Vanilla Ice Cream

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Vanilla Ice Cream
Bob Graham
Walker Books
A truck has stopped at a dhaba (tea stall) for the driver to partake of some refreshments.

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Overhead flies a curious young cock sparrow – bold and free. Down he comes to join the feast but the trucker is having none of it. Off flies our young sparrow across to his truck, a truck that happens to be carrying a cargo of rice to the port. What a feast.

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So of course, that ‘truck-stop’ sparrow stows himself safely inside one of the rice sacks, following, or rather, accompanying the food over land and then sea until finally, he finds himself in a park in a vast city where there just happens to be a small girl with her grandparents who just happen to be heading to the café for some refreshment. And that’s where our erstwhile traveller alights to partake of the crumbs on the table. In so doing he agitates the dog,

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which jerks Grandpa’s arm sending his ice-cream cone flying, thus, changing the life of little Edie in an unexpected, and, as she discovers the taste of vanilla ice-cream, a delicious, way.

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Through a spare text of carefully chosen words, the author’s small sparrow subtly demonstrates how we are all inextricably linked and how small incidents and moments can yield much pleasure if we are open to the possibilities therein: just look at those gorgeous watercolours and you will see.
This lovely, gently humorous book is endorsed by Amnesty International UK because, as it says, ‘ it reminds us that we should all enjoy life, freedom and safety. These are some of our human rights.’ If only …

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