Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series)

Marshmallow loved all ten of the Ivy + Bean books written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophia Blackhall when she first read them. She even reviewed one of her favorites for the Book Bunnies blog: you can check out her review of Book 9: Ivy and Bean Make the Rules. So when she heard last year that there would be an eleventh book, she just could not wait to get her paws on a copy. Today she reviews this eleventh book in the series: One Big Happy Family.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series).
Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series).

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you enjoyed Annie Barrow and Sophia Blackhall’s Ivy and Bean series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Ivy is worried that she is becoming spoiled. Her classmate Vanessa says that only children are usually spoiled and she implies that Ivy is spoiled. Ivy starts to believe that she is spoiled so she and her best friend, Bean, search for a way for her to become unspoiled.

Ivy first tries giving away a lot of clothes at school, but then she gets in trouble and has to take them back. Then Ivy and Bean try to find a different way to “unspoil” Ivy. They realize that if it is only children that are supposed to be spoiled, then if Ivy is no longer an only child then she won’t be spoiled. Therefore, they ask Ivy’s mom to have a child, and when she says no, they try to find a different way to get a sibling for Ivy. For example they try asking the gods for help and bringing one of Ivy’s dolls to life. None of these ways works. They even tie their hands together thinking that their skin will grow together and make them conjoined twins. But then they will have to decide whose house to stay at. Ivy wants to rotate, but Bean wants to stay at her house. After some time being “conjoined twins” they decide that it is a bad idea.

Ivy continues to look for a way to be “unspoiled”. Read the book to find out!

Marshmallow is pointing to the page in Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) where Bean is interrupting her sister Nancy's yoga session.
Marshmallow is pointing to the page in Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) where Bean is interrupting her sister Nancy’s yoga session.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a really funny book, a great followup to all the other Ivy + Bean books that have entertained many young readers.

These books all have many characters that are relatable and funny. Ivy and Bean are funny to read about because they always have funny ideas, like when they think that they can become conjoined twins by tying their arms together, their whole theory being that when their skin grew it would grow together and they would be joined forever. Another weird idea of theirs is that by eating “brainfood” (strange combinations of foods), they will think unusual thoughts, helping them brainstorm ideas of how to “unspoil” Ivy.

This is a very good book for children of ages 5 and up. It is funny and the problems the kids are worried about are very funny and young bunnies can even see themselves in similar situations.

This is one of the few books in a series that I have reviewed that you could read without reading the earlier books. Still I think reading all the Ivy and Bean books would be good because they are all really fun!

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) 100%.

Caramel reviews Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne

A while ago Caramel reviewed a fact checker book from Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series: Knights and Castles. Today he shares his thoughts on the fifth book of the main series: Night of the Ninjas. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel reviews Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne.

Sprinkles: So tell us a bit about this book Caramel.

Caramel: It’s a book about ninjas. You probably already know that from the title.

S: That’s true. But how do the ninjas come into the story? Why don’t you start by telling us about the main idea of the magic tree house books?

C: They are about two siblings, Jack and Annie. They find a tree house in the woods near their home. They then find out that the tree house is magical.

S: How so?

C: There are many books in the tree house and when the kids look into one and wish they were in the place the book is talking about, they go there.

S: That is a neat idea! So the magic tree house takes them anywhere.

C: And any time too! So it is like the TARDIS of Doctor Who, a time machine and space travel machine. Except I don’t know if it goes into space. Oh wait, there is the eighth book, which is Midnight on the Moon, so they do go into space too.

S: That sounds exciting. And in this fifth book you wanted to talk about, they go to …

C: The time of the ninjas. And the samurai.

S: So that is in Japan, a few centuries ago probably, right?

C: Right. In an earlier book they even went to the time of the dinosaurs.

S: That’s cool! So in the time of the ninjas and the samurai, Jack and Annie have an adventure?

C: Yep. They are trying to help their friend Morgan Le Fay.

S: And you learn something about ninjas in this book too, right?

C: Yes, I learned the three ways of the ninja: Use nature. Be nature. Follow nature.

S: Hmm, those sound kind of cryptic. But the kids make good use of these three rules in the book, right?

C: Right.

S: There are some samurai in this book, besides the ninjas, right? You have read and reviewed a book about samurai before. How do the samurai in this book differ from the ones in your earlier reading?

C: Yes, in that book I learned that samurai are honorable warriors. But in this book, the samurai are the enemies of the ninja, who are helping Jack and Annie. So here, samurai are scarier. There is even a picture of a samurai on one of the first pages and he looks scary.

Caramel is looking at the page in Mary Pope Osborne's Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) with the scary ninja picture.
Caramel is looking at the page in Mary Pope Osborne’s Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) with the scary ninja picture.

S: Yes, I guess there are different ways to think about many historical events and groups of people. So did you enjoy reading about Jack and Annie’s adventures in old Japan?

