Marshmallow reviews The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Marshmallow has recently finished reading The Confidence Code for Girls, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. Soon after, Sprinkles read The Confidence Code by the same authors. Below Marshmallow shares her thoughts on the former, while Sprinkles asks questions, takes notes, and occasionally adds some thoughts inspired by her reading of the latter.

This is our last review for 2019 and for a few weeks after. The book bunnies wish everyone a happy new year. We will be back with more reviews in February 2020.

Marshmallow reviews The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.
Marshmallow reviews The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.

Sprinkles: So, Marshmallow, what do you want to tell us about this book?

Marshmallow: This is a good book that inspires girls to be confident about themselves. 

S: How does it do that?

M: It inspires girls to be confident by making an easy “Confidence Code”, a three-step code that is the key to believing in yourself. 

S: So, what are the three steps? 

M: You need to read the book!

S: Well, I read the adult version. As far as I recall, the three main recommendations are: Think less, act more, and make mistakes. 

M: You can’t give away everything!

S: I’m not really giving everything away though. Everyone says you need to make mistakes. Everyone says you should not worry too much about what others think. But I thought this book explained really clearly why these are all very good advice. But also, the book doesn’t really feel like an advice book, right? 

M: No, it doesn’t. It has quizzes and stories and comic strips.

S: That is the one for girls. The grownup one doesn’t have the quizzes and the comics, but actually it too has a lot of stories. Some of them are about the two authors themselves as they try to figure out the confidence code.

Marshmallow is reading The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.
Marshmallow is reading The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.

S: Oh wait, I think I actually misspoke. In the notes for the grownup book, there are a few quizzes for readers if they want to figure out where they rank in terms of a few characteristics. Did you do any of the quizzes?

M: Yes, I did some of them. One of them was about how addicted you are to your phone if you have one. And when you took the test, it said you were addicted. 

S: Yes, but not extremely. Still it is true that I do check my phone a bit too obsessively. Ok, tell us about the stories. 

M: Some of the stories are true stories about girls who see a problem in the world and work to fix it. Others are fictional. Some are scenarios that ask the reader to make decisions in difficult situations. For example, say your friend is bragging that they won a competition in technology and it is getting on your nerves. They start to hang out with other kids who are into tech, and they ignore you. What do you do?

S: So, what would you do?

M: There were multiple choices. Like confront your friend, or act like nothing has changed. 

S: So, what would you do?

M: Out of the given options, I’d choose to confront my friend. 

Both Marshmallow and Sprinkles enjoyed reading their respective books on the Confidence Code, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, and learned a lot.
Both Marshmallow and Sprinkles enjoyed reading their respective books on the Confidence Code, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, and learned a lot.

S: So how is this related to confidence? 

M: The right answer is almost always to be comfortable with who you are and do something about a problem, rather than ignore it or keep worrying about it without doing anything. 

S: Yes, I remember the “no ruminating” rule from the adult book! I even have adopted “noru” as a codeword to remind myself to stop ruminating. So, would you recommend this book to your friends? And other young bunnies like yourself?

M: Yes, especially for girl bunnies ten years and older. This is not really a book for boys. 

S: Well, the adult book is also directed toward women. This makes sense. Ok, let us wrap this review up with your rating. 

M: I rate this book 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman 100%.

Caramel reviews Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister

Today Caramel wanted to share with the Book Bunnies Blog readers an old favorite: Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister. As always, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister.
Caramel reviews Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us about this book.

Caramel: This is a good book if you like penguins and if you want to fly.

S: Hmm, that sounds kind of strange. What do you mean?

C: Well, it is about a little penguin named Penguin Pete, who wants to fly.

S: But we know penguins cannot fly. So Pete is bound for disappointment.

C: Yes. But then he learns to swim and that is fun, too. So he is not disappointed anymore.

S: That is sweet.

C: Yes, this is a really good book. If I was Marshmallow, I’d rate it 100%.

S: Hmm, what do you like about it?

C: I like that he wants to fly but he never gets to.

S: That sounds sad though.

C: Yes.

Caramel is looking at the page where Penguin Pete is trying to fly, in Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister.
Caramel is looking at the page where Penguin Pete is trying to fly, in Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister.

S: I didn’t know you liked sad stories.

C: Well, I don’t, but it’s not sad in the end. He does get happy. And he is funny, too. He is ice skating. With his bare feet! Oh, I think it is actually called “flipper skating”.

S: Yes, Penguin Pete is cute.

C: Oh, and then Pete makes a friend, a little bird. But then the little friend has to leave.

S: Well, that sounds sad, too. Penguin Pete is even crying on that page.

C: Yes, but I still like the book. And his bird friend will come back next year.

S: Why did you pick this book for today?

C: I like penguins. All our family likes them. Right?

S: I think that is true. Between the two of you, you have already reviewed so many books about penguins! What else do you want to tell us about this book? What do you think this book is really about?

C: I think it is about friendship. And stubbornness.

S: How so?

C: Because Penguin Pete doesn’t give up trying to fly until he finds out that penguins can’t really fly.

S: So is his stubbornness useless then?

C: Yes, I guess so. Or maybe not. Because being stubborn is how he learns how to swim. And how he becomes friends with Steve the bird.

S: I know you like reading about friendships. You have already reviewed The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein, Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon, and Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld. How do you think this book compares with those other ones? Do you have a favorite among these?

C: No. I like them all.

