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A Year with Marmalade
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A Year with Marmalade

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  44 reviews
This is a story about friendship.

It’s about losing old friends and making new ones.

It’s about change, which isn’t always a bad thing…

When Maddy’s family relocate for a year, she must leave behind her cat, Marmalade, and her best friend Ella.

The story of the growing friendship between Marmalade and Ella is set against a backdrop of the changing seasons.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2012 (first published July 1st 2012)
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Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-favorite-read
A Year With Marmalade is a sweet kids book about friendship. Ella and Maddy are best friends, but one day Maddy announces that she has to go away for a year and asks Ella to take care of Marmalade, her cat. Ella is very very sad, and at first Ella and Marmalade both seem in a funk about the change that has taken place since Maddy has gone away.

As the seasons change, so does Ella and Marmalade's relationship. In fall and winter he warms her feet as she reads by the fire and keeps her warm at nigh
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-lit
"A Year With Marmalade" is the story of how a Maddy's best friend Ella goes away for a year, leaving her pet cat (Marmalade) in Maddy's care. At first Maddy is upset, but soon Marmalade becomes a comfort to her.

Given that Reynolds usually writes books with very clear cut lessons/messages involved (Teddy Shares, Let's Save Water, etc), this sort of book isn't a surprise. At a glance, "A Year With Marmalade" seems like a perfectly good book for comforting your child when their friend goes away fo
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ella's best friend, Maddy, has to go away for a whole year. She asks Ella to take care of her cat, Marmalade, while she's gone. Ella and Marmalade pass the year on the frozen pond, reading by the fireplace, planting a flower garden, and swimming at the beach as they await Ella's return. When autumn comes again, so does Ella, and now the two best friends are a trio that includes Marmalade. In what I think is a terrific ending, Ella's daddy builds a cat-flap in the fence between the two girls' hou ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The simple illustrations in this sweet picture book are stunning. I would have loved nothing more than to grab a sketchbook and attempt recreating some of the pictures. Ella and Maddy are neighbors and best friends. Maddie's family is leaving for a year and Ella is asked to take care of their cat Marmalade. Marmalade could never replace the hole that is left in Maddies absence, but she does help pass the time. This book reminded me of childhood and the specialness of friendship. Nice read aloud ...more
Stefanie Halliday
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A very simple book, but the illustrations are phenomenal. McKenzie does amazing things with very simple lines and images. The text placement and layout is also very much a part of the telling of the story. When one friend (Maddy) moves away for a year, the other (Ella) takes care of her cat. For such a short book, it does a great job of showing that the relationship between the Ella and the cat isn't instantaneous.
Amy Brown
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous artwork with a sweet story!
Angela Sunde
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Read my interview with the illustrator of A Year With Marmalade, Heath McKenzie, on my blog.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A sweet story about learning to have fun when a friend moves away.
Ella and Maddie are best friends. When Maddie has to move away for a year she brings her cat, Marmalade, to Ella and asked her to care for him while she was gone. Both cat and girl are sad at Maddie's leaving. Marmalade has absolutely no interest in the activities that Ella does and Ella is sad that Marmalade won't interact. Eventually the cat comes around and begins to enjoy Ella's company. And when Maddie comes back they all play together.

A sweet story of adapting to change.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
One autumn, Maddy told Ella that she is going away for a year and asked her to take care of her cat, Marmalade. Both Ella and Marmalade cry and cry when Maddy leaves. Ella can’t find anyone to play in the leaves with her, pick and munch apples, or stomp in puddles. Then one frosty morning, Ella wakes up to find her feet warm and Marmalade sleeping on her bed. As winter arrives, Ella and Marmalade get closer and closer. Spring comes and the two work together in the garden and head to the beach to ...more
Paige M
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I like the use of color and black line drawings most. The story feels a bit sad, though it really isn't.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book details the experiences of a young girl named Ella who takes care of her best friend's cat, Marmalade, for a year. The story takes the reader through each of the seasons, with Ella and Marmalade spending lots of time together (mostly outside).

