Most Marshmallows

illus. by Rowboat Watkins. 40p. Chronicle. Apr. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452159591.
PreS-Gr 1—This book forgoes a narrative arc in favor of celebrating the lives of children with simple and familiar sentiments. "They celebrate birthdays. They watch TV. They go to school most mornings." The twist is that marshmallows stand in for the children. This is mostly conveyed through detailed found-object tableaus and occasionally in the text. "Most marshmallows don't grow on trees or come from storks or even Mars. Most marshmallows are mostly born to one sweet parent or two." Each phrase is illustrated with a photographed intricate collage of marshmallows placed in scenes and interacting with found and created objects that reinforce the text. The scenes consist of marshmallows, construction paper, cake sprinkles, cardboard, acorn tops, twist ties, pencil, and "whatever else was needed." There's lots to talk about and look for in the images. While adults will respond better than children to the message ("But some marshmallows somehow secretly know that all marshmallows can do anything or be anything they dare to imagine."), everyone will enjoy the sweet images.
VERDICT An engaging, quirky read-aloud perfect to share with crafts and maker programs.

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