Book review: Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins

“As the summer draws to an end, and chilly nights become the norm;
As the skies clear, and stars burn from lightyears away,
telling stories of warriors, of creatures and poets…
A campfire crackles.
A marshmallow on a stick, hovering over the flames.
Careful that the sweet treat doesn’t catch on fire.
Although the burnt ones are my favorite.”

A. Potoma


I was inspired to pick up Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins for two reasons. One because Rowboat is a great name, and secondly, because I love a good marshmallow. The illustration on the cover shows a class of marshmallows, all stacked together. One with a red clown nose, another with goggles and a studious marshmallow reading a book in the corner. It reminded me of what teaching for me looks like these days. Lots of different children in small boxes, all stacked on top of each other in Zoom.


The story is simple. Most marshmallows do normal things, like “live in homes of one kind or another” and “learn how to be squishy”. But some marshmallows do extraordinary things and defy expectations. It’s a sweet sentiment and a good reminder that we may be afraid to get burned, but with a little courage can slay our dragons.


The illustrations are a mix of drawing and three-dimensional collage using paper, and real photographed objects, much like Sarah Lynne Reul did with her new picture book, Nerp. They are vibrant and surprising, and convey the most adorable marshmallows doing all sorts of fantastical things. I particularly like the marshmallow riding a horse with a thimble on his head as a helmet.
This book is a perfect read aloud for a cool fall evening, and will inspire you to get a campfire burning in the backyard, find a few good marshmallow toasting sticks, and dream big.

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