Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson

A few weeks ago Caramel reviewed a beautiful nonfiction book titled The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. Today he decided to talk about a similar book: The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures, once again illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.
Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.

Sprinkles: I have been seeing you read and reread this book for the last few weeks. What is it about?

Caramel: It’s about ocean animals. Well, there is also corals…

S: Are corals animals?

C: They’re made of polyps which are little animals. Tiny, probably microscopic.

S: Hmm, let’s see. Wikipedia tells us that corals are made up of polyps as you said. And polyps are tiny invertebrates but nowhere do I see how big they are. So I guess I will take your word for it for now…

C: Oh, wait, I want to tell you this fact: Polyps are relatives of jellyfish! Did you know that?

S: No!

C: And they have “tentacles for sifting food from water”.

S: That is interesting Caramel! I can see why you find this book fascinating! It is full of interesting facts.

C: Yep. Let me tell you a few facts about my favorite ocean creature in this book.

S: Oh, I am curious. What is it about?

C: Here, I found it: Flying fish!

Flying fish do not actually fly. They leap out of the water at high speeds and then glide on their winglike fins. The fish glide to escape larger predators that are attacking them underwater.

Caramel is reading his favorite pages (about flying fish) in The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.
Caramel is reading his favorite pages (about flying fish) in The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.

S: This is all very interesting!

C: There’s more!

S: But we should talk more about the book more generally. So tell me more about the book. What creatures are described in it?

C: I’ll tell you all of the animals in this book.

S: So you’ll read me the table of contents basically?

C: Yes.

S: That’s alright. Go ahead.

C: Sea otter, walrus, hooded seal, blue whale, humpback whale, narwhal, orca (killer whale), bottlenose dolphin, manatee, yellowfin tuna, marine iguana, whale shark, great white shark, ocean sunfish, manta ray, oarfish, humpback anglerfish, sea horse, queen parrotfish, clownfish, green sea turtle, lionfish, sailfish, flying fish, tufted puffin, emperor penguin, pelican, giant clam, lobster, giant Pacific octopus, giant squid, insulamon freshwater crab, sea slug, sea star, lion’s mane jellyfish, and coral.

S: Wow! That is a lot of creatures. And just like in the other Magnificient Book you reviewed, each of these animals gets two pages to itself, right?

C: Yes. And they also have amazing drawings! They are actually hand-drawn! It’s amazing!

S: I know! Some people are really good at drawing and illustrating, right?

C: They’re so good! They’re out of this world! At first I actually thought they were photos, but no, they are hand-drawn.

S: Yes, I am sure the illustrator worked really hard on them. And she must have worked really hard to get this good!

C: This reminds me of a quote, I do not know who it is from: “We do not do it because it is easy. We do it because it is hard.”

S: Oh, that is President John F. Kennedy’s speech about going to the moon. Here is the full transcript. The part you are remembering is:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. 

Isn’t it an inspiring speech? And you are right in remembering it just now. Good illustrators work hard at their craft, and even if they probably find drawing easier than you and me, drawing that well needs a lot of hard work.

C: I guess all that hard work be tiring.

S: Probably. But in the end they have a truly magnificent book!

C: Yes!

S: Okay, Caramel. Let us wrap this up. Do you want to rate it again, by finding three words to describe this book?

C: Yes. Here they are: Awesome, amazing, beautiful.

S: Well, these basically say the same thing, but I know what you mean. The book is beautiful. Alright, here are my three words: “colorful”, “big”, because it is a pretty big book, and “interesting”, because there are a lot of interesting facts in this book that I did not know about.

C: I agree!

S: Ok, and now you tell everyone:

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson, and is looking forward to many more reads where he will study once again the many amazing creatures of the world's oceans.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson, and is looking forward to many more reads where he will study once again the many amazing creatures of the world’s oceans.

Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Today Marshmallow reviews a classic: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, first published in 1962. This is the first book of L’Engle’s Time Quintet.

Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like classic science fiction or just like some of Madeleine L’Engle’s books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary: Meg Murry wakes up on a stormy night and finds a mysterious guest in the kitchen. Soon Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin O’Keefe set off to find Meg and Charles’s father who was sent on a dangerous and secret mission. The Murry family stopped receiving letters from him and they had not seen him since.

The children set out to find Mr. Murry and the mysterious guest, Mrs. Whatsit, helps them with her friends, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Meg and her companions learn that there is an evil entity, the Black Thing, that is taking over the universe and that their father is in danger. They travel to the world in which he is captive and try to rescue their father. They face a man with red eyes, who can control the people who look into his eyes. Charles Wallace looks in his eyes intentionally and they manage to rescue Meg’s father, but Charles Wallace gets stuck on the planet. They have saved Meg’s father, but now they have to save Charles Wallace. 

Marshmallow is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Marshmallow is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very intriguing book because there are very interesting characters and the plot is very well written. My favorite character is Charles Wallace. He is very logical. He is also different from everyone else but he is ok with that.

I think that A Wrinkle in Time makes a great read for bunnies of all ages, but if the bunny is very young then there probably should be an older bunny reading the book to them because it is on the longer side. (It has 232 pages.) I think that A Wrinkle in Time is probably best for bunnies ages 8 and up because it may not be an easy read for younger bunnies. 

A Wrinkle in Time starts with a very famous sentence, Snoopy‘s favorite:

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

The sentence even has its own Wikipedia page! Apparently L’Engle used the sentence intentionally, even though it is seen by many as a cliche.

