Naomi Hunter (text), Sunshine (illus.), Marshmallow Dreamers, Empowering Resources, 1 Dec 2017, 36pp., $17.00 (pbk), ISBN: 9781925592122
Marshmallow Dreamers is a story about Marli and Max, identical twins, who by day enjoyed imaginary adventures on their make-believe unicorns. But by night they were plagued by scary dreams – “Dreams that made them quiver and shake all night.” Finally, they hatch a plan to harness the power of their unicorns and with a supply of marshmallows they conquer the scary monster of their bad dreams.
The text is rich in descriptive metaphors and imagery e.g. “Swirling and swerving to miss the fiery lines…..” or “ …. the blobbed out night terror spun itself in dizzied circles …..”
Each page is filled with colourful images that exude energy. Marli and Max are shown in various active poses with animated facial expressions and the pages are filled with the objects of their imagination. Light and bright colours create a light-hearted tone to portray their happy times, whilst a dark blue background and a vivid red monster evoke the fears of their bad dreams.
On one level the book is a story about creative and imaginative play. On another level it is about coping with fear. As such, it would be a useful parable for pre-schoolers about the power of imagination to overcome fear in general, or fear of bad dreams, specifically.
Pre-schoolers, and adults who read to them, will enjoy this lively, unusual and quite suspenseful story, with its bright and energetic illustrations.
Reviewed by Barbara Swartz