Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf

Caramel loves reading books about facts. A short while ago he got his paws on a series of four books about the human body, and he has already reviewed The Science of Snot and Phlegm: The Slimy Truth about Breathing by Fiona MacDonald and The Science of Scabs and Pus: The Sticky Truth About Blood by Ian Graham for the book bunnies blog. Today he reviews the third book he read from this series: The Science of Poop and Fart: The Smelly Truth About Digestion, written by Alex Woolf. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.
Caramel reviews The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book with the funny title. Is it really about pooping and farting?

Caramel: It is!

S: As soon as I saw the title, I knew you would be curious about it. You love jokes about poop and fart. So it worked, right? It made you want to read the book?

C: Yes. It did. And I learned a lot of new things about digestion. Did you know that some ancient Romans rinsed their mouths with pee? To get whiter teeth?

S: Ugh, that sounds pretty disgusting. Does it work?

C: I don’t know. But it is pretty disgusting. I also learned that hippos spin their tail to launch their poop under water.

Caramel is reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.
Caramel is reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf.

S: Hmm, so the book is full of weird facts about pee, poop, and, obvious from the title, farts. Does it also tell you about the digestive system more generally?

C: Not quite. It is full of stuff about poop though. Here are some chapter titles: “How do we produce poop?”, “What is pee?”, “What are farts?”, “What are burps?”, “What is saliva?”, “What are diarrhea and vomiting?”, “What is constipation?”, “Digestive problems”, “A healthy diet”, “Can poop be useful?”, “What happens to poop?”

S: Okay, these all sound quite fascinating. I think you learned a lot about the general stuff on the digestive system from Survive! Inside the Human Body: The Digestive System by Hyun-Dong Han already, and this book gives you a lot more weird but true facts about digestion in bite-size., digestible chunks.

C: Yes! Did you know that the tropical pitcher plant has tube-shaped leaves that are used as toilets by some animals? The poop provides the plant with lots of nutrition.

S: I seem to remember seeing that in a documentary. I guess the poop is full of food waste, so there are nutrients in it that the plant can use. What an interesting way to recycle!

C: Oh, and if you eat beans, your fart smells.

S: Yes, I knew that. Also red cabbage.

C: I also learned that some dogs, if they cannot burp, they can die. So to treat the condition, they insert a flexible rubber tube down their throat.

S: Oh that sounds kind of painful, but it is better than dying.

C: Yes.

S: Okay, I can see you want to read the book again and go over these very interesting facts all over again. So let us try and wrap up.

C: Yes, but did you know that if a llama feels threatened, it will spit, and it can spit about three meters away?

S: I knew llamas could spit, but that is a long way to spit! Do you remember the llama we met way back in Big Bear Lake?

C: Yes, he did not spit on us though, thankfully. And he really seemed to know when we were taking his picture.

S: Yes, I remember. He was almost posing for us. Okay, then. Give me your three words for this book.

C: Interesting, colorful, and informative.

S: Those work! I agree. I too learned a lot reading it. So what do you want to say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf, and recommends it to other little bunnies who want to learn more about poop and fart and other funny (and yet very useful) things our digestive systems do.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Science of Poop and Farts: The Smelly Truth About Digestion by Alex Woolf, and recommends it to other little bunnies who want to learn more about poop and fart and other funny (and yet very useful) things our digestive systems do.

Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first three books in Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series for the book bunnies blog. This week she got her paws on the fourth book, The Tyrant’s Tomb, and read it in lightning speed. Below she shares her thoughts on this 400+-page book, published in paperback only this month.

Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you have enjoyed reading Rick Riordan’s other books or if you like mythology, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): In the first book of the Trials of Apollo series, Apollo, the god of music, prophecy, and archery, was transformed into Lester, who is described as the “most worthless of teens,” by a mutual friend in one of the past books. Now he is carrying the body of a deceased friend who was killed in the last book. (I will not say who died. I am not spoiling that much!)

While on the road to Camp Jupiter, a training camp for Roman demigods, or half-bloods as they are also called, Lester and his master Meg McCaffrey are attacked by ghouls. They are rescued by a group of campers from Camp Jupiter, led by a pink-haired girl named Lavinia. They are taken to Camp Jupiter, where they are welcomed by the praetors Frank and Reyna. Lester sees in a dream that an evil Roman emperor is now working with the Triumvirate. (We learned about the Triumvirate earlier. It is made up of Caligula, Commodus, and Nero, three evil Roman emperors who are enemies of Apollo/Lester and his friends.) Now the Triumvirate is working with a new ally, and Apollo has a new deadline: in four days an evil army of undead will be unleashed upon the Camp. 

Marshmallow is reading  The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: The Tyrant’s Tomb is a good book. However, I think that if you want to read The Tyrant’s Tomb, you need to have read the first three books in the Trials of Apollo series. I would also highly recommend reading Riordan’s earlier books in the Heroes of Olympus series and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series to give you the full context of the story and the backstories of the characters.

Rick Riordan does a good job of “interacting” with the reader and being funny. Lester is a hilarious narrator. His haikus are funny and it is always amusing to try to guess what they mean: they are sneak peeks of the chapter they start. Here is a favorite, from page 114:

I now have a plan
To make a plan concerning 
The plan for my plan 

I think that The Tyrant’s Tomb is a good book for almost everyone, though it might be too complicated or scary for younger readers. (It is not really horror. It is scary more around the level of the Harry Potter books, possibly less than the later books of Harry Potter which turn quite dark.) The plot is well thought-out and everything is all tied up at the end, though the next book, The Tower of Nero, is the true end of the series and I can’t wait to read it.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan 95%.
Marshmallow rates The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan 95%.