Madeleine L’Engle’s book has been made into a movie, twice. The first one was made in 2003. The second one was made in 2018. Caramel, Sprinkles, and I saw the movie in the theatre and we enjoyed it. Here is the trailer:

This is the trailer to the second movie. It was made in 2018, and was directed by Ava DuVernay.  

Madeleine L’Engle’s book is a classic and a great read for all ages. It is an entertaining read for all bunnies but also gets scary or sad at some points (more scary than sad). I really enjoyed reading it.  

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 100%.
Marshmallow rates A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 100%.

Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is a prolific author and the book bunnies have read many of her books through the years. Last year, Marshmallow reviewed Beezus and Ramona, the first book by Cleary featuring one of her signature characters, Ramona Quimby. Today Caramel picks up the mantle and reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle, written in 1965, the first book featuring Ralph S. Mouse. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

Sprinkles: So this week we are talking about a chapter book. This book has been sitting in your room for a while now. What made you decide to finally pick it up?

Caramel: Hmm, I don’t actually know. I just thought about reading it. I picked it up when I was sent to clean up my room.

S: Hmm, that worked out well, I suppose. So what do you want to tell us about it?

C: It has 186 pages, and then there are some extras. There is a note from Beverly Cleary. Then “Ralph answers some questions”, then “Ralph thanks the readers”, and then there is a section called “About the pictures in this book”.

S: Those sound interesting. But who is Ralph? I think we first need to clarify that.

C: Ralph is a mouse who lives in a knot hole in a hotel room, at the Mountain View Inn.

S: And that is supposedly in California, right?

C: I think so.

S: So what happens to Ralph? I’m guessing that he is the mouse in the title. Is that right?

C: Yes. He meets this boy named Keith. Keith has a toy sedan and a sports car, and an ambulance.

S: Does he also have a toy motorcycle?

C: Yes he does. And one day, Ralph tries to ride the motorcycle and falls in a waste bin.

S: That must be scary for him!

C: Yes it is.

S: Is that how he meets Keith?

C: Yes, and then they become friends. Apparently Ralph can talk, and Keith can understand him.

S: After all, this is fiction. We have seen talking animals before, right?

C: Yes, for example Babymouse talks!

S: And Verdi is a talking snake.

C: And we are talking animals!

S: That is true! We have discussed many other books where there are creatures that talk that are usually not expected to talk, at least to humans.

Caramel is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Caramel is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

S: I liked reading this book, but if people want to watch instead, there is a movie of it apparently. Here it is:

YouTube link to The Mouse And The Motorcycle – (Full, 1986).

C: I like this book a lot too! And I’m looking forward to reading the next two books.

S: So there are two more books with Ralph in them?

C: Yes!

S: I think I have not read those. Maybe you will review them for our blog some time.

C: I will.

S: Okay Caramel, so it is time to wrap this up. Let us finish by rating it in three words. What three words would you use to describe the book?

C: Adventurous, imagination, funny.

S: I like those words! I think I could add: “sweet”, “unexpected”, and “friendship”.

C: I like those too.

S: Great! So let us wrap things up! What do you say?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, and recommends it to all other young bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, and recommends it to all other young bunnies.

Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones by Jeffrey Brown

Marshmallow reviews Lucy & Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones, the third book in the Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series of Jeffrey Brown.

Marshmallow has reviewed two books by Jeffrey Brown before: Lucy and Andy Neanderthal and Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: The Stone Cold Age. Today she writes about the third book in this series: Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones.

Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown.
Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked the previous books in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series, or more generally if you enjoy reading comic books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): We meet Lucy and Andy Neanderthal in Lucy and Andy Neanderthal. They live in the Stone Age with their brother, Danny, their parents, Mr. Daryl, Phil, and Margaret. In the second book The Stone Cold Age, they meet a clan of humans, and they work with to them to find them a home, a cave. 

In this third book, Lucy and her best friend Sasha, one of the humans, start the Super Adventure Explorers Discovery Club. The human children, together with Lucy and Andy, scout around the area and meet some other people. These other people are not very nice, especially when the Super Adventure Explorers Discovery Club discovers their plan to try and take over the cave that the humans live in. The Super Adventure Explorers Discovery Club immediately starts preparations to defend the cave from the newcomers. 

Marshmallow is pointing the reader to the pages of Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown, where Andy burns things up in order to eradicate lice.
Marshmallow is pointing the reader to the pages of Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown, where Andy burns things up in order to eradicate lice.

Marshmallow’s Review:  Lucy and Andy’s third book, Bad to the Bones, is a great read for all bunnies of all ages (Caramel really liked reading it too!). I really enjoyed this book because it was funny and the characters were familiar. It is probably a good idea to read the first two books (they are both very good books!), because the characters are very interesting, and knowing their characteristics in the previous books is helpful. But if you want to just read this one alone, then this is a fun read too. 

The Club members set up multiple defenses and then they act like they just happened to be there, and the reader realizes that they are actually part of the defense. For example the newcomers try to steal some of their soup, but the Super Adventures Explorers Discovery Club make it to taste terrible. 

Bad to the Bones has really funny drawings of really funny characters. My favorite characters are Andy or Lucy because they have a lot of faces that they can make and they are also some of the main characters. The author Jeffrey Brown does a very good job in making characters that readers will easily want to read about, and the drawing are really funny. 

Just like the first two books in the series, this is a graphic novel that has a mix of facts about the lives of Neanderthals and a lot of other subjects. Two modern characters Pam and Eric show up here and there, at the end of most chapters, and tell us these facts. I definitely know a lot more about Neanderthals than I did before I began reading this series.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown 95%.
Marshmallow rates Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown 95%.