Paper World

Ice Boy / The Red Rooster Cookbook

Books That Belong On Paper Issue No. 20

Books That Belong On Paper first appeared on the web as Wink Books and was edited by Carla Sinclair. Sign up here to get the issues a week early in your inbox.


Ice Boy
by David Ezra Stein
2017, 40 pages, Hardcover

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Ice Boy is the story of a ice cube who wants more out of life than to sit in the freezer and wait “to be chosen.” He doesn’t buy his parents’ logic that ending up in a cold compress is the ultimate reward, and so, he sets off for adventure. Little does he know, adventure for an ice cube involves some really big changes! We follow the cube across land, sea, and air and through multiple states of matter as David Ezra Stein’s punny text and fitting watercolor illustrations tell the story of Ice Boy.

Though Stein’s intention was likely to tell a fun, scientifically-informed (and informative) tale of adventure in the face of the status quo, he also succeeds in making a story that can applied to a very different topic. After reading the book with my preschooler, who has been very curious about death lately and particularly interested in and excited by the ideas of reincarnation and the spirit (after watching the fabulous Moana), I used Ice Boy and his shifting physical form as another point of reference for talking about these super hard-to-explain subjects. No matter if he is a solid, liquid, or vapor, Ice Boy is still the same curious, happy-go-lucky boy that he always was. It’s always nice to find a light-hearted, silly story that teaches something about both the physical and metaphysical world, even if it wasn’t trying to!

Mk Smith Despres


The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem
by Marcus Samuelsson
Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
2016, 384 pages, 7.9 x 1.3 x 10 inches, Hardcover

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I always enjoy watching Marcus Samuelsson. Anytime he shows up on Top Chef, Chopped, or any other food show; he exudes joy, and a love for cooking. I haven’t had the pleasure of eating at any of his restaurants, but Red Rooster is definitely on my foodie bucket list. Thankfully The Red Rooster Cookbook will hold me over until I can make a trip to New York.

Samuelsson has led a diverse and interesting life, and Red Rooster reflects that. He was born in Ethiopia, adopted and raised in Sweden, apprenticed in Switzerland and Austria, then came to America to start working in New York, where he became the youngest chef to receive a three-star review from the New York Times. Then, he pivoted from fine dining gastronomy, to open Red Rooster which focused on down-home-soul-food. The recipes found in this book are familiar, but take on Samuelsson’s heritage using ingredients found in Swedish and Ethiopian cuisine.

While you’ll find plenty of mouthwatering recipes in this book, you’ll also read stories and experiences that Samuelsson has had living in Harlem. Each section in the book features different people from the area who have had an influence on Samuelsson’s life. The book does an excellent job capturing the love Samuelsson has for the food, people, and the neighborhood.

– JP LeRoux


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