Musings on Ice Cream and Picture Books

Musings on Ice Cream and Picture Books
by Beth Ferry                     beth Ferry

I’ve been thinking a lot about ice cream lately.
Maybe because summer is finally more than a distant memory or enticing dream.
Maybe because dream rhymes with cream.
Or maybe because Tom Lichtenheld sketched this adorable scene of Stick and Stone.

s&s ice cream


(For more of Tom’s brilliance, check out: or his website:

But whatever the reason, there it is – ice cream.
At the forefront of my brain.
I am a little amazed by the sheer variety of ice cream flavors that exist.
Over 1,800 according to The Committee for the Analysis and Debate of the Various Aspects of Ice Cream.

Some are tart; some are sweet.
Some are creamy; some are crunchy.
Some are rich; some are light.
My favorite is mint-chocolate chip.
It is sweet, yet refreshing.
Creamy, yet crunchy.
But I also like soft chocolate with chocolate sprinkles.
And vanilla with almonds and peanut butter.
And root beer floats.
It all depends on my mood and the weather and if pumpkins are growing in my garden.
Sometimes their names appeal to me almost as much as their taste.

Blondies are a Swirl’s Best Friend
Monkey Wrench
Pumpkin Praline Pecan
Twixx Fixx
Winter White Chocolate
Witches Brew

There’s alliteration
and word play
and rhyme.
So, of course, my mind wanders to picture books.
The sheer volume and variety.
The intriguing titles that make me want to dive right in.
And of course, their deliciousness.

Picture books are pretty delicious.
Bite-sized books that satisfy and refresh.
Different books for every palate.
Books that make us laugh.
Books that touch our hearts.
Books that teach us something.
Books we can’t forget.
We each have our favorites.
You know what you like, don’t you?

I like the bite of a surprise ending.
And the crunch of some good word play.
I like the creamy smoothness of alliteration.
And a sprinkling of internal rhyme.
A drizzle of Ooohh.
A splash of Ahhhh.
All topped off with the swirl of brilliant illustrations and my perfect picture book sundae is made!
There’s only one word needed: YUM!

Now writing this ice cream dream of a picture book is a whole Nutter Butter Batter.
I mean – A Whole Other Matter.

I might just have some ice cream while I try!

Beth Ferry is the author of Stick and Stone, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, available April 7, 2015.      2014-01-30 07.32.40She is also the author of Land Shark, coming August 4, 2015 and Pirate’s Perfect Pet setting sail in the Fall of 2016. Her latest picture book, Swashby and the Sea, will be released in 2017. Beth writes and lives by the beach in New Jersey with her family and two lazy land sharks. You can learn more at