The Ice Shack
The Ice Shack
Having spent all summer building his new ice-fishing shack, Alphonse can’t wait for winter to arrive. All he needs now to be happy is the cold weather!
Once the bay has finally iced over, Alphonse starts fishing.
Of course, with such a lovely shack, he’s definitely going to win the Best Fisherman Contest.
The Ice Shack is a picture book about Alphonse, an old fisherman who builds a lovely new ice fishing shack. He wants to win the Best Fisherman Contest, but, after a month of fishing, he hasn’t even had a nibble. He becomes so bored ice fishing that he falls asleep. When he wakes up, it is spring. Alphonse’s hut has broken loose on an ice flow and floated into the open water. There he finds several people who are in trouble, and he helps them by giving them piece after piece of his beautiful shack.
The Ice Shack is an English translation of the book La Cabane, originally written in French by Katia Canciani. At various points in the story, Jocelyne Thomas’ English language translation feels stilted and awkward. The narrative is helped along by graphic novel artist Christian Quesnel’s beautiful illustrations which bring a strange dreamlike quality to Alphonse’s adventure. He uses a palette of red, blue, black, and white with bold lines and mottled watercolour effects to convey the icy world of winter against the warmth of the shack. While the text may be awkward at times, Quesnel’s fantastic illustrations will appeal to both children and adults.
Beth Wilcox Chng is a teacher-librarian in Prince George, British Columbia. She is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program at the University of British Columbia.