Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam by Juliette MacIver and illustrated by Sarah Davis was one of the finalists in this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards and was one of my favourites. The bouncy, rhyming text and stunning illustrations were a winning combination and made a fun, if tongue-twisting, read-aloud. I was excited to see that they had written another Marmaduke Duck book, called Marmaduke Duck and Bernadette Bear.
Marmaduke Duck has opened a marmalade shop and animals of all shapes and sizes are coming from all over to sample Marmaduke Duck’s marmalade jam. But then one day, Bernadette Bear shows up and opens a honey shop right next door. Will Marmaduke’s marmalade shop survive or will Bernadette put him out of business?
I absolutely love Marmaduke Duck and Bernadette Bear! Juliette’s rhyming text is a joy to read and makes the story bounce along. I’m a huge fan of Sarah Davis‘ illustrations, whether it’s people or the myriad of different animals that populate the pages of Marmaduke Duck and Bernadette Bear. Sarah has the amazing gift of being able to portray animals that look life-like while at the same time having human expressions (just have a look at the front cover to see what I mean). Every page glows with the brightly coloured animals and their crazy antics. Any parent who chooses to read the Marmaduke Duck books to their children is sure to give them a love a words and beautiful illustrations. This is definitely one of my top picture books of 2011.