Several months ago I received an email from the publishers at Flying Eye Books looking for " some professional feedback on a new pi...

Marcel's New York

Monday, July 18, 2016 BookBairn Blog 4 Comments

Several months ago I received an email from the publishers at Flying Eye Books looking for " some professional feedback on a new picture book we are about to publish". I was truly honoured to be considered a professional and I did my very best. And now, 'Marcel' by Eda Akaltun has arrived through our letterbox!

Marcel is an incredibly cute little French bulldog who loves his native New York as much as a dog loves his kibble! He loves the downtown streets of the city and he and his human know all the best spots: his favourite bagel shop, the doggy spa and listening to his favourite band play at Washington Square Park. There's nowehere else he'd rather be than downtown in the city. Definitely not uptown! On one of their many jogs, Marcel's human meets a handsome Frenchman who gets tangled up in the dog lead. And for the humans, romance blossoms. But Marcel's not so sure. Since this new human entered his life, he is having to spend more and more time uptown, much to his dismay. But the Frenchman knows how to woo this little doggy too: showing him the one thing that uptown has to offer that Marcel can't refuse: the dinosaur exhibits at the Natural History Museum! And Marcel decides there is room for one more human in his life. Uptown is "different, but sometimes different isn't SO bad."

You can see from the photograph of BookBairn that Marcel is instantly charming! He has such an expressive little face and the story is all told from his point of view which puts across his glorious personality. It's hard not to fall for this petulant pup and I think young children will be able to identify with him easily. Who among us really likes change? Most of the illustrations are drawn from Marcel's point of view, meaning that until the last page you don't actually see the humans faces. This is a fantastic idea and it adds to our ability to empathise with Marcel: the world is pretty confusing when you don't see the big picture!

Another interesting element to the illustrations in this book is that it is made up of photographs alongside illustrations. There are no lines around the images either creating an incredible quirky graphic that is quite unique! As someone who has been lucky enough to visit New York, I love the inclusion of real New York buildings in the backgrounds. Eda Akaltun has really captured the vibrant energy of the city. For me, it really brought the story to life! I thoroughly enjoyed the style of this book: it has a great colour palette (think retro graphics and ad posters), interesting illustrations and a cutesy main character to boot!

This book is a heartwarming tale of love an acceptance and I think it is a wonderful premise for a book about introducing a new partner to children and adjusting to big life changes. And yet this book is so much more than simply a children's self-help style book (think, 'my first trip to the dentist', or 'mummy goes to work', which, whilst helpful, can be lacking anything to really engage children), it really tells a story and still explores ever-changing family dynamics in a way that young children can identify with.

This book has made me want to return to New York with BookBairn in tow and show her all the sights and sounds of this marvellous city! And take her to the Natural History Museum, of course. But a nearly 8-hour flight with a toddler who has just learned to walk? Maybe not. Not yet!

Happy Reading, Mummy and BookBairn xx




*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own.

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