Follow Here To Purchase Marcie's Daffodil

Author: Autumn Stanley

Illustrator: Ji Young Lee

Publisher: Xlibris

ISBN: 978-1-4535-7577-2

Marcie’s Daffodil, written by Autumn Stanley and illustrated by Ji Young Lee, tells the story of Marcie who brings home a daffodil bulb from the garden store one winter and eagerly follows its growth and awaits its Spring blossoming. There is a theme here somewhere (is it the cycle of life? Patience? That hope springs eternal despite disappointments along the way?), but it gets buried in narrative that’s somewhat unfocused and convoluted, and as a reader, I can visualize the path, but never quite find my way.

Overall, it’s a sweet and gentle story, and there are moments when the cadence lulls like a lullaby. The language is most definitely kid-friendly and imagery such as the raindrops being the tears of the flower fairy is lovely. Lee’s softly muted sketches complement the story well, and lend it a serene and harmonious feel.

However, the book seems to be more of a vignette or series of scenes of Marcie going through her daily life waiting for her daffodil to bloom rather than an actual story with a beginning, middle, and end. Characters are introduced such as her siblings and the babysitter, Mrs. McBride, that don’t seem to have much to do with the story. No interactions happen with them. Some segments, “Marcie felt like crying, and she also felt like stepping on one of Parker’s turtles” seem disjointed. It’s not clear how one thing has to do with the other.

At times the narrative is slowed by more “telling” than “showing” as in “Mama suggested to Daddy that he might build a small fence around the daffodil...and since the next day was Saturday, he did just that.” Why not just show him actively building the fence? Better yet, have him build it with Marcie?

But I think my biggest contention with the book is the bombshell that gets dropped at the end. Marcie’s mom who is expecting a baby had to be taken to the hospital. “We’re not going to have baby after all,” Daddy explains, suggesting either a miscarriage or a stillborn child, but there is no resolution to this thread. What did daddy mean? Where did baby go? It’s a heavy theme to lay on kids without further discussion. Even daddy doesn’t explain it to Marcie in the book.

The story ends sweetly with Marcie wanting her last surviving daffodil to go to her mother when she comes home from the hospital. But here too, there seems to be a disconnect as Marcie doesn’t even question or ponder the fact that the baby she’s been expecting isn’t coming home.

There’s a certain amicability to Marcie’s tale and Ji Young Lee’s illustrations are tender and alluring. But like most self-published books, it could have benefitted from more extensive editorial oversight.

Follow Here To Purchase Marcie's Daffodil