cecil the pet glacier / ice is nice

9780375867736Cecil the Pet Glacier by Matthea Harvey & Giselle Potter.

Guys, this is a strange book. And I mean that as high, high praise.



The first line:

“Ruby Small was a normal little girl.”





But I can’t help but notice the three identical dolls in her arms who are dressed exactly like Ruby (in brown pinafores). It makes me think Ruby herself wants to be a normal little girl. Or hopes she is. But maybe she actually isn’t.


tea copy


Because you see Ruby Small’s parents, well, they’re “not-normal-at-all-parents.” Mr. Small makes topiaries. Mrs. Small designs tiaras. Also, they tango. In the yard. It’s all quite horrifying to Ruby.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 2.50.28 PM


When discussing a vacation spot, Mr. Small suggests China. When Ruby answers, “No way,” it’s misinterpreted as Norway by the elders. So that’s where they go.


airplane copy


On the plane, between Ruby taking care of their passports and her parents playing ping-pong, pets are discussed. Her parents have wild ideas. Ruby wants a dog. (Something NORMAL.)


glacier copy


There are glaciers in Norway. And there are baby glaciers. And one of those baby glaciers decides to be Ruby Small’s pet. It follows her. Norwegian Sven gives it the name Cecil. Her parents take care of it. Her weird parents love this weird pet. But Ruby doesn’t.


cecilcover copy

“Ruby had no interest in her pet. On weekends, she and The Three Jennifers would go into their room and lock Cecil out. He would nudge the door, leaving a wet patch below the doorknob. After a bit, he would slide sadly back to his cooler.”

But Cecil, like most “normal” pets, is sweet and empathetic. Cecil loves his human, Ruby. And, eventually, he proves this to Ruby and she loves him too.

walk copy

A strange book in all the best ways. But it’s also sad and sweet—an ode to pets and making peace with strangeness.


Thanks to Giselle Potter for the images! You can see and shop her artwork here



/ / / / / / /


Since the weather is warming (aka we’re having a heat wave in L.A.), here are ice cubes in honor of Cecil. They’re far from the norm in the sweetest, best way. I can’t wait to try these!


Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 4.07.26 PM


Fancy but simple rose petal ice cubes from Sweet Paul.


Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 4.09.58 PM


The summeriest ice around from The Culinary Tribune.




Violet ice cubes a la Design Sponge.




Just puree fresh fruit and freeze in an ice cube tray. Genius from Cheeky Kitchen.


Oh Joy‘s coconut milk and smoothie ice cubes. Wow!


I feel refreshed just looking at all that flavor-infused ice. Because different is refreshing—just ask Ruby and her pet Cecil the glacier.


Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 4.13.02 PM




5 Responses to cecil the pet glacier / ice is nice

  1. A timely post on the day that NASA announces that the Amundsen Sea glaciers are melting them faster than previously realized and “past the point of no return”!

    On another note, regretting that I didn’t save my old ice cube trays when we got a new fridge with an automatic ice maker!

    XO Cecil.

  2. I LOVE strange! This is one I’m going to find it hard to resist buying!

Talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.