Common Sense Media says

Cuddly read-aloud perfect for bedtime.




Caldecott Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A cat learns to get along with a pet bunny.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this award-winner from 1943 deserves its classic status.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Baby bunny Marshmallow arrives at his new home causing minor -- and resolvable -- disruption for Miss Tilly and cat Oliver.

Is it any good?


There's a reason that this book has lasted so long in print. From the stellar illustrations to the somewhat long-winded but sweet story, it's a picture book that resonates with kids. Miss Tilly brings fluffy bunny Marshmallow home to live with her tabby cat Oliver. The book charts the small family's adjustment to one another with lots of homey details and enough subtle insight to weather repeated readings.

With themes small kids can really understand -- missing mommy, making friends, feeling scared of new situations -- and a perfectly happy ending, MARSHMALLOW is the perfect bedtime read-aloud, especially with the cuddly pictures. The only downside is that the book is long. Some kids won't have the patience to sit through the whole story, but even then parents can use the pictures to pick and choose what to share in the text. Again, try the book at night when kids are winding down and might be willing to listen to a longer story.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about everyone's adjustment to a new situation. How does Marshmallow the bunny adjust to his new home? What about Oliver who's used to living alone? And what about Miss Tilly? How do her poems reflect the changes in her feelings about having a pet bunny?

Book details

Author:Clare Turlay Newberry
Illustrator:Clare Turlay Newberry
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:January 8, 2008
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6
Award:Caldecott Medal and Honors

This review of Marshmallow was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 9 year old Written byTora Gwen May 11, 2010

Adorable, definitely a keeper!

Addison loves this! I bought her this several years ago, and she usually insists I read this to her at bedtime at least once or twice a month. It's a very sweet story about how a kitty learns to live with a rabbit. It certainly helped Addison through a little selfish stage she got into at about five years old. Soon after I bought it and read it to her, she got over her little selfish stage, and I think that the book had something to do with it. I love that this book. It's a little on the long side, but I'm willing to take a little extra time for a great book. Overall, it's an amazingly illustrated and very nicely written children's book.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written bypeony April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

authentic cat and bunny behaviors light up lovely illustrations and story

Super sweet but not saccharine due to how grounded the story and illustrations are in believable, true-to-life cat and bunny behaviors -- feels like the author could have drawn it straight from real life. Enough tension to keep interest up (just how will Oliver the cat's predatory impulses play out when he finally gets to encounter trusting bunny Marshmallow unsupervised?), but not too intense for even very young listeners.


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