Doodles and Drafts – A Blog Tour with Alison Reynolds
by Dimity Powell - March 13th, 2014
A couple of years ago a diminutive orange cat sprang into our hearts and homes courtesy of picture book creators, Alison Reynolds and Heath McKenzie. That cat was, Marmalade. He caused quite a sensation around our home, so when we heard he was on tour with Alison Reynolds, purrs of satisfaction reverberated throughout the house once more.
A New Friend for Marmalade, sequel to the hugely successful, A Year with Marmalade, is a simple story about making new friends. But as we all know, the art of forming and maintaining friendships is seldom that straightforward. Hierarchy and the delicate differences between boys and girls all begin to surface in early primary years, making social interplay more of a challenge.
When Toby, the boy across the road attempts to join BFFs, Ella, Maddy and Marmalade, things go instantly awry. Toby’s endeavours to fit in are not particularly successful nor welcomed by Ella and Maddy. He is over-exuberant, clumsy and dresses funny. Marmalade, however, sees him differently.
In Marmalade’s moment of crisis, his gamble on Toby pays off and beautiful new friendships are forged all round.
I love the snappy, clean layout of this picture book. Swirling text works effectively against plenty of white space, giving readers the sensation of floating seamlessly along with the story.
The narrative itself is succinct and character driven, with enough repeating phraseology to prompt even the most modest beginner reader to join in the fun.
McKenzie’s soft smudges of pastel colour highlight significant aspects and emotions of the story: the girls’ cubby house and sand castle city, Toby’s cap and scooter, and of course, our little orange hero, Marmalade.
Acceptance, tolerance and making that leap of faith permeate appealingly through this dreamy picture book, resulting in a fine example of ‘less is more’. It certainly stacks up for me.
Stick around with Alison and Marmalade for the rest of their tour and participate in the fantastic competitions listed below. You never know, you might just make few new friends along the way!
Alison Reynolds Blog Tour Dates
11th Dee White – review and post http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/
11th Chris Bell – post http://christinemareebell.wordpress.com/
12th Angela Sunde – interview with Heath http://angelasunde.blogspot.com.au/
12th KBR – book giveaway http://www.kids-bookreview.com/
13th Boomerang Books – Post with Dimity Powell http://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au/author/dpowell
14th KBR Guest post http://www.kids-bookreview.com/
14th KBR Review http://www.kids-bookreview.com/
14th Sally Murphy – Meet my book http://aussiereviews.com/reviews/blog/
15th Buzz Words – Interview http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/
17th Ask the Bean Counter – Mr X http://www.alisonreynolds.com.au/
17th Pass-it-on Post and Review- Jackie Hosking
18th Ask the Publisher – Kay Scarlett http://www.alisonreynolds.com.au/
Pet contest for all ages!
Marmalade the cat is full of personality. Do you have a pet with personality? Win a piece of artwork by Heath McKenzie. Send along a photo of your personality-plus pet to www.alisonreynolds.com.au, firstname.lastname@example.org or upload to
Random book giveaways!
Just leave a comment on one of the posts in the blog tour, comment on Facebook or even email Alison that you want to enter competition to win A New Friend for Marmalade.
Jump the Slush Pile!
Win a free pass to a Children’s editor’s desk. Just comment on this blog post or any other blog during the A New Friend for Marmalade blog tour and add the initials CB. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win the draw.
Jump the Slush Pile!
Win a free pass to a Non-fiction commissioning editor’s desk. Just comment on this blog post or any other blog during the A New Friend for Marmalade blog tour and add the initials NF. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win the draw.
Win an assessment of Chapter One of a chapter book by the fabulous mentor extraordinaire Dee White. http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/ Just comment on this blog post or any other blog during the A New Friend for Marmalade blog tour and add the initials DW. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win the draw.
Win a free picture book assessment by Alison! Just comment on this blog post or any other blog during the A New Friend for Marmalade blog tour and add the initials PB. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win the draw.