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Cecil the Pet Glacier [Kindle Edition]

Matthea Harvey , Giselle Potter
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $10.00 (56%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In a starred review Publishers Weekly raves: "It’s an avant-garde, surrealist story with a Hollywood-style tearjerker lurking within—and a surprisingly charming and affecting one at that."

Award-winning poet Matthea Harvey and illustrator extraordinaire Giselle Potter team up to create an indescribably unique picture book about wanting to be normal, then coming to appreciate being different. Ruby would love to be like everyone else—not easy when you have a tiara-wearing mother and a father who spends his time trimming outrageous topiary. She'd also like to get a nice normal pet, maybe a dog. Then, on a family vacation to Norway, she finds herself adopted by a small, affectionate glacier. How Cecil, as the ice pet is named, proves himself to Ruby—risking his own meltdown—is a story sure to thrill and delight young readers.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ruby’s father, Mr. Small, is a topiary gardener and Mrs. Small, a tiara designer. They mostly have eyes for each other, leaving Ruby to care for her identical dolls, the three Jennifers. On a trip to Norway, Ruby acquires a pet. Though she wanted a dog, she attracts a small piece of glacier, Cecil. Ruby doesn’t consider Cecil much of a pet and tries to rid herself of him, especially on the playground. Occasionally he melts (or is he weeping?). Then one of the Jennifers is lost, and to Ruby’s amazement, it’s Cecil who finds her. Some may frown at the fact that Cecil only gets a Ruby-made tiara after he proves useful to her, but the story is so delightfully odd, why try and draw morals from it? Potter’s stylized art, with its deadpan characterizations, proves the perfect pairing for a text that provides her the opportunity to draw a father who cuts a crocodile into his beard. Quirky in the best sense, this shows that not all families are alike and, if properly cared for, miniglaciers make good pets. Grades K-2. --Ilene Cooper

Review

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 6, 2012:
“It’s an avant-garde, surrealist story with a Hollywood-style tearjerker lurking within—
and a surprisingly charming and affecting one at that.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 9372 KB
  • Print Length: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (August 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008QLVMX4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,529,148 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(9)
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book About A Pet Glacier You Will Find Hands Down September 25, 2012
By Maracas
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got this in the mail on a horribly stressful day, and it turned my frown upside down. I want a pet glacier like Cecil too. Heart-warming and laugh out loud funny. Wonderful Illustrations and Beautifully Written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully weird December 25, 2012
Format:Hardcover
This story is bizarre, fascinating, strange and wonderful. Cecil the Pet Glacier is about a girl who is so desperate for a pet, she ends up saddled with a mini-glacier. This is so decidedly odd, I wondered if this was a foreign translation! Nope. It's American.

Ruby Small likes to think of herself as an aggressively normal kid. It's not her fault that her father is a topiary artist, and her mother is a tiara designer. Relatively flat watercolor illustrations depict a straight-faced family amidst some pretty zany ideas with tongue-in-cheek humor. I loved the way Ruby's father calls her by the pet name "hedgeling," and her mother packs dozens of hatboxes for their vacation, since she doesn't like to repeat tiaras while she's traveling.

When Cecil the Glacier appears to imprint on a reluctant Ruby, her first words are, "Oh, no... Please no." Poor little Cecil has a lot of personality for a bob of ice. He's devastated when Ruby is picked on at school, "Cecil shed a tear... from the area where his eyes would have been if he'd had eyes, which he didn't." Ruby finally comes around after Cecil risks his life saving one of her three boring, yet beloved dolls, all named Jennifer. The story ends with a promise of Ruby starting to embrace her inner weirdness. Great fun for older kids.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Girl + Pet Glacier = Quirky Picture Book September 17, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Mary's fleecy white lamb of nursery-rhyme fame has nothing on Cecil the Pet Glacier. The heroic chunk of compressed ice not only follows its mistress, Ruby Small, to school, it risks its very life performing a daring rescue.

Before this dramatic event occurs, the story opens with a glacier-less Ruby, "a normal little girl" who values conformity. Her eccentric parents test her sanity daily by dancing the tango on the front lawn among the fabulous topiary Mr. Small trims and shapes. Ruby keeps her distance from the pair, staying indoors, curtains drawn, and playing with her trio of dolls, "The Three Jennifers," each one dressed like Ruby in plain brown pinafores.

When the family travels to Norway for vacation, a "tiny, strange-shape glacier" befriends her and follows her around. The attachment is one-sided as Ruby is mortified by the glacier's attention. She looks forward to the end of vacation when she'll be leaving "the ice-pest" behind. Except her parents, delighted with the unusual pet, purchase an ice chest and Cecil travels back home with them. There, Ruby ignores Cecil until the fateful day on the school playground when the little ice floe distinguishes itself by saving one of Ruby's beloved dolls at great cost to itself, earning in the process Ruby's admiration and gratitude.

This quirky picture book exudes charm and the details are spot on. Cecil, for example, is fed a diet of pebbles. "Finicky like a cat, he liked white and black pebbles but wouldn't eat the gray ones." And my favorite line: "He didn't speak, but when he was happy he creaked." Potter's surreal watercolor illustrations are a perfect marriage with Harvey's quirky text.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Iceman Cometh June 29, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Matthea Harvey, Cecil the Pet Glacier (Schwarz and Wade, 2012)

I am a heap big fan of Matthea Harvey's poetry [see Modern Life: Poems (Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award)], so when I found out she'd written childrens' books, I immediately hit my library's website and put one on hold. And I was... surprised. It's a lot more, for want of a better word, traditional than I expected it to be. Well, aside from the fact that Ruby's would-be pet is a chunk of ice. But that fits in well with her family (trust me on this), and allows Harvey to slip in a bit o' learnin' here and there about a subject that doesn't normally get much play in the average pre-lit story. (The story line actually put me in mind of Emily Jenkins' wunnerful-wunnerful Sugar Would Not Eat It more than once; I'm sure this link was strengthened by the fact that the equally wunnerful-wunnerful Giselle Potter illustrated both books, and between the two of them she's found herself a lifelong fan.) For kids--and parents--who are fond of things that are a little off, or more than a little off, this book is going to be pure balm for the soul, and when the kids are older enough (for I have little doubt this one will hang around much longer than the usual pre-lit book in the family reading list) to start thinking about books in terms of authors, and asking you "hey, what else is out there by Matthea Harvey?", you've got yourself a perfect way to say "here, let me read you a poem from a book called Pity the Bathtub in Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form." *** ½
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5.0 out of 5 stars quirky & fun March 2, 2013
By LBC
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Love the imagination and creativity behind this book. It teaches a great lesson, but is also weird enough (a pet glacier!) that it doesn't feel too heavy on the morals. The quirkiness of the characters also really draws young readers in, as it's so out of the ordinary, and encourages them to open their minds and imaginations to the possibility of this story actually happening. We loved it!
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More About the Author

Matthea Harvey's most recent book of poetry, Modern Life, won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2008 as well as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the author of two previous books of poetry, Sad Little Breathing Machine and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form, as well as a forthcoming children's book, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel. A contributing editor to jubilat, BOMB and Meatpaper, she teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn.

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