldn't. Jackie shared time with his kids and their friends in other ways though. By sharing stories from his baseball days, true stories of bravery and courage. The children were always so fascinated with all the details he provided.
One winter the children were ready to go ice skating on the lake. But they need his father approval to make sure it was safe to ice skate on it. And this is the moment in the book that makes you wonder, is he always afraid to go to close to water? Jackie Robinson's determination and courage make him go and "test the ice" even when he doesn't know how to swim.
Kadir Nelson's illustrations enhances the story in magnificent ways. It is a work of art that I can not stop looking at. Kadir Nelson's careful details to all the pictures make those come alive. Kadir Nelson is quickly becoming my favorite illustrator. And the fact that the pages in this book are larger than most picture books compliments Kadir's work of art beautifully.
Do not wait too long, get this book in your hands and be prepared to be amazed at the perfection that words and pictures can create.
Enjoy the journey. Happy Reading. Happy Spring.