Caramel reviews Ereth’s Birthday by Avi

Caramel has enjoyed reading the adventures of animals living in and around Dimwood Forest. And he has already reviewed Ragweed, Poppy, and Poppy and Rye for the book bunnies blog. Today he reviews Ereth’s Birthday, the next book in this series by Avi. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Ereth's Birthday by Avi.
Caramel reviews Ereth’s Birthday by Avi.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us about this book.

Caramel: This book is about Ereth, who is a porcupine. Poppy met him in the book Poppy. But we met him before that, in Ragweed and Poppy.

S: I remember Ereth. He is a bit grumpy, right?

C: Yes, maybe more than a little.

S: So tell me more. What happens in the book?

C: The book starts on Ereth’s birthday. And he thinks that his best friend, that is Poppy the mouse, and her husband, that is Rye, forgot about him.

S: That must make him even grumpier then.

C: Yes. He kind of likes Poppy, too, so…

S: Yes, I remember that too. Ereth is rather fond of Poppy, and is very sensitive, too, but he won’t admit it.

C: Yes. Pretty much.

S: So I read all the books from this series before this one. Should I read this too?

C: Yes! You should!

S: Why?

C: Because it is a very good book. I like the plot. I also like Ereth a lot. He is funny.

S: Are there new characters in this one?

C: Yes, there are some different characters. Poppy and Rye have children, and they show up. And there is also Marty the Fisher.

S: Do you know what a fisher is?

C: Not really, but it must be an animal that can hurt porcupines.

S: Oo, so Ereth has an enemy?

C: Sort of, but he doesn’t really know it.

S: Hmm, that sounds interesting. By the way apparently a fisher is a carnivorous animal that lives in forests.

C: Are they going extinct?

S: Wikipedia seems to say no.

C: Marty the Fisher said that people hunted them down.

S: Yes, Wikipedia says people liked their fur. But apparently though they lost a lot of their habitat in recent times, they are not in danger of going extinct.

C: Phew! That’s good.

Caramel is reading Ereth's Birthday by Avi.
Caramel is reading Ereth’s Birthday by Avi.

S: Did you know that this was Avi’s favorite among the Poppy books? He wrote that this has the most autobiographical content and that Ereth becoming a reluctant step-father is similar to himself being a step-father.

C: I didn’t know that!

S: I didn’t, either. But tell me more about this step-parenting.

C: Ereth has to take care of three kits.

S: What’s a kit?

C: A kit is a young fox.

S: So how does Ereth take these three foxes under his care?

C: He meets their mother, she is caught in a trap, and she asks him to take care of her three kits. And Ereth promises to do it.

S: And he keeps his promise?

C: Yes.

S: This is sounding more and more interesting as you reveal more. I might have to read it after all…

C: In fact you should! And you shall!

S: Okay, okay, don’t push now. Let us wrap up the review then so you can give the book to me. What are your three words for the book?

C: Awesome, interesting, good characters.

S: Hmm, that might work. I have a feeling it is also a sweet story. Would you say so?

C: Yes, I guess so.

S: Alright, let us close up then so I can get reading. What do you say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Ereth's Birthday by Avi, and he is looking forward to reading the next books in the series.
Caramel enjoyed reading Ereth’s Birthday by Avi, and he is looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

Marshmallow reviews The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Today Marshmallow writes about The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. Marshmallow read the 50th Anniversary Edition of this 1961 classic.

Marshmallow reviews The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.
Marshmallow reviews The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you enjoy reading classics or appreciate books that make you think, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Milo is a boy who doesn’t want to do anything. He wants to be in school when he isn’t; when he is in school, he wants to be out of it. Then one day, he receives a large package. Inside is a small tollbooth. As he has nothing to do, he starts to play with the tollbooth and finds himself in a strange land when he drives his toy car through it. Luckily, the tollbooth came with a map of this place, and he was driving around in a small motorized car.

As he drives around in this new land, he goes to many strange places. In one place, he becomes friends with a literal watchdog, Tock, who is a dog with a clock on his side. He goes to the kingdom of Dictionopolis where he meets strange people and learns that Rhyme and Reason, two princesses, have been locked away in a Castle in the Air, because the king of Dictionopolis, Azaz the Unabridged, and the king of Digitopolis, the Mathemagician, who also happens to be Azaz’s brother, disliked one of their verdicts. The Princess of Pure Reason and the Princess of Sweet Rhyme were asked by Azaz the Unabridged and the Mathemagician whether numbers or letters were more important. When Rhyme and Reason said that both were equally important, the two kings banished the princesses.

Milo and Tock, accompanied by the Humbug, who was assigned to be their guide by Azaz, must go and rescue the two princesses. But unfortunately, demons and monsters guard the Castle in the Air. Milo, Tock, and the Humbug will need to journey across the “Land Beyond”, the name of the place Milo is in, to return Rhyme and Reason to their land. 

Marshmallow is reading The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.
Marshmallow is reading The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.

Marshmallow’s Review: The Phantom Tollbooth is a great read, especially if you like language and wordplay. I really like how the author Norton Juster plays with words, like how one character is a watchdog, that means he is a dog with a watch in its side. Another character, the Which, is sort of like a witch, her real name being Faintly Macabre, meaning faintly gruesome, grim, morbid, hideous, or horrific.

I think that the wordplay must be a very big part of why this book is so widely read. Another reason might be because it is good for all ages, not too complicated or scary, though some of the wordplay might not make sense for younger readers. (I did not get most of them when I read it years ago.) I would highly recommend this book to everyone. In fact, I think I will suggest Caramel to read it too, soon. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, 100%.