Written and Illustrated by Eda Akaltun
Flying Eye Books 09/20/2016
40 pages Ages 3—6
“Meet Marcel—he’s a New Yorker through and through! He and his human know all of the best spots DOWNTOWN, and nothing comes between them. But wait . . . Who is this new person? Why is everything suddenly different? Eda Akaltun’s charming debut explores family relationships through the eyes of a particular young pup, and shows that sometimes accepting change can be truly rewarding.” [BACK COVER]
The little bulldog with the expressive face does not like change. He and his human have an uncomplicated relationship. They are both New Yorkers down to the tip of their tails and are each other’s favorite, “. . . in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.” Together they go on walks uptown. It smells, the grub is bad, and the sky is blocked. But there is also a wonderful museum, the American Museum of Natural History, full of bones. Except . . . NO Dogs Allowed!
Then life changes. Another human commands his human’s attention and grabs his spot on the couch! Marcel does not like this one little nip. Now they spend even more time uptown. Wait . . . where is this human going? Why is this other human carrying Marcel?
Marcel is cute. His smile is real. As a narrator, Marcel keeps his sentences short and to the point. He does use a few interesting words: scrumptious, Serengeti, and savannah. We are in his world. Marcel understands his relationships with his human. Seems it has been just the two of them until this other human enters their world, but not for Marcel. Mom has a new pal making Marcel the odd dog out, and he does not like it. His world changes and fast.
The illustrations, shades of orange and blue pastels, with smatterings of other colors against a white background are beautiful. These images will speak to New Yorkers. To those of us living elsewhere, the landmarks mean nothing, except for the museum of natural history. Pay attention to the smaller details and you will find a few hilarious payoffs for your time. A child may throw temper tantrums; Marcel relieves himself in his new parent’s shoe.
Marcel tries to reach children experiencing their parent’s decision to date and finding a serious someone. The problem with Marcel, the story, is Marcel never has a chance to make his feelings known, simply because he is a dog. Sure, he may make a mess, but it cannot help a child picture himself in the story. Kids need a story with more emotional courage. While Marcel is cute, there is no substance to this story. The intended message is more likely to zoom right past children. Kids will like Marcel, the dog, but not think much about Marcel, the story.
Marcel is Eda Akaltun’s debut children’s book.
MARCEL. Text and illustrations copyright © 2016 by Eda Akaltun. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Flying Eye Books, New York, NY.
Reprinted with permission from MARCEL © 2016 by Eda Akaltun, Flying Eye Books, an imprint of Nobrow, Illustrations © 2016 by Eda Akaltun.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
by Eda Akaltun
Flying Eye Books 09/20/2016