... a marvelously oddball coming-of-age memoir with laughs and a talking hippo ... Markoe the child couldn't have known that her diary entries would put in stark relief the way that the unladylike behavior of girls of her generation was all too often discouraged. Readers of We Saw Scenery will probably be nearly as overjoyed as Markoe when, in 1966, her parents drop her off at UC Berkeley, where she finally finds a crowd that wants to hear her jokes.
Markoe's bold, sometimes absurdist drawings and the often chiding conversations she imagines between her mature and adolescent selves enhance the comedy at the heart of this thought-provoking story about what happens when the wisdom of age confronts the follies and foibles of youth ... A memoir that is both relatable and subversive.
... a spiky coming-of-age memoir ... Markoe’s wit is hampered by her uneven, ugly-cute drawings. They have the sardonic edge of alternative cartoonists like MK Reed, but Markoe has trouble assembling them into layouts, as images fight text for page space and word balloons sprout awkwardly. Even so, Markoe’s knack for anecdotes and perfect turns of phrase is worth the price of admission. Fans of Roz Chast and Mimi Pond will want to take a look.