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GLUEY by Vivian Walsh


A Snail Tale

by Vivian Walsh & illustrated by J.otto Seibold

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-15-216620-3
Publisher: Harcourt

Creatively varying design, enormous cartoon eyes, and offbeat tertiary colors characterize this unusual animal tale. A bunny named Celerina finds an empty house and moves in, unaware that a snail named Gluey already considers it his and has been fixing its cracks “for as long as he could remember.” He is too small for her to notice, but he happily accepts her presence, even surreptitiously repairing her broken objects with his “carpenter snail” talents. She assumes that magic is at work and plans a party to show it off; however, when Gluey tries to introduce himself to her, she flings him immediately across the meadow. He lands among the elfish Wee people, who contribute several textual puns accessible only to readers who can read, but who also care for Gluey and help him return home. Celerina’s impulsive, unfriendly behavior, as well as that of her amusingly written but rowdy friends (who join her in smashing dishes and eventually destroy the house), runs its course and has no particular consequences: Gluey feels neither hurt nor resentful, and the house gets rebuilt by the Wee people. Tiny signs and verbal comments in varying fonts pop up refreshingly in the computer-generated illustrations. Two dark nighttime spreads are visually entrancing, while several others have too many olive greens and beige yellows. Sudden creativity of composition and design keep the offbeat pictures interesting. Strange but intriguing. (Picture book. 4-6)