________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 17. . . .January 8, 2016


I’m Cool!

Kate McMullan. Illustrated by Jim McMullan.
Toronto, ON: HarperCollins Canada, 2015.
32 pp., hardcover, $19.99.
ISBN 978-1-44342-582-7.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Linda Ludke.

**** /4




Not so fast, Big Talker.
Gotta check the damages.
Look at those DENTS and PITS and RUTS.

The rougher the ice, the deeper I shave.


From the author and illustrator duo that created I Stink (about a garbage truck), I’m Dirty (about a backhoe), and I’m Brave (about a fire engine), comes another crowd-pleasing homage to a heavy-duty machine.

     A hockey game is tied in the first period, and the fast-talking sports announcer gives a running commentary on the state of the chipped and pitted ice surface: “OOH, that’s GOTTA hurt. Nobody can skate on ice this rough. I mean NOBODY!” Not to worry, at intermission the trusty “blade-packing, ice-shaving, snow-eating, water-spraying, slush-slurping, towel-dragging triple-tank truck” Zamboni has it all under control. With the clock ticking, the crusty broadcaster hurls insults (“YA MOVE LIKE A TURTLE … HIT THE GAS! FINISH UP SO WE CAN GET BACK TO THE GAME!”), but Zamboni stays Zen-like in his focus and can’t be rushed until the whole rink glistens like glass.

     McMullan’s watercolour illustrations are packed with witty details. The cool-as-a-cucumber Zamboni machine has oodles of personality, with big square eyes, a hood that sports a charming smile, and a quirky refrain of “SHAZAMBONI, baby”). Readers are afforded an “X-ray vision” view of the Zamboni’s inner workings, and close ups show the blade, level auger, paddle and vacuum, all in whirling action.

     In this fun read-aloud, there are plenty of sound effects that children will love to echo, from the “SPRRRRRITZ” of the warm-water pipe, to the “BUZZZZZ” of the buzzer. Fans will agree, the real hero on the ice in I’m Cool, is the Zamboni machine.

Highly Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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