Philosophical univalve Marcel returns in this sequel to Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2011).
Speaking in a chatty first person, Marcel opens with visual close-ups of his distinctive red-and-white sneakers and his single giant eye, followed by a total body shot and the news that he’s feeling “pretty good about” himself. Unsure what each new day will bring, Marcel describes the day he “got the most surprised,” after suddenly finding himself tossed into the air while walking on a blanket and thinking about how much he loves cake. Time stands still as the airborne Marcel notices everything in the room below: the rug, a sneaker, the baby and his grandmother’s house. Momentarily suspended midair, Marcel thinks about his grandmother and the importance of beauty, comparing his weightless state to an astronaut’s. As he descends, Marcel admits he’s scared, recalling other events when he felt powerless: a paper airplane crashing, the baby’s first word, exploding popcorn. Subsequent to his fortuitous sweet landing atop a three-layer cake, Marcel concludes this day “took the cake.” Blurred illustrations reminiscent of airbrushed color photographs transform Marcel’s seemingly minor experience into a life-changing drama. Close-ups and aerial views allow readers to share the diminutive mollusk’s perspective and wonder at his self-reflective aplomb.
Visually clever and verbally unusual. (Picture book. 5 & up)