Superstar pet
4th Aug 20

Superstar pet

Ever thought your pet should be a superstar? Here's a gorgeous cat with an impossibly long name, whose owner thinks he has got what it takes to make it on the big screen!

MARSHMALLOW MARMADUKE VANILLA-BEAN SUGAR-PIE FLUFFINGTON-FITZ-NOODLE PIE - or 'Pie', as his human Amelia calls him - is a fluffy cat who loves the limelight and any excuse to show off his gorgeous self, so when Amelia decides he should audition for film, he is totally up for the challenge!

Unfortunately, it doesn't go as planned... Can Pie find a way to set things right with a small and somewhat annoying kitten, and help Amelia by becoming the star she needs him to be?

A funny story about a fluffy cat with a big personality!

We asked author and illustrator CLARA VULLIAMY to tell us about her books, MARSHMALLOW PIE: THE CAT SUPERSTAR and MARSHMALLOW PIE: THE CAT SUPERSTAR ON TV:

Q: Did a real cat help inspire Marshmallow Pie, the Cat Superstar?

A: Marshmallow Pie's full name is Marshmallow Marmaduke Vanilla-Bean Sugar-Pie Fluffington-Fitz-Noodle, Pie for short. He is a huge fluffy white cat, with an ego to match. I knew immediately that his big personality and his fabulous appearance would work well together. I've never met a cat quite like him, but I hope I will one day!

Q: Your earlier series, Dotty Detective, featured a pup called McClusky. So, are you a cat person or a dog person?

A: I could never choose - I'm a cat person AND a dog person! My family always had cats while I was growing up. When I was young I found a small stray kitten under a bush, sheltering from the rain. I asked my mum if I could keep her, and she said YES. I used to tuck her into my coat and take her down the road to the photo booth in the tube station.

Nearly 50 years later, I remembered this - there's a similar scene in the first Marshmallow Pie story.

It's lovely to hear from readers about their pets, too. But I'm really aware that some children don't or can't have a pet, so I love to chat with them about their imaginary animal companions, or what pets they might have in the future. I don't have any pets of my own anymore, but I do know how much fun it is to make them up!

Q: McClusky was a detective dog, while Marshmallow Pie is an acting cat. Why did you decide to enter the world of auditions and advertising with Pie?

A: I was sure that the world of showbiz and celebrity would be great for chaos, action and humour. Pie becomes famous very quickly, but without really meaning to. He's quite lazy and doesn't feel he needs to make an effort - to be honest he thinks he's a star already.

Q: Can you tell us a little about Pie's owner, Amelia, who is very shy and facing her own challenges?

A: Amelia is shy and maybe even a little lonely, although happily that changes as the series progresses. Because the story is told in Pie's voice we only see her through his eyes and he doesn't really understand - after all, he's only a cat. It's an interesting, indirect way to create a character.

Q: What have been your favourite Pie antics so far?

A: I especially enjoyed the scene in which Pie has a bath, although HE did not enjoy this one bit! And also when he discovers he has a co-star, a cheeky kitten called Gingernut. He would much rather have the spotlight all to himself.

Q: What's next for Pie?

A: Next up for Pie the big screen awaits - he is packing his best bow tie and jetting off to HOLLYWOOD!

Q: Where and when do you create your books?

A: I work every day, and I can work anywhere. I'm happy to write at the kitchen table with the bustle of family life going on around me, but to do the illustrations I have a studio at the top of the house with my drawing board and all my art materials.

Q: Which do you enjoy more - writing the text or creating the illustrations?

A: It's a bit like being equally a cat person and a dog person - they are BOTH my favourite! I particularly love the way that the words and pictures work together on the page. Being the author and the illustrator gives me the freedom and control to develop them both alongside each other.

Q: What are you looking forward to most this summer?

A: I'm very lucky to have a job that wasn't really affected by lockdown, so the working day carried on being business as usual. But I have made sure to get out for a walk each day, sometimes very early in the morning or late at night, which is lovely and very peaceful. Best of all, just this week, I managed to get to the seaside for a swim - I have missed the sea SO much!

reading zone homepage
Young Adult SchoolZone FamilyZone Library zone
ReadingZone Book Shop