Marshmallow reviews Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz

Today Marshmallow is reviewing Of A Feather, a 2021 novel by Dayna Lorentz.

Marshmallow reviews Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz.
Marshmallow reviews Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about birds or family, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Reenie has been sent to live with her great-aunt, Beatrice, because her mother is unable to take care of her. Reenie can always pretend to smile, but right now she doesn’t have much to be smiling about. A social worker, named Randi, with an “i”, as Reenie describes them, is driving Reenie to this “alleged aunt”. A little after arriving, Reenie learns that her aunt is a falconer, that is, she is skilled in falconry.

Meanwhile, in the nearby forest, a young great horned owl is attempting to fly. His older sister, First, can fly and First rubs it in his face every chance she gets. Our owl, called Second, is struggling. Second can’t hunt well, either. He feels like a disappointment, and when a car hits his mother, things get even worse.

Reenie is now going to school in this new area. She wants to avoid making friends at her new school. She believes that friends are dangerous. Also, Reenie wants to believe that she will not stay with Beatrice permanently. However, she does want Beatrice to teach her how to become a falconer. So Beatrice agrees to help her. They decide to catch a “passage” bird. Instead, they catch Second. Reenie names him Rufus. But Rufus is a great horned owl, and the law in that state doesn’t allow you to train an owl. Since Rufus is injured however, they are allowed to keep him until he gets better. But they do start training him. Will they get caught?

Marshmallow is reading Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz.
Marshmallow is reading Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz.

Marshmallow’s Review: I really enjoyed reading this book even though it is often about birds catching small animals, like rabbits. Caramel is also wary of owls because of the bad owl Mr. Ocax in Poppy (though he did not mention him in his review). But here we see from the owl’s perspective and this owl is a quite likable character.

I think that the author did a great job of creating realistic characters, like Reenie. I like making friends at school but could totally get why she did not want to make friends at her new school; I could sense her loneliness and fear. All characters in Of A Feather are unique but really realistic. I think my favorite character is Rufus, because in his chapters (the book switches from Reenie’s perspective to Rufus’s and then back), he always refers to Reenie as “Brown Frizz” because he finds it strange that she only has hair on one side of her head.

I liked that the author wrote the book, partly, from the perspective of an owl. It was interesting to see what the other side of the story was like, not that the stories disagreed with each other.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading Of A Feather

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz 95%.
Marshmallow rates Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz 95%.

Caramel reviews How to Be A Pirate (Book #2 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell

Last week Caramel reviewed How To Train Your Dragon, the book that started a whole franchise, written by Cressida Cowell. Today he is talking about the second book in the series: How to Be A Pirate. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews How to Be A Pirate (Book #2 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel reviews How to Be A Pirate (Book #2 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us about this book.

Caramel: This book is the second book of the How To Train Your Dragon series. And I think you should read this book too!

S: Tell me more.

C: In this book, we learn about a new dragon called a Skullion. They live on the Isle of the Skullions. The Vikings have to go to that island to find the treasure of Grimbeard the Ghastly. But there is a decoy instead of the real treasure.

S: Oh, don’t give away too many clues!

C: And Snotlout finds the decoy, but he still brags about it. He thinks he found the real treasure. And everyone believes him. Until Hiccup finds the real treasure.

S: Oh that sounds exciting!

C: Then there is a new character named Alvin. He is supposed to be an honest farmer but he turns out to be not so honest. But I won’t tell anymore. You must read it yourself.

S: Okay, I agree that you already told us a lot. So let us stop here with the plot.

S: Tell us now about the drawings in the book.

C: There are pictures on almost every other page.

S: Who is the illustrator?

C: Cressida Cowell both wrote and illustrated the book.

S: That is really interesting! Tell me about one of your favorite illustrations in the book then Caramel.

C: There is a drawing of the Skullions and there is all the statistics about them there too. That is where you learn that the Skullion is about ten feet tall, and it cannot fly or see or hear, but it has a very good sense of smell, and is extremely dangerous.

S: Hmm, that sounds worrisome. And Hiccup and the others still have to go to the Isle of Skullions, right?

C: Yes.

S: But the pictures are pretty good, right? There are all sorts of illustrations …

C: Yes, there is one with Toothless doing his poo in Alvin’s helmet.

S: That is pretty naughty!

C: It is! And then there is another one with Toothless trying to look innocent but kind of failing and it says “Does this look like the sort of dragon who would poo in a helmet?” Of course he does!

Caramel is pointing to the illustration of Toothless with the words "Does this look like the sort of dragon who would poo in a helmet?" around him in How to Be A Pirate (Book #2 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel is pointing to the illustration of Toothless with the words “Does this look like the sort of dragon who would poo in a helmet?” around him in How to Be A Pirate (Book #2 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.

S: Okay, I can see why you like the humor in this book.

C: Yes! The book is really funny!

S: Okay, so I am guessing “funny” would be one of your words for the book. Give me two more to describe the book then.

C: Intriguing, because there is a dragon on the cover of the book but I could not learn who that is. And it is amazing, because I had a lot of fun reading it!

S: Okay, I guess those will do. So what do you want to tell our readers as we wrap this up?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading How to Be A Pirate (Book #2 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell, and recommends it to all bunnies!
Caramel loved reading How to Be A Pirate (Book #2 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell, and recommends it to all bunnies!

Marshmallow reviews Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

Today Marshmallow reviews Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park. Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Marshmallow reviews Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park.
Marshmallow reviews Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park.

