About the Holiday
Can you celebrate a whole day of Something on a Stick? Of course! From French Toast on a stick for breakfast to fruit, veggie, and meat skewers, for lunch and dinner to popsicles for dessert, there are so many ways to enjoy meals on a stick. While we don’t know when this particular holiday was established, cooking and eating food from a stick has been around for a long, long time. In Germany, a stick with a burnt tip, indicating its use in cooking meat over a fire, was discovered in an archeological site dating from 300,000 years ago, the Lower Paleolithic era. And if you think I forgot a favorite ooey-gooey sweet treat that’s roasted on a stick, I didn’t—that’s what today’s book is all about!
Make More S’mores
Written by Cathy Ballou Mealey | Illustrated by Ariel Landy
Over a crackling campfire, Roscoe toasts a marshmallow on a nice, sharp stick. When that “fluffy puff” is perfectly soft and gooey, Roscoe grabs two graham crackers from the stack, adds a “creamy chocolate square,” and slides on the marshmallow. He’s just about to take a bite when… “‘Is that for me?’ asks Grizzly Bear.” With a smile, Roscoe shrugs and wishes Grizzly “‘Bon appétit!'”
Grizzly gobbles it down and is ready for more. Roscoe is happy to oblige and takes two more marshmallows out of the bag, two squares of chocolate and four graham crackers. But who is clambering down the branch of the tree overhead? Two bear cubs—two hungry bear cubs who sweetly ask, “‘Those smell yummy!’ ‘Will you share?’ / Roscoe looks at Grizzly Bear.” Now it’s Grizzly’s turn to shrug obligingly; he can wait. He and Roscoe give up their s’mores to the two cubs, and Roscoe gets to work to make four more.
But Roscoe gets distracted and before you know it the stick bent, the stick broke, and the marshmallows all went poof! in the fire. The cubs climbed up the tree to find a better, stronger stick, and while doing so who else do they find but Mama! She likes the look of this party so much she asks to join in—and even offers to help. “Grizzly groans, ‘Another guest?’ / But Roscoe does not seem distressed.” With extra paws, the roasting and toasting, stacking and smooshing go quickly, and soon there’s a plate piled high with s’mores for everyone. Full and happy, Roscoe tucks himself into his hollow stump as Grizzly Bear and Mama Bear and her cubs head home, but not before leaving their host a sweet “Thank You” note.
A triple-decker s’more invites kids in to Cathy Ballou Mealey’s sweet and adorable friendship story. The story’s warm-hearted central theme of sharing makes its appearance in the very first pages as a roaring fire glows and the marshmallow on Roscoe’s stick turns soft and golden. When Grizzly Bear shows up and asks if he can have the s’more Roscoe’s just made, Roscoe doesn’t hesitate or prevaricate, but hands the plate to Grizzly with a smile. From here, Roscoe’s planned night alone turns into a party with new friends as another bear family appears. All of the characters model the kind of manners that make a get together successful and build friendships. Both Roscoe and Grizzly are welcoming, generous, patient, and polite (even if Grizzly does grumble a bit), and the cubs and their mother offer to help out as the group grows larger and more work needs to be done. They even leave a thank you note for a sleeping Roscoe.
Throughout her story, Mealey’s smooth-flowing rhymes weave the joyful atmosphere of the party together with the excitement, sounds, smells, and taste of s’mores, creating a fast-paced romp full of dynamic phrasing that kids will want to hear again and again and that adult will love as a read aloud.
Ariel Landy’s large, engaging illustrations put readers right in Roscoe’s campsite along with the rest of the guests and are loaded with charm as characters greet each other with kindness and hospitality. She brings out all the humor and fun of making s’mores as the graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate flies into the air when Grizzly plunks himself down on the log where they were neatly stacked; the marshmallows fall into the fire; and a plateful of the ooey-gooey treats are finally ready for all to enjoy. The bears’ and Roscoe’s facial expressions will make readers smile, and a visual subplot involving three curious squirrels that plays out in the background is delightfully resolved under the clear moon-and-star-lit sky.
If you’re looking for a book that’s fun for bedtime reading, summer vacations, classroom reading time, library story times, or anytime your kids get the taste for a heartwarming story, then Make More S’mores is a must addition to your home, school, and public library collection.
Ages 5 – 8
Sleeping Bear Press, 2023 | ISBN 978-1534111769
About the Author
Cathy writes picture books filled with heart and humor for readers of all ages, inlcuding Make More S’mores, Sloth & Squirrel in a Pickle (Kids Can Press, 2021), and When a Tree Grows (Union Square/Sterling Books, 2019). A former college instructor and administrator, Cathy holds a B.A. in Psychobiology and Classical Studies from Wellesley College and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She blogs about bookish things on her website.
About the Illustrator
As soon as Ariel Landy learned how to draw a sky beyond a blue scribbled line, she knew she wanted to be an illustrator. Ariel aims to create illustrations that are imaginative, whimsical, and original. She lives in New York City. You can connect with Ariel on Instagram and Twitter.
Something on a Stick Day Activities
Make More S’mores Activity Kit
How do you like your s’mores? You can build your own perfect s’more with these two drawing and coloring pages from Sleeping Bear Press.
Make More S’mores Activity Kit
Roaring Campfire Craft
Kids and their friends and family can enjoy the cozy fun of a campfire in their own family room with this craft that’s easy to make from recycled materials. While the supplies might make the campfire artificial, kids will love it if the marshmallows are the real thing!
- Three or four paper or cardboard tubes
- Cylindrical bread crumbs or oatmeal container (or tall can without sharp edges)
- Tissue paper in red, orange, and yellow
- Brown craft paint
- Brown marker
- Brown crayon (optional)
- Brown construction paper or white paper colored brown
- Strong glue or hot glue gun
- Chopstick, stick, pencil or other such item (one for each person)
To Make the Logs
- Cover the ends of the tubes with circles of brown construction paper or white paper and glue into place
- Paint the tubes and the ends if needed, let dry (or cover the tubes with brown or white paper colored brown)
- Paint the sides of the cylindrical container with the brown paint, let dry (or cover the container with brown paper or white paper colored brown)
- With the marker draw tree rings on the ends of the tubes. Decorate the sides with wavy lines, adding a few knot holes and swirls.
To Make the Fire
- Cut 9 squares from the tissue paper (3 in each color, about 8 to 6-inch square)
- Layer the colors and gather them together at one tip. Fold over and hold them together with a rubber band.
To Assemble the Campfire
- Stack the tube logs
- Put the tissue paper fire in the middle of the logs
To “Roast” Marshmallows
- Stick marshmallows on chopsticks, sticks, or pencils for “roasting” and eating!
You can keep your logs and fire in the cylindrical log until the next time!
You can find Make More S’mores at these booksellers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million
To support your local independent bookstore, order from
Picture Book Review