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Cecil the Pet Glacier

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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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 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


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." 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. "

Gr 1-3-Ruby Small is an almost-normal child living with very unusual parents. Her mother designs tiaras and is never without one. or 15. Dad is a topiary gardener, and he and her mom dance the tango in the yard on summer evenings. Ruby is mortified by their habits and prefers to play inside with her dolls, The Three Jennifers. The Jennifers and Ruby dress identically in brown pinafores, white shirts, and brown triple-knotted shoes. It's a strange life. Stranger still is their vacation. A slight misunderstanding finds them on their way to Norway instead of China. Weird at home, Ruby's parents enjoy miniature Ping-Pong on the foldout trays on the plane and drink a mixture of milk and Coke. Even the discussion about getting a pet upon their return turns bizarre. So, of course, on the trip a small pet becomes attached to Ruby and makes its way home with them. Unfortunately, it's a glacier. That's correct: a tiny piece of the Cecilsmater glacier. Predictably, Ruby is unimpressed and would just as soon ignore it. And predictably, Cecil manages to save the day and win Ruby's heart when one of the Jennifers is nearly washed away in a storm. The folk-art-style illustrations are done in pleasant watercolors and have a certain offbeat charm. However, seeing Ruby accompanied by a small, white lump on each page takes some getting used to. While attempting to cultivate an appreciation for being different, this rather unusual plot is likely to have a limited appeal.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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