Parents' Guide to

Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson

By Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Daughter's memory of her bigger-than-life, courageous dad.

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Any story of Jackie Robinson has the potential to inspire, and this one certainly does. Most of us have heard, or read, about how he patiently blazed a pathway into racially segregated baseball of the '40s. But this memory, told through the loving and admiring eyes of his daughter, adds a personal dimension to the Jackie Robinson story, and definitely shows how his courage ran through and through. He was the real deal.

Just as Jackie Robinson stepped out on the baseball field, not really knowing what would happen but willing to take the chance for others, he steps out on the ice pond to test it for his kids, even though he could not swim. This seems to be the way he lived his life. And, Kadir Nelson's artwork adds just the right touch. His amazing watercolor portraits capture the determination, bravery, and genuine kindness of Robinson's spirt.

Expressively rich watercolors by Caldecott winning illustrator Kadir Nelson give a sincere realism to this inspirational story. His characters, especially Jackie Robinson, are large and full of life, filling page after page with scenes of tenderness, strength, and genuine family fun.

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