Move over Grumpy Cat and Pusheen, there’s a new cat set for stardom – Marshmallow Marmaduke Vanilla-Bean Sugar-Pie Fluffington-Fitz-Noodle (or Marshmallow Pie for short). He’s the star of Clara Vulliamy’s wonderful new series, a series so adorable you’ll want to pick it up and cuddle it.
Marshmallow Pie is one spoiled cat (just look at his name). After spending his early years in a huge house in the country he now lives in an apartment in the city with Amelia Lime and her dad. He spends his days sitting in the sunshine on the balcony and tormenting Buster, the dog who lives in the flat below. When Amelia brings home a leaflet about an acting opportunity for Pie, his training and preparation begins. Amelia wants to get Pie fit so they have a special training regime that he is so not interested in. The day of the audition arrives and Pie is unfazed by the competition until Buster arrives and chaos ensues. All hope of fame looks lost unless Pie can get a second chance.
I love absolutely everything about this series, from the gorgeous design and covers, to the spot-on voice and personality of Marshmallow Pie, and the joyful illustrations. The first two books in the series, The Cat Superstar and The Cat Superstar on TV, have been released at the same time, which is fantastic because readers don’t have to wait for book 2. I read the first book aloud to my 5 year old daughter and we loved it so much that we read the second book the next night. The stories are narrated by Pie, whose voice is exactly how you think a snooty, spoiled, slightly vain cat would sound. The first couple of sentences set the story up perfectly and lets you know who you’re dealing with:
‘Oh, hello. Yes, you can come in, but you can’t sit down because there’s only room for me on this sofa.’
Pie may act nonchalant but don’t let that fool you because he can be quite sweet too.
Marshmallow Pie’s stunning good looks and star quality shine through in Clara’s illustrations. She shows us his cute side, his tricky side and his I’m-not-impressed side. I especially love the illustrations of Pie ‘working out’ and his large secret stash behind the sofa. I also really like the maps that Clara has drawn at the front of the books, showing Pie’s flat and the TV studio.
Credit needs to be given to the team at HarperCollins for the thought that has gone in to the design of this series. They are incredibly attractive books with huge appeal to kids. I need to buy my own copies, not only to read them again, but also just to have them on my bookshelf side by side.
Get this series for the young reader in your life. They are the perfect books for independent readers but I highly recommend them as a read aloud. They are the sort of books that adults will love as much as kids.