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|Cecil the pet glacier|
Author: Harvey, Matthea
Ruby's embarrassingly eccentric parents take her on vacation to Norway where she acquires an unwanted pet, a glacier named Cecil.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 152746
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 58368
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/12)
School Library Journal (08/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (10/12)
The Hornbook (00/09/12)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2012 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 - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2012 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. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2012 Ruby Small’s parents are embarrassingly unusual: Dad creates topiary while Mom designs tiaras, and the two love tangoing in the front yard and playing miniature Ping-Pong on the tray tables during an airplane flight. When a small glacier “calf” (the technical term for a chunk of ice that falls off of a glacier) begins following Ruby on a family trip to Norway, her parents are delighted that she’s found a pet. Even after the family takes him home (safely ensconced in a snazzy red Igloo cooler), Ruby is less than thrilled with Cecil. It is only when Cecil, at great risk to himself, retrieves one of her beloved dolls in a downpour on the playground that Ruby warms to her strange icy pet. Harvey’s narrative is at once absurd and wry, and even the peripheral details of Ruby’s story are amusing (“Mrs. Small piled fifteen hatboxes into the car—she didn’t like to repeat tiaras even on vacation”). While kids embarrassed by their parents will sympathize with Ruby, Cecil is amazingly endearing for a lump of rocky ice, and Ruby’s initial cold-shouldering will earn him sympathy. Potter’s trademark folk-art-style watercolor illustrations (in blues, greens, and golden browns, with pops of red) are effective in their pairing with this strange little story; while the slightly surreal quality of her paintings is well matched to the text’s odd subject matter, the straight-faced approach of the illustrations lends a bit of gravitas to the amusingly bizarre narrative. Use this to spice up a pet-themed storytime or classroom unit, or simply share it aloud with kids who will appreciate its particular brand of weirdness. JH - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.