A Year with Marmalade (Ages 4 to 7)
By : Alison Reynolds & Heath Mckenzie
Publisher : Simon and Schuster (Jul.,2013)
A remarkably clever creation that addresses changes explored through changing seasons and friendships. As Maddy, Ella`s best friend, left for a year leaving Ella and Maddy`s cat Marmalade behind, both Ella and Marmalade were devastated. Neither appreciated the other. Ella tried to keep herself entertained, she picked apples and played with the leaves in the fall and ice skated on the pool in the winter. But nothing seemed to help her get over her sadness. As the days became colder, she stayed at home; Marmalade swished around Ella`s legs as she read beside the fire. As the seasons changed their friendship gradually grew. Winter turned to spring and they planted flowers. In the summer they played on the beach. Both Marmalade and Ella were happy souls. And as the fall returned, so did Maddy.
The unique illustrations with bits of colours here and there-but primarily done in black ink lines-address the changes well.
While thriftily used colours create the perfect ambiance in changing seasons, the characters done in black ink lines, with an occasional hint of humor, helps to highlight their joys and sorrows well. Even though the text has been used sparsely, in different sizes and different shapes of lines mostly in compliance with its meaning ( The curled up cat in the garden while Ella planted flowers is described in a curled up line of text.), it seems to blend into the illustrations well.
A beautiful book to discuss about the changes in life as well as seasons and accepting new friends. But most of all a lovely book to snuggle up together with and read aloud.