Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Marshmallow by: Clare Turlay Newberry

Once upon a time, there was a little 5 year old girl. Every week her first grade class took a trip to the school library. Every week the little girl returned the book she had taken out the week before and returned it. After the librarian put all the returned books away, the little girl made her way over to a very special shelf and took down a very special book, the very one she had just returned in fact. (In fact, 21 years later, that little girl could find the exact same spot in that exact same shelf if the library in question had never been rearranged.)

 The book, Marshmallow, was written by Clare Turlay Newberry in 1943, and as a result was impossible to find in the stores, though the little girl above searched for it for years!!! In the Spring of 2009 the littler girl, now 25 and expecting a baby of her own, was delighted to find it in a book store, displayed with the Easter books and a new pale pink/peach cover. (It had been gray way back once upon a time.) Alas, the poor little girl, now a woman, didn't buy it right then and instead went back to get it tor her unborn child the following week, by which time it was gone! 

Now, Spring 2010, again looking through the children's Easter displays, I (for I am the little girl previously mentioned, in case you didn't know.) found it again, this time in paperback. I grabbed it up happily and immediately, proud of the prize I have now for my son's first Easter basket! I have re-read it several times, and am delighted to share that I am as enchanted by the story and illustrations as I was when I was a happy little first grader who eventually had to have it suggested to me that I should give other children a chance to check out the book.

Marshmallow is a true story about Oliver the cat, who is very used to being the center of attention in his house. That is until one day when his owner brings home a white little ball of fluff...the bunny, Marshmallow. Oliver is not happy about this new arrangement at all. At first he is scared of the trusting little unknown creature, but eventually his natural instincts start to kick in...Can little Marshmallow's natural affection overrule the ages long relationship between cats and bunnies?

Not only a wonderful storyteller, Clare Turlay Newberry was a very talented artist! Her beautiful hand drawn black and white images with gentle touches of color bring the story to life! In her life, Mrs. Newberry swore that her story and images were drawn and taken from real life, even a picture of Oliver and Marshmallow laying in each other's arms. 

I love, love, love this book and highly recommend it to any and everyone!It makes me desperately want a bunny, but since the hubby says no, I guess I'll just have to wait until I can convince him that it would be a good investment. (It will teach the kids about responsibility and taking care of other creatures...right?) *sigh* Oh well. Until that day I will just have to enjoy sharing the story of Marshmallow with my own son!

Mrs. Newberry had a life long love for cats that is apparent in not only Marshmallow, but some of her other children's books as well. Many of then, like Marshmallow, are winners of the Caldecott Honor! I suggest that you look up not only Marshmallow, but many of Mrs. Newberry's other works. 

If you are interested in Mrs. Newberry and her books, please feel free to read more about here here or here

Thank you for reading!

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