Last week, I absolutely devoured "Moon Over Madeline Island" by Jay Gilbertson. I bumped into it while looking for Madeline books in the County of Los Angeles library catalog for my sister to read to our dogs. Instead of putting away a gallon-sized tub of Extreme Moose Tracks ice cream (which has the weighty sin of thick ribbons of fudge) like I used to when I was over 70 pounds heavier, I eat up books in much the same manner.
After finishing "Moon Over Madeline Island", I learned from the author's note to the reader in the back that Gilbertson had planned to continue the lives of these wonderful, wonderful characters. I found out that the sequel was called "Back to Madeline Island", was published in 2006, and the library system didn't have any copies. I wasn't going to hesitate in buying a copy, and I did, off of abebooks.com for $3.95 ($1 for the book, $2.95 for shipping).
I received it today and smiled big when I pulled it out of its packaging. I flipped through the pages, sensing something between two of them, and in the middle of the book, I found a bookmark someone had left behind. It's a painting of what looks like a modest English countryside, with muddy ground, a few small puddles in that ground, and a gate a little under halfway above the bottom of the bookmark. I looked at the back of the bookmark, found that it was "Printed in England" and was "Designed by Michele Emblem." As I've just gotten back on the computer after most of the day off it, I haven't yet Googled her name, but I'm impressed by this bookmark. I do wonder, though, if the former reader of "Back to Madeline Island" noticed the bookmark missing after they had given the book away by whatever means, and if they miss this bookmark. Nevertheless, it feels like a bookmark made just for this book and it's the one I'm using. I'm on page 135 at the moment, and this after finishing the last 300 pages of "My Life So Far", Jane Fonda's autobiography. I wasn't going to wait to start this, no matter how much I've already read today.
Edited to add at 10:20 p.m. - From what I can glean after Googling, the bookmark printer spelled Emblem's name wrong. Two "l's." And not a whole lot of information available about her other artwork or even this particular piece.