Hello, and welcome back to Colleen’s Cozy (and this time air-conditioned) Book Corner. During these long, hot days of summer, settling down with a book is a great idea, so grab a pool float or lawn chair and chill out with me for this month’s book report! I’m very excited to introduce you to Marshmallow the Pony, a PVB character who makes my heart positively gallop with joy.
This waggish and curious equine could charm the stripes off a barn cat! How lovable Marshmallow is! And even though he looks like a big ole stuffed animal, he does all the things any real horse would do: opens the gate-latch and runs off, rolls around in the mud right before a show, and poops in his stall (which then attracts buzzy flies). Marshmallow’s freckled companion, Jordan, plays a starring role in most of the Marshmallow books. Jordan and Marshmallow do almost everything together. In The Barrel Race, we see them competing as a team at the rodeo, and as in any good rodeo, the racing provides lots of action for the crowd. All the cowgirls and ponies make quite the colorful spectacle! In The New Girl, Marshmallow and Jordan help an anxious classmate begin to soften and settle in. Marshmallow has a knack for making everyone feel good … even if he does get into a little trouble sometimes.
PVB founder Michèle Dufresne wrote all the Marshmallow books, and Ann Caranci, our senior designer, illustrated them. Ann’s art has created the perfect vibe for the stories. I love the saturated bright colors and the repeating denim motif, the farm vistas, the expressions of the characters, and all the horsey details that are so darling—Marshmallow’s pillowy legs and broom tail, his sprightly movements despite his chunky body.
If you ever meet Ann and ask her what her inspiration was for these illustrations, she will tell you with a smile that she loved the story Misty of Chincoteague when she was young and that she gave Jordan red hair because horse stories always seem to have a red-haired girl in them. Marshmallow himself reminded her a lot of her three boys: super cute and devilish. And if you are wondering how Marshmallow came to be named Marshmallow and not Misty … or Wildfire or Buttercup, that’s because our marketing manager Heather Rush wanted to name him after the large and docile school horse who taught her how to canter, whose name was, you guessed it: Marshmallow! Does this mean we have a biography on our hands? Not quite! But it does mean these books have been created with lots of affection and care.
Here's a final treat: Marshmallow is one of our characters who has his very own adorable plush toy. He was just too cute to not make one, so if you want the books to read and a plush to hug, you got it.
There are ten Marshmallow books. One set includes Levels A–E, and another set includes chapter books Levels G–K.