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Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me

4.8 8
by Jenny Slate, Dean Fleischer-Camp

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View our feature on Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp’s Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.
Millions of people have fallen in love with Marcel. Now the tiny shell with shoes and a big heart is transitioning from online sensation to classic picture book character, and readers can learn more about this adorable creature and his wonderfully


View our feature on Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp’s Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.
Millions of people have fallen in love with Marcel. Now the tiny shell with shoes and a big heart is transitioning from online sensation to classic picture book character, and readers can learn more about this adorable creature and his wonderfully peculiar world.

From wearing a lentil as a hat to hang-gliding on a Dorito, Marcel is able to find magic in the everyday. He may be small, but he knows he has a lot of good qualities. He may not be able to lift anything by himself, but when he needs help, he calls upon his family. He may never be able own a real dog . . . but he has a pretty awesome imagination.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like the popular Internet video it’s based on, this picture book stars a pink-shod, one-eyed snail shell who is happy to discuss his habits, preferences, and inner life, while revealing a life that’s both miniature and writ large. Slate, an actress, and Fleischer-Camp, a director, wisely expand Marcel’s world beyond the three-and-half minutes of their video, though they hang onto some of its most beloved lines. The artwork trades the jerky animation of the original for Lind’s thick, luminous oil paintings, which provide a fittingly off-kilter realism; when readers first get a (very) close-up view of Marcel through a magnifying glass, his mouth agape and single goggle-eye gleaming, it’s clear that this is not your average protagonist. In deadpan narration, Marcel shows readers his home (“This is my Breadroom. It’s a Bedroom. But I sleep in a piece of bread”) and nearby attractions like the aquarium (a goldfish bowl) and a toy-filled amusement park. True, you don’t get to hear Marcel’s singular squeaky/scratchy voice, but the hip, young parents buying (and perhaps most excited about) this adaptation will be itching to try out their impressions. Ages 5–up. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The very unusual hero and narrator of this story is Marcel, a shell with shoes and a one-eyed face. The terse, simple text is in script rather than print. Marcel first introduces his "Breadroom," a bedroom where he sleeps in a piece of bread. His "Monuments" there include trophies. His "Aquarium" is a fish bowl; his "Amusement Park" includes a ride he fears: the Salad Spinner. He loves riding the Ladle, however. He regrets having no dog, but sometimes drags a piece of lint along by a hair, and calls it Alan. A fleck of pepper makes him sneeze "a hundred times a day for a month." He uses a pistachio as a helmet when he climbs a sandal. He even goes to the movies with his grandmother. He ends this fantastic tale asking us to shut the book; he is tired and wants to "go to bread." Full-page paintings of Marcel's rooms are made from photographs supplemented by line drawings of text pages and end pages. The fun here is not from any coherent sequence, but is to be enjoyed from the single events. For example, while three shell folks watch a film of bicycle riders, the caption reads, "I even treat myself to a large popcorn." The strange world visualized by the small shell Marcel was originally created as a short film. Perhaps he may take us on further adventures, or may inspire young readers to create strange new worlds of their own. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Elegantly illustrated but sadly lacking in story or relatable humor, this picture book about the daily life of an odd-looking seashell with eye and shoes (essentially someone's pet rock) falls flat. Marcel narrates, showing readers his "breadroom" (inexplicably, he sleeps on a piece of bread inside a potted plant), his monuments (baseball trophies), his least favorite amusement-park ride (the salad spinner), and his substitute for a pet dog (a piece of lint leashed to a hair). The book's funniest moment—when Marcel watches a movie and enjoys a "large popcorn" with his grandmother—is as stale as the single piece of popcorn that Marcel is posed with. The other attempts at humor will register with neither children nor adults. Marcel himself is a less-than-endearing protagonist with his one, oversize googly eye and plastic Ken doll shoes. Lind's warm and beautifully lit paintings invite readers into a glowing domestic scene, but kitschy Marcel seems jarringly profane and out of place in them. Though Fleischer-Camp's hand-drawn cursive lettering gives the package an intimate, artistic quality, it will be nearly indecipherable for some readers. The line drawings seem to echo the loose zaniness of Maira Kalman's work, but her carefree delivery and more compelling choice of subject matter hit the mark where Marcel's creators flail. Like a child with an imagined universe built around a favorite toy, the authors seem more charmed with their creation than audiences will be.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
A perky anthropomorphic shell named Marcel introduces readers to his highly original universe in this quirky spin-off from the 2010 Stop Motion animated short film of the same name. With one large eye, a mouth and a pair of scuffed red-and-white shoes, univalve Marcel confidently asserts, "I like myself." Speaking in the first person, present tense, Marcel isn't afraid to express himself. He loves where he lives, sleeps between two pieces of bread known as his "Breadroom" and often visits the "aquarium" (a goldfish bowl). Which amusement ride is he afraid to go on? The salad spinner. What's his favorite ride? The ladle. How does he dry off? Dives into the sock drawer. What does he use as a helmet when scaling a high-heeled sandal? A pistachio shell. Created from a series of multicolor paintings resembling fuzzy interior photographs, clever illustrations serve as strikingly realistic backdrops for Marcel with his fantastical props and playthings, providing visual clues about the actual scale of his diminutive world. Like a camera lens, illustrations zoom in and out on Marcel, confidently perched atop books, dragging his lint dog on a hair leash, standing defiantly beneath a toilet bowl or tucked into his Breadroom as he revels in his one-of-a-kind life. The sky's the limit for this winning, winsome, wee mollusk. (Picture book. 5 & up)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Marcel the Shell Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jenny Slate, the voice of Marcel, is an alum of Saturday Night Live and plays Stella on HBO's Bored to Death. Dean Fleischer-Camp is a writer, director, and animator whose work has screened at film festivals around the world. They live together in Brooklyn, New York. Watch the video and learn more at: www.deanfleischercamp.com.

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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marcel is so cute!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He is sooooo cute and so funny! P.S he has youtube videos!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But it , It is so funny !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best if read by author. Full of laughs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago