Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ice Cream: The Full Scoop

Ice Cream: The Full Scoop

Gail Gibbons
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Holiday House, 2008   ISBN: 978-0823421558

It is hard to imagine what it would be like to celebrate warm summer days without the benefit of being able to have some nice, cold, sweet ice cream to eat, but Europeans did not have any kind of ice cream-like dessert until some seven hundred years ago. When Marco Polo came back from China, he brought recipes for flavored ices back to Italy with him. Then someone got the bright idea of adding milk or cream to the ices, and ice cream was born.

Ice cream first came to the American colonies around three hundred years ago. Because ice was hard to come by, only the rich could afford to serve ice cream during the winter months. After people started to build ice houses to store ice all year long, ice cream was more commonly available, but it still took a lot of work to make, and was therefore only made on special occasions.

After the hand-cranked ice cream maker was invented by Nancy Johnson in 1841, ice cream became very popular. People came together for ice cream socials, where everyone would take a turn turning the crank of the machine. Nowadays, some people still make homemade ice cream in this way, but most people buy ice cream that was made in a factory.

As they look through this book, young children will be fascinated to learn about the history of ice cream, and to read all kinds of interesting ice cream-centric facts. The author gives her readers a comprehensive history of ice cream, and she also shows them how ice cream is made in the present day.