Gluey: A Snail Tale

Overview

This is the story of a house . . .
and of the house-proud bunny who moves in and calls it home . . .
and of the largehearted little snail who lives on the outside and keeps everything together (with a bit of help from the Wee people).
As touching as it is hilarious, Vivian Walsh's story is perfectly matched by J.otto Seibold's spectacular ...

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Overview

This is the story of a house . . .
and of the house-proud bunny who moves in and calls it home . . .
and of the largehearted little snail who lives on the outside and keeps everything together (with a bit of help from the Wee people).
As touching as it is hilarious, Vivian Walsh's story is perfectly matched by J.otto Seibold's spectacular art. Together they have created a strikingly original tale as amusing as it is heartfelt.

When Celerina the bunny moves into a new house, she doesn't realize that there was already a snail living there and that he is the "magic" that repairs anything she breaks, and even the house itself.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold -- the duo that brought you Olive, the Other Reindeer and Free Lunch -- are back again with a "snail tale" that'll warm your heart and keep you glued to the page! This is Walsh's whimsical story of Celerina, a sociable rabbit, who unwittingly moves into a home already owned by Gluey, a "carpenter snail" who has two houses -- "the shell on his back, which was in perfect shape, and the bigger house that was always getting new cracks." When Celerina begins dropping dishes, only to have them magically mend themselves overnight, she doesn't know that Gluey has been secretly fixing them. Celerina decides to show off her magical house to all her friends, but after their ruckus destroys it, Gluey takes heart and makes himself known as the secret mender. Unfortunately, rebuilding this house is a big job, and the friendship between Gluey and Celerina is cemented forever when a team of Wee people (the house's original builders) put it all back together. With Seibold's recognizable, wonderfully wacky illustrations and Walsh's lighthearted text, Gluey is a unique fable that'll make storytelling hours livelier and have friend-seekers finding true-blue pals in many shapes and sizes. Matt Warner
Publishers Weekly
Walsh and Seibold, whose offbeat characters include Mr. Lunch and Olive, the Other Reindeer, introduce a prepossessing and generous escargot. "Once upon a time... in a lovely meadow a stone's throw away... A bunny found an empty house and moved right in." Celerina, the rabbit, does not realize her new home is kept in good shape by Gluey, an ecru-green "carpenter snail" who loves fixing cracks. (Although his patching technique is not shown, he pores over a repair manual and lifts broken objects with his antennae.) When Celerina breaks a vase, Gluey puts it back together overnight. Yet the snail is too small to be seen or heard, so Celerina attributes her luck to her "magic" house. She proudly plans a party to show it off, and while she's tidying up, she meets Gluey and disgustedly "flick[s] him across the meadow." Celerina's darling name is much sweeter than she is; Seibold gives her a cynical cupid's-bow mouth and wicked Bette Davis eyes. But Gluey-whose blue-gray shell gets slightly damaged in his landing-does not hold a grudge, and Celerina comes to realize her error. Walsh creates suspense and sympathy around the snail's travails, and Seibold's images of the skeptical bunny and some gnomish "Wee Folk" are tongue-in-cheek charming. Shiny, translucent lines suggest sticky effluvium on the cover of this peculiarly appealing fable. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Gluey the snail likes to fix cracks and broken things. Luckily, he lives in a large house that is always in need of repair. Then, thinking it's empty, Celerina the bunny moves in, and believes that magic is responsible for the things that are miraculously repaired overnight. When she throws Gluey out of "her" house and her party with animal friends turns to disaster, she discovers the truth, and she and Gluey become good friends, with a little help from the "Wee people" who live unobtrusively nearby. This author/illustrator team has collaborated previously on the "Mr. Lunch" books, and the illustrations in this offering, although much brighter and intricate, are in the same vein: stylized cartoon pictures done with a computer program. Combined with the text, the whole makes an interesting book and children should enjoy picking out the little people that appear and disappear during the story.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152166205
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/24/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.55 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

VIVIAN WALSH and J.OTTO SEIBOLD are the creators of seven other picture books, including the bestselling Christmas classic Olive, the Other Reindeer and three about the plucky pup Mr. Lunch. They live in San Francisco, California.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2002

    Gluey is a quirky, brilliant book for quirky, brilliant kids!

    I was walking past this book at the local small bookstore, and picked it up. I couldn't put it down and made a fool of myself by chuckling out loud so many times! The illustrations are fantagraphics style comic artist art and the story is quirky and enchanting. It teaches kids a lesson in making friends with someone who looks strange (or even snail-like) and has wonderful 'extras', like Gluey being thrown into the village of the Wee People. I'm pregnant, but I'm going to buy this book! I want to read it again and again to my child and I want them to hear it again and again!

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