Friday, May 13, 2022

Museum of Me: May 2022

Hello and welcome to the May installation at the Museum of Me. The staff has been working hard on a new exhibit. This has involved some thinking, dusting, and checking through all the books in my collection. If you'll please follow the docent, she'll show you around this month's exhibit. This is a display near and dear to my heart - my favorite book as a child. 

That is a category that's too big for me to narrow down, so let's say it was my favorite book as a child, ages five to seven. It's Marshmallow written and illustrated by Clare Turlay Newberry. It was originally published in 1942 and the one I think my sister and I read every night might have been my mother's copy. I looked through all of the children's books that I have not been able to get rid of, but sadly, I don't have our copy. Some things exist quite comfortably in our memories

Oliver is a tabby cat who is the center of attention in his home. Marshmallow is a baby bunny who moves into Oliver's home. At first, Oliver doesn't welcome Marshmallow at all, but the bunny's charms are just too hard to resist, and (spoiler alert) they eventually become friends.

This was really the perfect book for my sister and me. She loved cats and I was partial to rabbits. Both of us loved the illustrations in the book. 

The book tells the story of how Oliver and Marshmallow become friends, along with some poetry interspersed among the pages. 

A Poem In Praise of Rabbits

A bunny is a quiet pet,
A bunny is the best thing yet,
A bunny never makes a sound,
A bunny’s nice to have around.

Puppies whimper, bark and growl;
Kittens mew and tomcats yowl;
Birdies twitter, chirp and tweet;
Moo-cows moo, and lampkins bleat;

Some creatures bellow, others bray;
Some hoot, or honk, or yap, or neigh;
Most creatures make annoying noises,
Even little girls and boyses.

A bunny, though, is never heard,
He simply never says a word.
A bunny’s a delightful habit,
No home’s complete without a rabbit.

I don't think I memorized poems when I was five years old, but I do remember telling my parents, "A bunny’s a delightful habit, No home’s complete without a rabbit" when lobbying for a rabbit. We already had an indoor cat and my sister and I explained how our cat Bitsy would be best friends with a rabbit, just like in the book. We did eventually get a bunny rabbit, but he lived outside in a hutch. He was named Marshmallow of course!

I'm not sure if this is the kind of book that would appeal to children today, but it was one of my favorites. I'm amazed that I managed to put together this Museum of Me post without buying a copy. It's still in print today, but I really like the older versions best, and they are pricey. 

Thank you for visiting the Museum of Me for one of my favorite books from childhood. The Museum of Me exhibits will be changed monthly on the second Friday of the month, so please stop by again in June for the next carefully curated installation. (The gift shop is on the right on your way out!)

I'd love to hear about your favorite childhood book in the comments, so please feel free to let me know about one or two (or more) titles!


  1. Fun post and a new-to-me book!! My favorite books as a child were the Thornton Burgess (author) animal stories. Mostly woodland creatures with plenty of adventures. There was Sammy Jay, Chatterer the Squirrel, Billy Mink, Bobby Coon and, of course, Old Mother West Wind. I started out having these books read to me, but when I started reading on my own, I would read these over and over and over again. I still have some of them and Colin enjoyed having them read to him when he was a toddler.

  2. What a charming book! And perfect for a bunny-lover trying to convince her parents of the many virtues of having a bunny-pet. My favorite picture book as a child was Make Way for Ducklings. I just adored the illustrations -- and the duckling-name recitations. (I still think Jack-Kack-Lack-Mack-Nack-Ouack-Pack-and-Quack whenever I see a duck family . . . or even a goose family!) Thanks so much for this most excellent exhibit. XO

  3. This is adorable! I've never heard of the book, but I'm sure I would have loved it as a child (because how can you not like a book with a bunny butt?). I don't remember what my favorite book was as a child, likely because I had many. We read Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (a gorgeously illustrated picture book of the Robert Frost poem), and many others.

  4. I don't know this book either! But I think my Heidi would have loved it... she lobbied for and got a bunny! I loved Blueberries for Sal, Caps for Sale, and Ferdinand as a child! (Ferdinand was my favorite, but Caps for Sale was a very close second!)

  5. What a sweet and perfect children's book. I have a hard time distinguishing between my childhood favorites, the ones I read to Hannah (Good Night Moon every night for YEARS) and the ones I see at work. I love being surrounded by children's literature.

  6. I don't remember having a lot of children's books read to me when I was a child, but I do remember books that I read myself when I learned to read. I had a subscription to a children's book club, and my favorite series was the Bobbsey Twins, and my favorite book in the series was The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore. I had not thought about that in a long time, Bonny. Thanks for bring that memory to mind. Reading has always been my favorite hobby, and often a refuge.

  7. I've never heard of Marshmallow, but it looks like such a charming book. As a child I loved so many books. When I was very young I had a stack of favorite Little Golden Books, Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, A Child's Garden of Verses, and Uncle Wiggley stories. My mother told me that I had most of these memorized by the time I was two and would happily "read" them aloud to myself!

    1. I also loved Little Golden Books! I think we read Poky Little Puppy and Saggy Baggy Elephant until they fell apart, and the LGB version of The Night Before Christmas is still my favorite one.

  8. I don’t know Marshmallow either but I know I would have loved that book. We too had a couple of outside bunnies. I enjoyed your exhibit immensely but no rabbit’s feet in the gift shop? ;-)

    1. We did consider rabbit's feet for the gift shop, but decided that adorable stuffed bunnies (and friendly cats, too) would be much better!

  9. I've never heard of that book! I don't think I had a favorite book growing up that I can recall....

  10. (apologies if I've already left a comment - I thought I pressed publish, but I don't see it!) ... in any event - the story is sweet and the illustrations are beautiful - I can see why it was your favorite. Also impressed you had a pet rabbit - even if he/she had to live outside and likely never even met the cat!

  11. I loved that Marshmallow too. I checked it out from the Carnegie Library in my small town - many times. Little Women is the book that stands out in my memory. My grandmother read my mother's copy to my sister and I. She loved the novel. We sat on either side of her on the couch. I'm sure listening to her read a novel she loved is what makes the book stand out in my memory.

  12. Your Marshmellow is just so sweet! It isn't one I remember at all. Our home was full of library books but few books were purchased. I honestly can't remember even one that survived all the kids in our house. Thank goodness for that library!


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