The Marshmallow Incident by Judi Barrett

The Marshmallow Incident (2009), written & illustrated by husband and wife team Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett, was a cute little book. It wasn’t hilarious. It was more of a thought provoking book. It’s an underlying theme of prejudice and silly feuds (a la The Hatfields & The McCoys). Star Trek's BlackWhitesneetchesThis book kinda’ reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s  The Sneetches & that Star Trek (original) episode where the black/white  and white/black people were feuding. In Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches, the sneetches are feuding because some of them have stars on their bellies, while some do not. On the Star Trek episode, Enterprise finds itself in the middle of a civil war. Captain Kirk inquires as to what the two peoples are fighting about. To which he responds,”Why, can’t you see, Captain? I’m black on the left side and he’s black on the right side.


Silly, right? Well, that’s like this book (and life). Only this time, it’s as simple as being left-handed and being right-handed. The Town of Left and the Town of Right are separated by a dotted yellow line, and no one on either side can remember how things got to be this way! Everyone in the Town of Right thinks that everything Right is the best. While everyone in the Town of Left think that everything Left is the best.

“How, oh, how did things get this way,” someone wonders. But, no one can answer that, so they go on with life as usual. Only separated by a big, yellow dotted line. They live side-by-side, yet totally separate. That is, until one day, an unlucky citizen crosses the line–and so begins the Marshmallow Incident, a tale of Left and Right, and Right and Wrong. (This is where the marshmallows come into play).

Okay, those marshmallows. What about those marshmallows? 50,000 cases of marshmallows! Where did they come from? Someone won them awhile back. Imagine that? What are they going to do with all those marshmallows? What do the marshmallows have to do with the feud and the yellow dotted line? Well,  I guess you’re just going to have to read it and find out for yourself.

I’ve also reviewed one of Barrett’s other books, Things That are Most in the World. BTW, she is also the author of the book (and upcoming movie) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I read it a long time ago, but never thought to review it. I guess that’ll be my next review. Check it out!


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