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Cecil the Pet Glacier Library Binding – August 14, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Library Binding: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375967737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375967733
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,525,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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.”

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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maracas on September 25, 2012
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 By Madigan McGillicuddy on 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 By Catherine Nichols on 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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Format: Kindle Edition
My 7 year old daughter says "That was a great book and the illustrations were very very very very good."
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