Clean Sweep! Frank Zamboni’s Ice Machine

Great Idea Series

Publisher: Tundra Books
When Frank Zamboni, along with his brother and cousin, opened their own skating rink in 1940 in Paramount, California, it could take an hour and a half for a crew to resurface the ice. They had to level the surface by shaving down the pits and grooves with a tractor, remove the shavings, wash the ice and find a way to give the rink its shining finish. Skaters became exasperated with the wait, so Frank was determined to do something about it. Could he turn a ninety-minute job for five men into a ten-minute task for only one? Working in the shed behind his ice rink, Frank drew designs and built models of machines he hoped would do the job. For nine years, he worked on his invention, each model an improvement on the one before. Finally, in 1949, Frank tested the Model A, which "cleaned the ice in one sweep around the rink." The rest is history.


Clean Sweep! describes how [Frank Zamboni's] design resulted in the Zamboni machine (used all over the world today), which can move many cubic feet of ice in one pass, wash the surface, and apply fresh water—all in 10 minutes. Benoit’s gouache and watercolor illustrations accurately depict the changing time periods, and the rounded shapes, with warm, muted blues, grays, and browns, are pleasing to a child’s eye.” - Starred Review, School Library Journal

“Kulling has created a book that entices, provides a sense of history and hints at the atmosphere of the time. Again she is partnered with an acclaimed illustrator, this time Renné Benoit whose artwork has the reader poring over the expressive, detailed pages. In muted shades of greys, blues and sepia, the watercolour and coloured pencil drawings are a perfect foil for the story with text and illustrations engaging the reader instantly ....” - CM Magazine

“Frank’s story provides insight into the realities of mid-twentieth-century American working life, when many children needed to leave school early to work on family farms, siblings saved up to send one family member to college, and observant entrepreneurs created new products and opened up new businesses .... The overriding message is perseverance ...." - Starred Review, Booklist

“Large, soft coloured illustrations set the scene for this biographical text .... Lyrically written, this appealing story should hold the readers interest and prove to be a valuable source of information for further study and discussion .... This excellent text should prove to be a popular addition to an elementary school library resource centre and is highly recommended. ” - Resource Links