by Clare Turlay Newberry
read February 2009
Marshmallow, what a perfect name for a fluffy white bunny. Oliver the cat has always lived indoors with his human Miss. Tilly. She brings him his food, and takes care of everything for him. In fact, he has never seen another living animal.
One day Miss. Tilly brings home a surprise. Oliver thinks his ‘surprise’ is something good to eat, but when Miss Tilly opens up her hands, he finds that she is holding a fluffy white thing she calls Marshmallow.
Oliver does not like Marshmallow. He isn’t sure what he thinks about this little rabbit. Part of him is afraid, and some small part wants to pounce on him.
One day Oliver escapes from his room while Miss Tilly is away and he and Marshmallow come face-to-face. Marshmallow sees Oliver as a mommy bunny in a new fur coat. Oliver isn’t sure what to do. Then Marshmallow has the audacity to kiss him on the nose. Marshmallow snuggles in close and Oliver gives him a bath the way a mother cat would lick her kitten.
Marshmallow becomes Oliver’s kitten and they become the best of friends.
This book was a Caldecott Honor in 1943. The illustrations appear to be charcoal…and are splendid. Simple, yet beautiful. My girls loved this book. How could they not? Fluffy white bunnies and grey tabby cats? When Oliver gives Marshmallow a bath that was too much for them. They were in hysterics.
To see more of Clare Turlay Newberry’s illustrations, check out this website dedicated to her work. Her cat sketches are awesome.