Review Blog

May 31 2012

The Ice-Cream War by Edwina Howard

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Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 978-1-86291-956-3.
(Age: 9+) Recommended. As the title suggests this book is about ice cream and a supply war that follows but to me one of the most outstanding and humorous character in the novel is the Shetland Pony and you should buy this book just to read about him.
My own experiences with Shetland ponies range from the famous Norman Thewell cartoons and my sister's pony named Tony (not a very inventive name I know). The pony in this book is Hoppy and he bears all the characteristics of your average pony. He is devious, single minded and not at all prone to accepting orders. How can something so cute, be so conniving!
Hoppy becomes involved in this story when the main character Jake, teams up with friend Jeremy in a money making scheme to sell ice cream during the school holidays. This is in direct competition to Uncle Sunny, sunny by name but not by nature. His unhygienic ice cream van delivers lots of special extras with the children's orders, such as mouse poo and bugs. He considers Jake and Jeremy's Hoppy - driven ice cream cart an act of war and reacts accordingly.
This is a hilarious book by a first time writer. Jake and Jeremy have to contend with a lot of underhanded tricks by Uncle Sunny and his young helpers, as well as deal with the unpredictable behaviour of Hoppy. The pony has a great scene at the end of the novel that made me laugh out loud.
There is plenty of fun and action in this book and it will appeal to students from 9+ years. Boys in particular will love the humour.
Teachers' notes are available .
Jane Moore

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