“Delight in the full skating experience is front-and-center in this simple book that delivers on exactly what it promises in the title, but not much else”
This celebration of winter, family and the great outdoors takes the reader on a journey through a single day of skating that stretches to include both sets of endpapers. From a father and daughter’s early arrival at a skating pond through to the appearance of the pond’s more nocturnal skating enthusiasts, the tone and coloring of the illustrations changes from vibrant morning and afternoon blues and then to purpler tones of evening and night. A host of skaters enjoy the pond throughout the day, whose ice interests (including hockey, figure skating, racing, waltzing, etc.) are as diverse as their ethnicities and groupings. While the plot and story line are minimal if not non-existent, the sense of movement in the illustrations maintains a sufficient energy level to keep this book fun while still maintaining a sense of wintery coziness. The cadence is hampered by imperfect rhyming (“Shadow lengthen. Time to stop./ Loosen laces. Skates come off”) that frustrates the read-aloud experience, but is sufficient to convey the joy of skating as well as a delightful plug for getting up when you fall.
In a sweet rhyming tale, a young child’s first skating adventure on a frozen pond ends with a cozy bedtime story. Tap and step, then slide and turn. Whoops! Fall down. That’s how we learn. On a brisk winter’s day, the frozen pond is crisscrossed by figure skaters, hockey players, new skaters, and old pros, all gliding across the ice. It’s time to bundle up, lace your skates, and give it a try — then head inside for cocoa and snacks when your cheeks grow rosy and your toes are cold. Back at home, warm bedtime rituals make for the end of a perfect day. But when darkness falls at the pond, who will come out to skate?
Take a look at the endpapers. How do they add to the story?
Skating is a classic winter activity for some families. Have you been skating before? Do you want to try it? What are some winter activities your family enjoys together?
Madeline Valentine grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and received a BFA from Pratt Institute in 2007. She has illustrated five children’s books, including <i>Teddy’s Favorite Toy</i> by Christian Trimmer. She is also the author-illustrator of <i>George in the Dark</i> and <i>The Bad Birthday Idea</i>. She currently lives in Queens. Visit her online at MadelineValentine.com.
A note from Sarah about A Day of Skating
When I was a child growing up in Colorado, my dad used to take me skating on a neighborhood pond that was a short walk from our house. I still love ice-skating, indoors or out, and warming up afterward with a hot cup of tea.
To Hilary, for steering me around bumps on the ice, and for my father, who took me skating.
For my nephew Wallace (Wallum the Cutest Bean) Holofcencer.
The cadence and presentation of this story are ideally suited to bedtime reading. Short, rhyming phrases pair beautifully with the artwork…Readers of all ages will enjoy the quiet calm that descends upon them while sharing this story as they, too, wind down from a day of winter fun.