Congratulations to the following MyBrownBaby readers winners of “Testing the Ice,” the beautiful new book by Sharon Robinson and illustrator Kadir Nelson.

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2009-10-16 13:09:57 UTC

Congratulations Terri Potter! You win the grand prize pack, which includes a copy of the book and a Kidorable hat, glove and scarf set.

Each of the following MyBrownBaby readers win one copy of the book:

Miss Lori of MissLoriTV
Alice Anne
Future Mama of BabyMakin(g) Machine

Please email me your contact information so that Scholastic can send you your prizes.


He was the first African American to integrate Major League Baseball and so Jackie Robinson's eyes and ears saw and heard unspeakable truths about the hatred some whites had for people who looked like him. For sure, he had to be exceptionally brave to walk out onto the fields of America's baseball stadiums, where nasty words and physical violence against black and brown players was as American as hot dogs and apple pie. But when the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first World Series against the New York Yankees, buoyed by Robinson's home run steal, the Dodgers, and especially the Robinsons, celebrated like nobody's business. That, Robinson's daughter writers in Testing the Ice, (Scholastic Books) her new picture book about winters with her father, was a sweet victory.

Indeed, so is Testing the Ice, for its sweet, revelatory look into the personal life of the sports icon. Graced by the stunningly rich and bountiful illustrations of the artistic genius Kadir Nelson honest to goodness, Nelson, of Dancing in the Wings, and Henry's Freedom Box, fame really outdid himself with his colorful, 3-D-like images Robinson recounts life as a child in her family's grand Connecticut home, where her dad regaled her and the neighborhood children with stories about his baseball fame. The book is full of surprising facts about Robinson that a child may not necessarily know his involvement in the Civil Rights movement, for instance, and his work as an author. But what's sweetest is the life Robinson led when no one was watching as a gentle, attentive Dad who enjoyed watching his kids fish, row, and witness frog eggs hatch into tadpoles.

But as accomplished and athletic and strong Jackie Robinson was, he had one weakness: He couldn't swim and was scared to death of water especially the grand lake that stretched across his property. When his children talk him into taking them ice skating, Robinson shows a different kind of bravery one that his daughter Sharon will never forget.

Words can't express how touching and beautiful this book is. I adore it for its poignant messages bravery and fear aren't mutually exclusive, black fathers can become heroes in their children's eyes in the simplest of ways and especially for Nelson's sweeping renderings, all chocolate and rich and bold. For sure, this will be a favorite in our house, where, even though my girls devour chapter books like a fat kid does cake, picture books still rule.

To enhance your child's reading experience:
¢ Have your child look up the word hero, discuss it's meaning, then draw a picture of her hero.
¢ Discuss the concept of bravery and fear with your child, then let him list all the ways he thinks he's brave and the things he fears most, then discuss with him how he can be more brave and, of course, overcome his fears.
¢ Let them read more about Jackie Robinson on his official website HERE.


MyBrownBaby will be giving away Testing the Ice to FIVE LUCKY READERS; one will win a prize pack that includes a copy of Testing the Ice, as well as one Kidorable hat, glove, and scarf set, (an estimated $48 value) as seen above. Four other winners will receive a copy of this incredible book (a $17 value).

Here's how you enter: Check out this video of Sharon Robinson and Kadir Nelson talking about their experience writing Testing the Ice, and leave a comment about something you learned about their process by 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, October 15, 2009.

Want to enter more than once? Boost your chances of winning by completing one or more of the following:

:: If you haven't already, sign up for MyBrownBaby's email updates by 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, October 15, 2009. To be eligible, you must verify your email subscription when Feedburner sends you a verification email. Your entry will be invalid if you do not verify. If you would prefer to get MyBrownBaby updates via an MBB RSS feed, please leave a comment letting me know you've done so, and include an email address, as RSS subscribers are anonymous.

:: Become a MyBrownBaby follower.

:: Blog or Tweet about this giveaway, and post a link to your work here.

:: Purchase a copy of Testing the Ice, (it's been added to the MyBrownBaby Bookshelf in the righthand sidebar) and then send a copy of your confirmation email to mybrownbabycontests at gmail dot com.

:: Fave MyBrownBaby on Technorati. After you do this, come back to MyBrownBaby to leave a comment with your Technorati user name so that I can verify it.

See? That means each of you can receive up to 6 entries. A winner will be chosen via, and announced here at MyBrownBaby on October 16, 2009. This contest is available to U.S. mailing addresses only; all prizes will be sent to winners by the book's sponsor.

Good luck and happy weekend!

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  1. What a sweet video! I never realized this about good children's books, but it's true — from the first sentence of the book, it takes the author takes you right into the moment of the story.

    Also, it's clear that Kadir shares Sharon's vision about the story and was able to extend the words beyond the page with is art.

    I look forward to reading this to my children.

  2. stonebrookcottage

    This looks like such a great book. I am definitely going to have to check it out at the library. I'm sure my daughter will have A LOT of questions when i read this book…not sure i am ready for those, but i know she'll ask them sooner or later.

  3. Picture books have to be told in the moment as opposed to a childhood memory. What great advice. I am working on my own series for children entitled "Little Miss Lori; Adventures in 5 year old living." It takes a lot of effort to make the stories compact but loaded with meaning. Right now I am just tell my stories at my events. I can't wait to get to the illustration phase. Who knew you could just yell out to Kadir at an event, "Hey, Kadir, I want you to illustrate my book!" and he would do it. LOL. I guess I will try that the next time I see him. 😉

    SMILE On!


  4. Wow, this looks like a fantastic book. I watched the video and learned that real photos from Sharon's childhood were used in the book. What a wonderful story and outstanding illustrations.

    iluvmygrlz at

  5. Rather than having the illustrator create the images after reading the book, Sharon & Kadir became friends through the process and he could call her and ask her about what her house looked like, what her address was, etc. so the images were more realistic.

  6. I subscribe via email

  7. I follow the blog via google friend finnder

  8. I've always thought of children's books as being so easy to write, and I still think that about a majority of the nonsense children's books that are out there. But it seems like this one actually has substance and had a lot of thought go into it, so I can respect that.

    ngurl2000 AT msn

  9. I'm a follower on Google Reader.

    ngurl2000 AT msn

  10. I fave'd MyBrownBaby on Technorati. Username ngurl2000.

    ngurl2000 AT msn

  11. I love how he paid close attention to her memories when she was little and made the lake exactly how she remembered it. That books has suck beautiful illustrations! I can't wait to read this to my son!

  12. I also follow you on blogger!

  13. This video gave great information. My husband and his friend are now writting a childrens picture book and my husband is the illustrator. I now understand how the illustrator and the author work together. I will pass this video to my husband for sure. I will love to buy this book for my children. Wanda

  14. This was a great way to experience the legacy of Jackie Robinson through the eyes of his daughter Sharon. The pictures illustrated by Kadir Nelson took us back in the moment of Sharon's childhood with her family. This book allows future generations to share and learn more about Jackie Robinson an American icon.

  15. Looks like a great book! beautiful illustrations! This video is also GREAT quality for youtube.. wow!!

    I think it's cool that they knew each other before making the book together.

  16. When writing a picture book, it has to be told "in the moment."

  17. Follow blog. (please follow me)

  18. Fave this blog on Technorati- Naddez.


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