Skip to main content

Olive Marshmallow by Katie Saunders

Olive Marshmallow is the newest book from Katie Saunders, and part of the debut line of books from a brand new publisher,  little bee books. It may seem like there are shelves full of new baby, big sibling picture books, but during my years as a bookseller, books of this genre that I wanted to read to my own growing family or recommend to customers were few and far between. I would definitely add Saunders's Olive Marshmallow to my small list of books, especially because Saunders's illustrations are reminiscent of Lauren Child's collage-y, cartoon-y, playfully patterned style.

One thing that I especially like about Saunders's Olive Marshmallow is that it is written in a way that an older two-year-old or three-year-old will understand. Sometimes the feelings of rivalry and jealousy before, during and after the arrival of a new baby can be too complex for a picture book. While Kevin Henkes's Julius, Baby of the World will always be my personal favorite, the length of the story and the layers of emotions that big sister Lilly experiences are more than most toddlers can sit for or comprehend.

Olive Marshmallow introduces us to Archie, adorably, perfectly attired in stripy-blue-onesie-jammies. One day, Archie notices something different about Mom. She looks bigger . . . and her office is suddenly filled with lots of pink things! Then Mommy shows Archie a strange picture.

Archie isn't sure he wants a baby sister and the "fluffy, frilly VERY pink things" that seem to come with her. But, Mommy promises him a surprise as she heads off to the hospital and Archie loves surprises! In a touch that I really loved, probably because I did it for my own children, the surprise for Archie is a brand new tractor, a gift from his new sister, Olive! 

Archie realizes that life with Olive, called Olive Marshmallow because Archie thought she looked like one when she came home from the hospital, is not so bad. Pink and frilly is pretty okay, and twice the toys and a playmate are definitely good things.

Saunders ends Olive Marshmallow with a very funny, sweet ending when Archie and Olive notice something different about Mom . . .

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…