I love that Ella was such a good friend to Maddie and was willing to take on such a big responsibilty, and that she was so active and caring. We loved the ending, too.

The illustrations are marvelous, with lots of white space and color used to en
A tale of friendship. Ella's friend leaves with her family for a year, but leaves her cat Marmalade with her. Their shared loss slowly turns into shared friendship. They take comfort in one another, and play together, and when Maddy finally returns they all have fun. From the beginning it is known that Maddy will return, so the impact of their loss is not as great as it could have been, but the bond that forms between them is evident thanks to the wonderful illustrations. The children are drawn ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book. Colourful and fun. A great aid for parents and teachers to help touch on many subjects relevant to children and the changes they go through. This book approaches those subjects in a fun and gentle way.

Beautifully written and illustrated I highly recommend it to all parents and my daughter will be using it as a teaching resource.

I hope to see it in every school library.

The Styling Librarian
A Year with Marmalade by Alison Reynolds – What do you do when your best friend moves away for a year? What do you do when your best friend leaves her cat with you for that year? Read what happens through the year and beautiful seasons as well with the beautiful character Marmalade. I loved simply getting to know the character and watching how she makes a new friend through the year. Hopeful, happy book.
When Ella's best friend Maddy leaves for a year she asks Ella to look after her cat Marmalade. At first, Ella mourns all the fun she and Maddy used to have, but eventually Marmalade warms up to Ella and the two share a few adventures before Maddy is back and the duo becomes a trio.

Mixed media artwork uses color to highlight the seasons and line drawings focus on character expressions as opposed to tons of detail. PreK-2.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: pb, pb-illustrations
A sweet book about a girl who has to care for her friend's cat while her friend leaves for a year. The story seems a little too specific to be a relatable friend story, but kept me curious for details ... where WAS Maddy going for one full year?

As a cat story it was cute and I loved the illustrations.
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I thought this book was beautiful. I loved the use of color and white space, I especially loved the way the text was designed - the words forming an apple when Ella was apple picking, a frosty font on a snowy morning, circular text when Marmalade the cat curled up... A sweet story that speaks to the pain of loss and the joy of reunion. I am definitely adding this one to my personal collection!
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Year with Marmalade is full of child-like expression of change. It demonstrates very well the feeling of loss over missing a friend and the adaptation to a new companion. Marmalade is an adorable catalyst for learning to enjoy things in life in a new way.
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations and a heartwarming story about friendship and coping with change make this a lovely picture book to share with the youngsters in your life - especially those who love very cute cats!
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
I think older girls especially would respond to the illustrations. I enjoyed the changing seasons, but otherwise think the story of a friend who moves away for a year leaving a pet behind is pretty specific.
Mary Catherine
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about friendships - old and new - and the changing seasons.

Gorgeous illustrations that combines brush, ink, and watercolor makes this an eye-catching book and the story is simple yet moving.
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
In this story of seasons and friendship, we follow Ella as she looks after her friend Maddy’s cat for one year. Although they have their differences they grow to love each other and the three become forever friends. A charming story for ages four to six.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maggie
Love the illustrations!
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If a book gets four reading in our house of many books over a 48 hour period, I know that it deserves the five stars (disclaimer: we are a cat house).
Charity Limerance
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Sweet and endearing
Sweet (friendship) story and sweet illustrations.
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sweet story about making new friendships with beautiful illustrations.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Cute story about how a pet can mend a lonely heart. =)
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Friendship, loneliness and the changing seasons for a little girl and the cat she looks after during her friend's absence. Beautifully written and illustrated.
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Alison Reynolds lives in Melbourne by the sea with a dentally challenged dog, a husband and a revolving front door for her 2 adult children. She has over 70 books published locally and internationally, including her latest critically acclaimed Pickle & Bree series, the best-selling A Year with Marmalade series, board books, picture books, chapter books, and, in collaboration with world-famous ...more