Ice Cream Work
written by Naoshi
published by Overcup Press, 2015
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: Okay, so I was not a fan of this book at first. I was concerned that there wasn’t enough actual story to keep my kids interested . . . I was wrong.
Would I recommend it: To be honest, if it wasn’t for the review request, I never would have picked this book up, but I would have been wrong. The story is simple but it lends itself to interesting discussions with your children and plenty of make-believe scenarios. So, yes, I say go ahead and pick it up and enjoy stepping outside your comfort zone from time to time.
About the book – from Goodreads: From the mind of Japanese artist Naoshi comes the sweet and charming world of Ice Cream Work. This utterly delicious book tells the story of a humble ice cream cone man whose search for work takes him many places and puts him in challenging situations as he tries to earn a living over the course of a week. Ice Cream Work features surreal characters living in real world situations bursting with color and detail. This book reminds us that everyone has unique traits which make them special and emphasizes the importance of creativity and imagination in daily life. Internationally acclaimed artist Naoshi has created a brilliant and fantastical world of her own full of quirky characters and situations that draw the reader into pages bursting with color. Using shiny colorful sand, known as Sunae in Japan, Naoshi’s distinctive style is instantly memorable and utterly original. In this, her first book for American audiences, Naoshi introduces Sunae through the story, but also in a crafty “How to Make Sunae” section where she provides a step by step process of making “sand paintings” like the ones seen in the book. There is also an interactive “Look and Find” page which challenges readers to spot details they might not have noticed before. Ice Cream Work will delight readers young and old while introducing an exciting new talent to American audiences.
“Naoshi’s work is original and unmistakably recognizable. With a dry sense of humor, appreciation of fashion, video games, fine pastries, and just plain fun, each piece by Naoshi is a finely made confection with a charm all her own.” — Ben Zhu, owner of Gallery Nucleus
“Naoshi represents everything I love about contemporary Japanese art: one foot in history, one foot in pop culture, two skilled hands, and her head firmly in a cloud of unadulterated enthusiasm for making art.” — Matt Wagner, author of The Tall Trees of Portland and The Tall Trees of Tokyo
“Naoshi’s pure approach to her art form is inspiring: knowing that the shiny bright colors that bring her stories alive are tiny grains of sand always transfixes me. Naoshi is one of today’s greatest artists.” — Carrie Gifford, founder & creative director of Red Cap Cards
“Some people bury their heads in the sand. Some draw lines in the sand. Sunae artist Naoshi does both: creating surreal worlds alive with wit and whimsy, one vibrantly colored grain of sand at a time. Ice Cream Work is a stunning piece of meticulous yet oddly spontaneous art that is as sweet and cool as a pint of handcrafted ice cream. The story has a loopy, anarchist joy about it, rather like The Point by way of Cibo Matto, where a hardworking and stylish frozen dairy confection guides readers through his eclectically industrious week, even divulging how much he is paid for his days of outlandish toil. Children, hipsters, and anyone with an eye for the absurd will thoroughly lap up Ice Cream Work: from the top of its rainbow sprinkles right down to the tip of its sugar cone.” Dale Bayse, author of Heck, Where the Bad Kids Go series.
About the author: Naoshi is an internationally acclaimed Japanese illustrator whose distinctive characters and original style are recognized around the world. She uses shiny colorful sand to create surreal people living in the real world. She has participated in a wide range of projects including gallery exhibitions, commercial work, and children’s workshops. Naoshi is a Tokyo based artist currently living in Los Angeles.