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Cecil the Pet Glacier [Hardcover]

Matthea Harvey , Giselle Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Book Description

Aug. 14 2012
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.

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Product Description

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.”

About the Author

MATTHEA HARVEY is the author of several books of poetry, including Modern Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book. Other books include a storybook called The Little General and the Giant Snowflake and an illustrated erasure, Of Lamb. Matthea teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn. Learn more at mattheaharvey.com.

GISELLE POTTER's children's books include, most recently, The Orphan by Anthony Manna and Christadoula Mitakadou; The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter, a Parents' Choice Gold Award winner; Kate and the Beanstalk by Mary Pope Osborne, a Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal Best Book and an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book; and The Big Box by Toni Morrison. She also wrote and illustrated two autobiographical picture books, The Year I Didn't Go to School and Chloe's Birthday and Me. Giselle lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her husband and daughters. Visit her at GisellePotter.com.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird and wonderful little book Jan. 13 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an eccentric and whimsical little book ideally suited for parents and children who love to read humorous books side by side. The art work is unique, and the humor, just a wee bit subversive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  8 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 Sept. 25 2012
By Maracas - Published on Amazon.com
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully weird Dec 25 2012
By Madigan McGillicuddy - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Girl + Pet Glacier = Quirky Picture Book Sept. 17 2012
By Catherine Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars A warm hearted tale of an ice pet May 28 2014
By .JT. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
My 7 year old daughter says "That was a great book and the illustrations were very very very very good."
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly quirky May 21 2014
By L. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is just the kind of weird book that is so fun to read to my kids. Absolutely charming drawings accompany the unexpected characters and events. The parents are weird, and weird, as it turns out, is cool. (The only drawback, and it's not major enough to lose a star, is that the main character only likes her pet after he does something nice for her. Not the best lesson, IMO, but whatever.)
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