The New York Times
Marcel Marceau: Master of Mimeby Gloria Spielman
From the age of five, Marcel Marceau knew he wanted to be a silent actor, just like Charlie Chaplin. When World War II intervened, he joined the Resistance, helping to get young Jews to safety during this dangerous time. But Marcel never forgot his dream of being a mime artist and entertaining the world. Bip, and other memorable characters he created, would charm audiences for over sixty years.
This is a fixed-format ebook, which preserves the design and layout of the original print book.
The New York Times
The legendary mime is introduced to a new generation, though not entirely successfully.
As a child, Marceau loved to silently entertain his friends, like his idol, Charlie Chaplin. During the Nazi occupation of France, Marcel and his brother took on new identities in the French Underground, where they forged documents for Jewish children and helped many to escape to Switzerland. Spielman assumes that her young audience will understand references to deportation and concentration camps; unfortunately for those that don't, her matter-of-fact tone speaks more of adventure than deadly peril. Her tone subtly changes when she lovingly describes Marceau's training and development as a mime and his stage persona of Bip the clown, admiring his skills in the "art of silence" that won him international renown. But here too, comparisons to the Little Tramp and Pierrot may be outside readers' frame of reference. Though the illustrations carefully complement the textual content with period details, Gauthier's cartoon faces are all nearly identical, with only the screen image of Chaplin and Marceau's Bip having distinctive features. A double-page spread at the conclusion provides photographs of Bip in action and is the only clear indication of Marceau's stagecraft.
At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime's most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the book looks elsewhere.(Picture book/biography. 8-10)
- Kar-Ben Publishing
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Meet the Author
Gloria Spielman was born in London. She spent much of her childhood reading stories and writing her own. She has a bachelor’s degree in Hebrew and Jewish history and a master’s degree in linguistics. She is the author of Janusz Korczak’s Children (Kar-Ben). She lives in Israel with her five children, her American husband, David, and many books.
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