Yet another story about Marley the misbehaving Labrador retriever; here he runs rampant through the town Easter egg hunt.
Marley’s been running away from his family and into mischief in a rapidly growing collection of Marley children’s books, spinoffs of Grogan’s best-selling book for adults. Though Grogan’s name appears on the cover and title page, the text for this story is actually written by Natalie Engel on his behalf. The frenetic plot follows Marley and his family as they participate in the Easter egg hunt, trying to find one extra-large egg hidden by the town’s mayor. Marley crashes and bashes his way around town, breaking raw eggs and covering himself in confetti and ribbons as he tries to capture the special egg prize and his family tries to capture him. In an odd conclusion, the mayor virtually hands Marley the winning egg, which was illogically and improbably concealed in the mayor’s top hat. The illustrations convey lots of activity, with cheery Marley in constant motion, though the slapstick humor tries too hard to be funny, and human characters are largely devoid of personality.
Even a well-loved, popular main character can’t save a story with frantic action, lame jokes and a plodding plot. (Picture book. 3-6)