Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1978
A Clever, Peculiar Story About Not Fitting In
(Updated: October 03, 2012)
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Ruby Small just wants to be a normal kid, but how can she be normal when she has such strange parents? Her mom wears tiaras in public, her dad trimmed his beard into the shape of an alligator, and every night they tango cheek to cheek in front of their yellow-and-pink-striped house for the whole town to see.

All of this, of course, mortifies Plain Jane Ruby. She mopes and mumbles and wonders how on earth she could be related to such people. Then, when she suggests getting a normal pet, like a dog, and her parents bring home a pet glacier instead, it's the last straw for Ruby.

In the end, the tiny pet glacier proves himself a worthy pet, and Ruby learns that everyone has worth, even if they're far from normal. This is a great lesson for kids, especially those going to school for the first time and meeting new and different children, possibly from different cultures. And it's a great lesson in loving our family members no matter how strange or embarrassing they are. We're all weird in our own ways. We should embrace our weirdness and fly our freak flags proudly.

Readers will need an appreciation for the peculiar to truly enjoy this book. In other words, you have to be more like Ruby's hipster-like parents than Ruby herself. While Potter's illustrations are unique and striking, Harvey's storytelling skews toward the unusual. Only someone with a fascinating and odd imagination could create what is Cecil the Pet Glacier. Fans of Roald Dahl or J. M. Barrie will love the quirk factor here.

Highly recommended for readers who think outside the box.

And hipsters. Hipster parents will really dig this book.
Good Points
- striking illustrations
- high quirk factor
- great lessons
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