Caramel reviews Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton

Caramel loved reading and reviewing the quirky adventures of Narwhal and Jelly in Narwhal: The Unicorn of the Sea!Super Narwhal and Jelly JoltPeanut Butter and Jelly, and Narwhal’s Otter Friend. Here he shares his thoughts on the fifth and most recent book in Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly series: Happy Narwhalidays. Sprinkles is taking notes and occasionally asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton.
Caramel reviews Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton.

Sprinkles: I saw that you got your paws on another Narwhal and Jelly book Caramel!

Caramel: Yes! Its name is Happy Narwhalidays!

S: I guess it just came out right about in time for the holiday season. Do you think it would make a good book present for bunnies like you who love reading?

C: Yes. Especially if the bunny loves the other Narwhal and Jelly books.

S: They are fun to read, aren’t they? So what happens in this one?

C: They are fun to read, and I am rereading it again, right now.

Caramel is reading Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton. He is looking at the pages where Narwhal is imagining all the different gifts his friend Jelly could be giving him in the gift box.
Caramel is reading Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton. He is looking at the pages where Narwhal is imagining all the different gifts his friend Jelly could be giving him in the gift box.

S: Hmm, I see you are looking at the pages where Narwhal is dreaming up all the things Jelly could be gifting him.

C: Yes. The ideas he has are not really possible. He thinks that the gift might be a giant waffle or a big bouncy blow-up bubble castle! Or it could be a rocket ship to take him to the unicorn planet!

S: Narwhal sure has a big imagination!

C: He sure does!

S: So the book is about giving friends gifts then, right?

C: Yes, mostly.

S: I know these books always have a whole lot of facts about ocean life, and I know you love facts. So tell me the most interesting fact you learned reading this book.

C: Let me read it to you: “Tardigrades, commonly known as water bears, are water-dwelling micro-animals that can survive in temperatures as hot as 304F (151C) and as cold as absolute zero.”

S: That is one weird fact Caramel. Do you know what absolute zero is?

C: No. Is it like -100?

S: No, actually it is even colder than that. It is -273C, and it is -459F. Absolute zero is when it is so cold that nothing moves. Heat and temperature are about molecules moving about, and at absolute zero, nothing moves anymore. It is really fascinating that these water-bears can survive that temperature.

C: I didn’t know that.

S: I do like how these books bring up all sorts of interesting facts! Okay, so what else do you want to say about this book?

C: I love Jelly. He is the best character.

S: Why do you say that?

C: He is super funny.

S: I think Narwhal is also super funny.

C: Yes. He is a little goofier.

S: I know. Theyt are good friends though, right?

C: Yes.

S: So tell me three words that would describe this book Caramel.

C: Awesome, colorful, factful.

S: I am not sure factful is a word, but let us go with it. Shall we then wrap up this review so you can read the book one more time?

C: Okay! Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel loved reading Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton and reconnecting with old friends Narwhal and Jelly.
Caramel loved reading Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton and reconnecting with old friends Narwhal and Jelly.

Marshmallow reviews Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first five books from Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series: you can check out her review of the first book, Belly Uphere, while her review of the second book, Poached, is here. Her review of the third book Big Game is here, her review of the fourth book, Panda-monium, is available here, and her review of the fifth book in the series, Lion Down, is here. Today she shares with us her thoughts on the sixth and most recent book on the adventures of Teddy Fitzroy: Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.

Marshmallow reviews Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs's FunJungle series..
Marshmallow reviews Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs’s FunJungle series..

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like animals or if you have enjoyed some of Stuart Gibbs’s other books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy lives in FunJungle, a mix of a zoo and a theme park. He has just apprehended the Zebra Spanker when his friend, Sage Bonotto, asks him to investigate the disappearance of his tyrannosaurus rex. Apparently, while the skeleton of a T-rex was being excavated on his family’s ranch, someone stole her skull.

The case seems impossible. The skull of Minerva (which is what they named the T-rex) was five hundred pounds and the burglary happened in the middle of a really bad storm. The thieves should have left some trace but it seems like they haven’t. Even worse, the local police thinks that it’s a hoax. So Sage asks Teddy to investigate. (Teddy solved some other cases before.)

While Teddy is at the scene of the crime, the twin school bullies Tim and Jim Barksdale call him. Jim asks Teddy whether he can use the Heimlich maneuver on a snake that has eaten a cat.  It turns out that Tim and Jim illegally purchased an anaconda that ate their cat Griselda. As he investigates, Teddy finds that the twins bought it from Snakes Alive, a new zoo that is nearby and is trying to take business from FunJungle. (Their signs say stuff like “MORE FUN THAN FUNJUNGLE—AND A WHOLE LOT CHEAPER!”)

As Teddy learns more about the two cases, things get more and more complicated. You will just have to read the book to find out more!

Marshmallow is reading Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs's FunJungle series..
Marshmallow is reading Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs’s FunJungle series..

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a really good book for people who like to read about animals and mysteries. The characters are very well written. The plot involves a very interesting mystery. There are a lot of people that you could suspect, and the thief is someone I would not have suspected. Without all of the evidence, it would be impossible to solve the case.

At the end of the book, the author, Stuart Gibbs, has some notes about one of the main topics in the book: animal trafficking. This is something Gibbs does in all the FunJungle books, and helps the reader connect the book to real life.

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks is probably best for ages nine and up. This is because the plot is very intricate and it could be very confusing if the reader doesn’t catch all of the evidence. Also it could be scary for readers who do not like snakes. Another reason is because its “language is not very delicate” (as Roald Dahl wrote about Matilda‘s father). But all that aside, this is a very entertaining book. 

Marshmallow’s Review: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs's FunJungle series, 95%..
Marshmallow rates Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs’s FunJungle series, 95%..