C: Yes.

S: And we should probably continue reading the next few Magic Tree House books, right? I know Marshmallow really enjoyed reading them all.

C: Yes. I am going to read book 6 next: Afternoon on the Amazon.

S: Hmm, that sounds intriguing. But for now, we can stop here. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne, and would recommend it to all other young bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne, and would recommend it to all other young bunnies.

Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson

Marshmallow has been raiding the book bunnies home library because she is at home all day every day these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today she reviews an old favorite of Sprinkles that she discovered recently among the grownup comic books: The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.
Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like comic books, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Calvin is a six-year-old child who has many adventures with his stuffed tiger Hobbes. Unfortunately, he does not enjoy school and he daydreams about how he is Spaceman Spiff who has been captured by evil aliens who represent his teacher, Mrs. Wormwood. He escapes from school and pretends that it is a matter of life and death. He likes playing these games and has all sorts of adventures.

In Calvin’s mind, Hobbes is alive and his best friend. They are inseparable and are together every moment that they can be.

He pretends that whenever he comes home, Hobbes jumps on him and attacks him. He pretends that he and Hobbes have all sorts of disagreements. He even fights his stuffed tiger. He and Hobbes make many gruesome snowmen when it snows. Some of them are being hung, and some are being buried alive.

Calvin is very entertaining, but he is also very rude and obnoxious. He is a very strange human child (bunnies are never this disagreeable). He is definitely not a good role model. He skips school and is unable to wash himself. He pretends that an evil alien is trying to force him to give it information.

Marshmallow is reading The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book but it is also an older book, and its age shows a bit. It is a little inappropriate for younger children and I do not suggest reading it to a child younger than 9. He says some rude things that are not very nice to some groups of people. It is probably best for ages 9 and up.

Calvin and Hobbes is known as “the last great newspaper comic”, according to Wikipedia. Bill Watterson has created in Calvin a great character that has entertained readers for many years.

The comics are very interesting and thought provoking. When Calvin is asked by Hobbes if he has any New Year resolutions, his response is “No way! I’m already a great person!”

Calvin is also a very strange child. He has a vivid imagination that can be unsettling. He enjoys pretending that he is an all-powerful being that destroys worlds. He builds very complex cities. Then he destroys them. And his parents think that he is being very creative. When he listens to a song about Santa Claus that goes like “He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake… He knows when you’ve bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!” Calvin stops listening and he says, “Santa Claus: kindly old elf, or CIA spook?” (You can see this comic from 1987 here.)

Marshmallow’s Rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson 90%.
Marshmallow rates The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson 90%.

Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Today Caramel decided to review an old favorite of the book bunnies household: Harold and the Purple Crayon, written in 1955 by Crockett Johnson.

Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about Harold and his purple crayon?

Caramel: It’s a very cute little story.

S: What is the story about?

C: It’s about this little baby, who is four years old. He goes out for a walk in the moonlight.

S: Did you go for walks in the moonlight when you were four?

C: No.

S: So how is Harold able to go out and walk in the moonlight?

C: Maybe he doesn’t listen to directions.

S: Hmm. If that were the main explanation for the story, I’m not sure all parents would love to read it to their little ones. Can there be another explanation?

C: Maybe he just likes walking. And as he walks, he creates things.

S: So can you think of a time when you could create things as you wished?

C: Yesterday, when I was doodling. I have been doing the Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! And I was also wearing my blue bodysuit, just like Harold.

S: So do you think Harold is really going out for a walk? Is he really ever leaving his bedroom?

C: Hmm, when you say it that way. Probably not. Maybe he is imagining that he is creating things with his purple crayon.

S: Yeah, kind of like how you create things when you doodle! And so what kinds of things does Harold create or find on his way?

C: He decides to have a forest but then he doesn’t want to get lost so his forest has only one tree. He makes it into an apple tree. Or it turns out, as the book says.

Caramel is reading two of his favorite pages in Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon where Harold decides the tree he drew is an apple tree.

S: This is indeed a very sweet story. Did you know that a short film of this story was made too?

C: No. But we did just find it on Youtube:

A cartoon retelling of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon.

S: Yes, this was slightly different from the book, though, right?

C: Yeah, the porcupine shows up in the film much earlier than the moose. But in the book they show up on the same page, right after Harold is done with his picnic. His part of the picnic. He doesn’t finish everything, there is a lot of pie left.

S: Hmm. In the picnic Harold has nine types of pies, all his favorites. What are your favorite pies Caramel?

C: Cherry! I like cherry pie most. I also like lemon cake.

S: Ok, then what happens in the end? Does he finally go to sleep?

C: Yep. And so it is also time to wrap up our review. So stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel still enjoys reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and recommends it to all little bunnies and their grownups.
Caramel still enjoys reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and recommends it to all little bunnies and their grownups.