Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Alison Reynolds, illustrated by Heath McKenzie and published by The Five Mile Press, Australia (2012).
Ella and Maddy are best friends who love spending time together. But one day everything changes when Maddy has to go away. She entrusts her cat Marmalade to Ella's care, but Marmalade and Ella are not best friends - or even friends at all - and they definitely don't like each other's company.
Then one cold winter's morning, Ella wakes to find Marmalade sleeping at the bottom of her bed. And so begins a tentative friendship that blossoms like the tree in Ella's garden…
I loved Reynold's choice of creative, active language in this charming children's picture book. The impact of certain words is highlighted by special font. McKenzie's use of colour in a limited palette, plus the vivacity of his drawings, adds to the charm.
To a child, the prospect of a friend going away can be devastating. Such a loss can be mitigated by knowing that others share it. I think A Year with Marmalade would be an excellent choice for those who want kids to understand that change is inevitable, and not necessarily bad. Or buy it if you too understand the bliss of having a furry purring friend to warm your toes on a frosty winter's morning!
***If you have a cat with personality, why not enter the A Year with Marmalade competition? And if you'd like to find out more about the book and its creators, link to follow the blog tour.
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