Caramel reviews Ragweed by Avi

This week Caramel wanted to talk about Ragweed, a book by Avi. As usual Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Ragweed by Avi.
Caramel reviews Ragweed by Avi.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, this book seems to be a new favorite for you?

Caramel: Yes.

S: What is it about?

C: It’s about Ragweed, a mouse who leaves his home to explore the world.

S: That sounds interesting! And kind of like Ralph, in The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

C: Yes. But Ralph lived in a hotel and Ragweed lives next to a brook.

S: I see. So Ragweed decides to leave his home and travel. Where does he go?

C: He goes to Amperville, I believe. He gets on a train and gets off in a small town named Amperville. Amperville has a part called Mouse Town because that is where the mice live.

S: That sounds good. So Ragweed meets a lot of new mice in this town, right?

C: Yes. One of them is named Clutch.

S: Do you know what clutch means?

C: Nope.

S: Wikipedia tells us that it is a mechanical device connecting and disconnecting parts of a car engine. Did you notice that almost all the Amperville mice in the book had names that were related to cars?

C: Yes. And there is a mouse band called the B-Flat Tires. That’s also about cars.

S: Yes!

C: I think the reason is that they all live in cars.

S: And Ragweed on the other hand is a natural thing, it’s a type of plant, right? Not a car. So from their names you can tell …

C: where they are from! The mayor of Mouse Town is named Radiator for example. Cliutch’s mom is Foglight and her dad is Windshield. And then there is Blinker. I don’t think that is about cars.

S: But look, Wikipedia shows us there are also car blinkers! So even Blinker’s name is related to cars!

C: Yes, that’s interesting!

S: Did you know that Ragweed is part of a series of books but it is not the first book Avi wrote in that series?

C: Really?

S: Yes, apparently Avi, the author, first wrote a book named Poppy, about a mouse named Poppy. And then he wrote Ragweed as a prequel. Do you know what’s a prequel?

C: A book that comes before another?

S: Right. So there is apparently a Ragweed in Poppy, and the author wanted to tell his backstory. So I guess you should eventually read that Poppy book as well.

C: I might read it next then.

S: That sounds good to me.

Caramel is reading Ragweed by Avi and looking at the illustrations by Brian Floca.
Caramel is reading Ragweed by Avi and looking at the illustrations by Brian Floca.

S: What else do you want to tell our readers about this book?

C: Can I rate it then?

S: Yes, give me three words that describe the book.

C: Adventure, danger, cliffhangers.

S: What do you mean by cliffhangers?

C: Well, it ends in a cliffhanger. Sort of.

S: I guess you will just have to read Poppy then.

C: Exactly.

S: Then let us wrap this up so you can get started. What are your last words for this review Caramel?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Ragweed, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.
Caramel enjoyed reading Ragweed, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.

Marshmallow reviews Matilda by Roald Dahl

A while back, as her second review, Marshmallow reviewed BFG by Roald Dahl. Today she wanted to write about the very first Dahl book she had read: Matilda. For this review she went back and reread it a couple times. Below is her review; enjoy!

Marshmallow reviews Matilda by Roald Dahl.
Marshmallow reviews Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked some of Roald Dahl’s other books or if you like books about young people with supernatural powers, then this might the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Matilda Wormwood is an extremely amazing child with extremely dumb parents. She began to speak perfectly at age one and a half. She taught herself to read at age three, but her parents told her that she should stop talking because “small girls should be seen and not heard.” When her parents left home in the afternoon, she would walk to the library and read. Then she started school.

Matilda has a great teacher and she knows everything already, so school should have been easy for her, except that the principal, Miss Trunchbull, is a nightmare. Miss Trunchbull used to throw hammers in the Olympics and now throws little children instead to keep her right arm in practice. For example, there was a boy who was eating candy in class and Miss Trunchbull tossed him out of the window. After she threw him, she said that she had done a good job even though she hadn’t been practicing. (You’re probably wondering why the children wouldn’t just go home and tell their parents, but Miss Trunchbull makes sure that the stuff that she does is so ridiculous that no one would believe the children.)

Then one day, Miss Trunchbull comes into Matilda’s class in order to test them on what they have learned. But someone put a newt into Miss Trunchbull’s jug of water. Miss Trunchbull blames Matilda for the incident which makes Matilda mad. Matilda sits down but then something happens: she is able to magically push the glass that has the newt inside over on to Miss Trunchbull. Apparently Matilda somehow has the ability of telekinesis!

A lot more funny and strange things happen in the rest of the book. You will just have to read to find out how Matilda finally gets back on all the difficult and annoying people in her life.

Marshmallow is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl and enjoying the funny illustrations by Quentin Blake.
Marshmallow is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl and enjoying the funny illustrations by Quentin Blake.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book for people who like to read about fantastic things. Matilda is now a classic and has been enjoyed by many people. Roald Dahl entertains the reader well and the plot comes together nicely. The way Matilda gets rid of Miss Trunchbull is a way that most people wouldn’t think of, a way only Matilda would. And I wouldn’t have suspected what happened at the end.

Dahl also makes the characters hated by the reader or pitied by the reader. Matilda’s parents Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood are really annoying and Miss. Trunchbull is really mean. My favorite character is Matilda because she is smart and takes matters into her own hands when they get to be too much. I also like her because we read the story from her perspective so it is easy to be on her side.

I think this book is good for all ages. I think that most readers will like it. 

Matilda is also very funny. My two favorite chapters are The Ghost and The Platinum-Blond Man. The things Matilda does to the mean adults around her are not things that people should do though it is really fun to read.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%   

Marshmallow rates Matilda by Roald Dahl 95%.
Marshmallow rates Matilda by Roald Dahl 95%.