Cecil the Pet Glacier
A story for those struggling to embrace being different.
Cecil the Pet Glacier is a story about a normal little girl, Ruby Small, with not-normal parents. Ruby wishes she didn’t have her life. She’d trade anything to not live in her yellow- and pink-striped house with her tiara-designing mother and topiary-gardening dad. Imagine Ruby’s dismay when the family takes a trip to Norway and a little glacier ends up following her home wishing to be her pet. Could it get any worse?
I read this story a lot while illustrating Tinybop’s app, The Earth. The story itself is delightful. Who doesn’t love the idea of a lonely little glacier named Cecil? Moreover, the book inspired the drawing for the app. The Tinybop team and I spent many weeks planning and researching how the app would work; I was often presented with infographics from our research department as visual examples for earthly processes like plate tectonics. The infographics were very helpful, but a bit lacking in any sort of imagination or any sense of…fun. It was helpful to be able to read Cecil and have something that was the opposite of our research to balance it all out. The whimsy of the story complemented the straightforwardness of those graphics. Thus was born the informative yet creative look and feel of the app, The Earth.
So the lesson is, weirdness and difference isn’t something to avoid—it’s can very helpful. Embrace the difference.