S: I agree. They are all very sweet stories. Each in its own special way. I guess this is a good enough time to wrap things up.

C: OK.

S: So what do you want to say Caramel?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoys reading and rereading Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister.
Caramel enjoys reading and rereading Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister.

Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald

After Caramel reviewed Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald, Marshmallow decided it was time for her to review a book about the one and only Judy Moody, the big sister of Stink. Below she shares her thoughts on one of her favorite Judy Moody books: Judy Moody Goes to College.

Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.
Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books that are about kids in elementary school, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Judy Moody’s substitute teacher sends her home with a note that saying that she needs help with her math. Judy’s parents decide that this means that she needs a tutor. Her annoying brother, Stink Moody, teases her about how the tutor is going to have her count jelly beans and play baby games. Little does she know that her tutor, Chloe, is in a college. When Judy finds out, her mood about tutoring is changed. She eventually enjoys tutoring and she learns a lot about math.

Judy brags about how she goes to college and so her friends, Rocky, Frank, and Jessica (a frenemy) start to stay away from her because they think that she is acting like she thinks that she is better than they are. Her tutor helps her in her school life and Judy and her tutor eventually become fast friends and towards the end Stink starts to ask if he can “go to college” like Judy. 

Marshmallow is reading Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.
Marshmallow is reading Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book because it is very lifelike. Judy, her tutor (Chloe), Stink, Rocky, Frank, Jessica, and other characters are all so realistic. Judy is like a real 3rd grader.

This a great example of a book where the character(s) have an opinion but eventually their opinion changes as the book continues. Judy does not want to be tutored first but Chloe eventually becomes her role model.

This is a really good read for those who enjoyed some of the other books that Megan McDonald wrote. Judy Moody Goes to College is part of a series that many have enjoyed reading. If you have read one of the books then I encourage you to read more since they are such realistic books that show how kids in elementary act in situations.

I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it for anyone but it might be the best for 1rd up until 3rd grade. It is not very hard to read and it is not very long. The author does a very good job of explaining to the reader what type of personality Judy has. The author also does an excellent job of making Stink annoying in the Judy Moody books. If you read Caramel’s review of one of the Stink Moody books you know that in those books, Judy is very mean to her brother and often very sly. She tricks Stink to dye his hair orange for example. But in the Judy Moody books, he does annoying actions too, like taking her mood ring.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rated Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald 95%.
Marshmallow rated Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald 95%.

Caramel reviews Ying and the Magic Turtle by Sue Looney

Caramel just got his paws on a new book from Natural Math, the good folks who publish fun mathy books for kids. (Marshmallow has reviewed a book from them before; see her review of Funville Adventures by A.O. Fradkin and A.B. Bishop.) Below he shares his thoughts on Ying and the Magic Turtle, written by Sue Looney, and illustrated by Jessica and Joey Looney. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Ying and the Magic Turtle by Sue Looney.
Caramel reviews Ying and the Magic Turtle by Sue Looney.

Sprinkles: So Caramel what do you want to tell us about this book?

Caramel: This is a book about a little Chinese girl named Ying. She is smarter than soldiers.

S: Where do the soldiers come into her story?

C: It is not all about her.

S: So what is the book about?

C: It is about this river god Hebo, who has a really bad temper. He needs to learn anger management.

S: We read several books about anger management before. And you reviewed some, too, for this blog.

C: Yes, true. I did review Train Your Angry Dragon and Train Your Dragon To Accept NO by Steve Herman. So I guess Hebo should read those books too.

S: You are a funny little bunny Caramel! So what happens with this angry god?

C: So the god gets angry and floods all the villages. And then a turtle comes out of the river, so the Emperor’s men think it means they need to give Hebo a royal gift. And Ying sees that the turtle has an interesting pattern on its shell.

S: So is that where the math comes in?

C: Yep. It’s a magic square!

Caramel is looking at the page where the magic turtle emerges from the water in Ying and the Magic Turtle by Sue Looney.
Caramel is looking at the page where the magic turtle emerges from the water in Ying and the Magic Turtle by Sue Looney.

S: What is a magic square?

C: Let me read to you from the book:

Magic squares are square grids where one number s placed in each box of the grid. The numbers placed in the boxes are consecutive numbers from one up to the total number of boxes in the square. For example in a 3×3 magic square there are nine boxes; therefore each number (one through nine) is placed in one of the boxes. When placed correctly, the sum of these numbers is the same for all rows, columns, and diagonals. This sum in a 3×3 magic square is always 15.

S: So what happens next?

C: The next day the turtle comes out again. The emperor’s men think it means Hebo wants four gifts because the turtle has four legs.

S: But Ying knows better, right?

C: Yes. She solves the magic square. And so she saves the villages.

S: Did you know what a magic square was before reading this story, Caramel?

C: No.

S: So this was a neat way to learn about them, no? Apparently according to Wikipedia, the three by three magic squares were known to Chinese “as early as 190 BCE”. And magic squares are fun to play with. And there are some fun problems at the end of the book if you want to play with them. Did you solve any of the problems in the book?

C: Yes. I solved all of them. Ok, all except one. There is also a section “Origin of the Story” where we learn about the history of the problem.

S: Yes, apparently this story is inspired by an ancient Chinese legend. Isn’t that neat?

C: It is! And this is a neat time to end this review. So stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading Ying and the Magic Turtle by Sue Looney. and recommends it to all other book bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading Ying and the Magic Turtle by Sue Looney, and recommends it to all other book bunnies.