Caramel reviews It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten

The book bunnies are fans of Brains On!, a science podcast directed toward young bunnies but, at least in our household, also much appreciated by the older set. When we heard that the amazing Brains On! team, made up of Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten, had published a science book together, we knew we all had to read it. Today Caramel reviews this book: It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten.
Caramel reviews the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, this book is right up your alley, right?

Caramel: Yep. It’s full of fun facts, and illustrations are awesome!

S: I know! It is so colorful! So tell me what the general theme of the book is. What is the book about?

C: It’s about science. There are all sorts of facts about all sorts of living things. There is a part about animals, one about plants, one about humans, and another about microorganisms.

S: That sounds cool! So tell me about your favorite animal fact you learned from this book.

C: There are so many, I can’t choose.

S: Give me one or two then…

C: Okay, let me try. I like the Animal Superpowers part a lot.

Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is checking out the section on Animal Superpowers.
Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is checking out the section on Animal Superpowers.

S: That sounds interesting! What kinds of superpowers?

C: There are super-healers for example. Did you know that the axolotl can regrow part of its missing limbs, and even its brain? It is cool, isn’t it?

S: That is really cool, you are right! And that is one cute animal I had not heard about before! Here is a picture from Wikipedia if people want to see one:

An axolotl in captivity, image by th1098, taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl#/media/File:AxolotlBE.jpg
An axolotl in captivity, image by th1098, taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl#/media/File:AxolotlBE.jpg

S: So would you like to have such a super power, Caramel?

C: Yes, being able to regrow limbs would be awesome!

S: So then how about the plants? Tell me a favorite fact you learned from this book about plants.

C: Shall we visit the Tree Hall of Fame?

S: Okay…

C: The tallest tree is a redwood tree named Hyperion. It is 380 ft tall. That is taller than the Statue of Liberty!

S: Wow! That is tall!

C: It is in Redwood National Park, in California, but the scientists are keeping its exact location secret.

Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is looking at the section on "the rose that went to space".
Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is looking at the section on “the rose that went to space”.

S: The book sounds really packed full of interesting facts Caramel. Just perfect for you!

C: Yep. Exactly. I recommend that you read it too.

S: Yes, I will definitely do that after this review. I can’t wait!

C: But you have to wait! Because I need to tell you about the Mega Matchups!

S: What’s that?

C: There are parts in the book where they compare two things. Like there is one where they pit dogs against cats. I think there is one in each part. Wait, there is the octopuses vs the dolphins. So that is at least two in animals. And then there is another matching porcupine caribou against monarch butterflies.

S: Wait. How do those two compare? Why are they even pitted against one another?

C: It seems random till you read it. These are two creatures that are “long-distance travelers that travel thousands of miles without a map or a compass.”

S: I see. This matchup idea is like the Smash-Boom-Best segment the Brains On! folks used to do sometimes in their podcasts. Did you know that that eventually became its own podcast?

C: No I didn’t know that. Then again I think Marshmallow listened to an episode for her class one time.

S: Yes, I remember. It was pizza vs tacos I think.

C: I think pizza wins for me!

S: I think they both have their time and place.

C: True. Wait, here is another matchup. The durian vs the corpse flower. They’re both stinky! A corpse flower apparently smells like, well, a corpse.

S: I know durian. I ate durian ice cream once. Did you know that?

C: Nope.

S: It tasted like vanilla ice cream, but with a terribly strong garlicky, or onion-y aftertaste.

C: That does not sound too appetizing.

S: I know.

Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is looking over the "Mega Matchup: Tardigrade vs. Slime Mold".
Caramel is reading the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten. Here he is looking over the “Mega Matchup: Tardigrade vs. Slime Mold”.

S: So this review is already quite long. Let us wrap it up. What three words would you use to describe this book to someone who is interested in learning about it?

C: Factful, interesting, and very colorful.

S: I agree with all of those Caramel, even before I got to read it fully. I think I’d also add “very fun” to the list.

C: Yes, it is really fun and funny too.

S: Great! So we are done. What do you say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading the Brains On! book It's Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten, and cannot wait to share all his new facts with friends and family.
Caramel loved reading the Brains On! book It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us, by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten, and cannot wait to share all his new facts with friends and family.

2 thoughts on “Caramel reviews It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten”

  1. I’m with Caramel on this one. I’ll take pizza over tacos any day of the week.

    Speaking of amazing animals, I just read on the news the other day about dogs that have been trained to smell the covid-19 virus and several dogs have attained better than 95% accuracy, even on asymptomatic persons. That is as good as, or better, than is normally achieved by lab tests and the results are immediately available. Animals do have superpowers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There is so much variety in living organisms! And so many things we still don’t know about them, makes life interesting. I learn something new everyday.

    Liked by 2 people

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