Sprinkles: So Marshmallow, tell us about this book. What is it about?

Marshmallow: Well, this book is about a girl named Hanna who dreams of becoming a dressmaker. But the thing is that she is part Chinese: her father is white and her mother was Chinese-Korean, and she is living in a very white place in the Dakota territory.

S: It sounds like something happened to her mother.

M: Yes, sadly Hanna’s mother died when she was a little younger.

S: That is very sad.

M: But before that happened, she taught Hanna a lot about sewing and stuff. So now Hanna is really good at making clothes. But this book is placed in, I think, 1880. She can sense that the people at the town she just moved into wouldn’t treat her well if they knew she was part Chinese, so she hides her face. But once they discover her heritage, they start being mean to her.

S: Today too, we see anti-Asian hate, and in fact we have been seeing it get stronger this last year. But the book is about a time that is quite a few years earlier, you mentioned the Dakota Territory, in 1880. Racism and this kind of bigotry might have been even more common.

M: Yes. Hanna’s father came to open a store in the town, and she is worried people might not want to go to their store. And people call her mean names sometimes, and even the kids at her new school are cruel to her.

S: This sounds like a pretty bleak story. Do good things happen to Hanna ever?

M: Well, she does have some friends and some people treat her well. So it is not always that sad. But I do think this might be a book appropriate for older bunnies. Younger ones might find it too sad or scary.

S: Scary? Why do you say that?

M: At some point people try to hurt Hanna physically because she is Asian. It can be scary, especially for little bunnies.

S: I see.

Marshmallow is reading Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park.
Marshmallow is reading Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park.

M: But don’t worry. It is not a completely depressing book.

S: Oh?

M: You can read about how Hanna enjoys dressmaking and the ending is happy.

S: Well, so one has to wait till the end to get a sweet flavor?

M: No no no. It is a good story and you learn about that time in American history a bit, through the eyes of a young person who does not quite “fit in”.

S: As you are telling me the plot, I am realizing I do not know too much about that part of the history of the United States. Maybe we should read up on it together?

M: Yes, maybe. I am also reading other books in school that are about people living during that period of early American history. Maybe I can review some of them for the blog some time?

S: That would be awesome Marshmallow! So let us wrap this up then. Would you recommend this book to other bunnies?

M: Yes! But as I said, not the really young bunnies, but those who are a little older. And a parent bunny might want to read it too before to see if they think their little ones might appreciate the book.

S: That sounds good to me. So how do you rate this book?

M: I rate it 95%. You really get to feel for Hanna and have a good sense of life back then for people of different backgrounds.

Marshmallow enjoyed reading Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park and rates it 95%.
Marshmallow enjoyed reading Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park and rates it 95%.

Caramel reviews How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

The little members of the book bunnies household have been fascinated by the How to Train Your Dragon series in all its manifestations, including the movies and the serials. Marshmallow even reviewed one of the books, How to Steal A Dragon’s Sword, for the blog about two years ago. This year Caramel finally got his paws to the actual books themselves, and today he wanted to review the first book. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell, the book that started it all.
Caramel reviews How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell, the book that started it all.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, why don’t you start by telling me what this book is about? Assume that I have never heard of How to Train Your Dragon.

Caramel: This is the first How to Train Your Dragon book I read!

S: Okay, so what is it about?

C: It’s about Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third. Hiccup is the son of Stoick the Vast who is the chief of the Hairy Hooligans tribe. They are Vikings. Stoick the Vast is really fat and Hiccup is really skinny.

S: So Hiccup is not like his father, but not only in size, right?

C: Yes. Exactly. Hiccup is not much into fighting but his father wants him to be a real Viking, a real warrior.

S: So how do the dragons come in?

C: Dragons and humans are friends. This is different in the movies because in the movies they are enemies at the beginning. In the book, they all get to have a dragon and train it.

S: That is interesting.

C: Yes. In the book they also say that only chiefs and sons of chiefs can have a special dragon, a monstrous nightmare. But instead of Hiccup, another boy named Snotlout gets the monstrous nightmare. Hiccup doesn’t even try actually.

S: Hmm, so this is in line with his not being chief material, according to his dad, right?

C: Exactly.

Caramel is reading How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell.
Caramel is reading How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell.

S: So how different is the book from the movie? I know you love the movies. Do you like the book version, too?

C: Yes! You should read the book! It is different from the movie but it is good!

S: Tell me more.

C: Toothless in the book is tiny. In the movies he is big enough to fly and carry Hiccup on his back when flying.

S: That’s very interesting. But Toothless is still Hiccup’s friend in the book, too, right, like in the movies?

C: Yes. And apparently dragons can talk to Hiccup. He is the only person who can speak Dragonese, the native language of the dragons. This does not happen in the movies.

S: So do you learn how to train a dragon in the book?

C: Not really.

S: Why do you think the author named these books that?

C: I don’t know. You do learn a lot about dragons though. There is a page where there are some sentences in Dragonese, and then the English versions.

S: Well, you mean dragons who live in the world of this particular series… Okay, looking at how eager you are to move on to the second book, I am guessing you really liked this one. So before we wrap up, tell us your three words for the book.

C: Funny, adventurous, interesting, especially because it is so different from the movies, but I still really liked it.

S: That sounds good Caramel. Then let us end this. What do you say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has very much enjoyed finally reading How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell and is all ready to dive into the second book.
Caramel has very much enjoyed finally reading How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell and is all ready to dive into the second book.