cover image I Hate You, Marmalade

I Hate You, Marmalade

Monica Kulling. Viking Children's Books, $14 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-670-84480-7

A boy and a new pet stake out their boundaries in this lightweight picture book. When Roger's mother adopts an orange cat named Marmalade, the youngster has a tough time adjusting: the fat feline takes over Roger's territory, hissing and snarling at every turn. Roger voices his frustration--until his pushy neighbor Alison proves to be an even bigger problem than Marmalade. Much to Roger's surprise, the cat comes to his aid and boy and feline begin a tenuous friendship. Kulling's first book offers an on-target glimpse of a child's need for both independence and attention, as Roger tries to deal with his problems on his own but eventually learns new strategies. Ayliffe's snazzy torn-paper collages exude a surprising energy considering this medium's typically flat composition. Primarily pastel backgrounds let Marmalade stand out in all her orange glory. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)