Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity by Amy Alznauer

This week Caramel is talking about The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, the beautifully told and magically illustrated story of the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares.
Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares.

Sprinkles: So Caramel tell us about this book.

Caramel: You say that all the time!

S: I know, right? I do that because I think that is a good way to get you to start talking about the book. So?

C: Hmm, let me think a bit. This book is about a boy who went to school but his math is far more advanced than his classmates.

S: So what does he do with that math?

C: He keeps on writing in a notebook, doing more and more math. And then he gets another notebook and write in it.

S: So he is doing math almost compulsively, he seems like he cannot stop himself, right? He is driven to do math.

C: Yes. He sees numbers everywhere and then he opens up, divides, or cracks up the numbers to find more numbers in them.

S: Right! I liked the way the author put it (and this is also in the back cover of the book):

If Ramanujan could crack the number 1 open and find infinity, what secrets would he discover inside other numbers?

Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about when Ramanujan as a little boy was not yet speaking. Instead, he "just lined up the copper pots across the floor. And when he didn't get his curd rice and mango, he rolled in the monsoon mud."
Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about when Ramanujan as a little boy was not yet speaking. Instead, he “just lined up the copper pots across the floor. And when he didn’t get his curd rice and mango, he rolled in the monsoon mud.”

C: So why did he do math? Because he had to.

S: What do you mean? Is someone forcing him to do math?

C: No he wants to do it. And he cannot stop doing it. It’s almost compulsive.

S: That’s a big word for a little bunny Caramel!

C: I know. I do read a lot.

S: So the title of this book is The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity. This reminds me of the book with a similar title: The Man Who Knew Infinity, by Robert Kanigel. That book is also about Ramanujan, but it is not a beautifully illustrated book for kids like this one. And that book tells us about Ramanujan’s whole life while this one is more about him as a little boy when he was dreaming math and finding it all around him.

C: Oh that is interesting. I think I remember us watching a movie with that name.

S: You have a good memory!

C: Can we put in the trailer here?

S: Sure. Here we go.

S: So tell me more about this book. Do you like the pictures?

C: Yep. They are very detailed, and they are like they are from a dream. there are two pages where the boy is dancing around and jumping over numbers.

Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about the nights when "while he slept, numbers came whispering in dreams."
Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about the nights when “while he slept, numbers came whispering in dreams.”

S: Yes, that page especially but the rest of the pictures are also dreamlike. The colors and the combination of images… But back to that page where Ramanujan is jumping around numbers: can you imagine yourself jumping and flipping around numbers?

C: Of course! I like jumping! I’m a bunny!

S: That is true! Here is my last question: What does this book make you think about math?

C: Multiplication and division and addition, and numbers, and infinity.

S: Does it make you like them? Do you feel like you could enjoy playing around with numbers?

C: Yes, I already do! I like math!

S: That is great! Ok, this is a good time to wrap things up.

C: I want to rate this!

S: Ok. Give me three words that describe this book.

C: Detailed, mathematics, beautiful.

S: These are good descriptors for the book. I agree. I’d add “dream, infinity, imagination”. So what do we say to end this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, and recommends it to all little bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, and recommends it to all little bunnies.

Marshmallow reviews The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Marshmallow reviewed Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo before. Today she shares with us her thoughts on another book by DiCamillo: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. (The book bunnies were looking forward to seeing the theatre adaptation of Edward Tulane before the pandemic started. Maybe some other time…)

Marshmallow reviews The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.
Marshmallow reviews The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like Kate DiCamillo’s books or you enjoy books about friendship, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Edward Tulane is Abilene’s china rabbit and he thinks that he is very civilized. He has multiple suits that have holes for his tail, hats that have holes for his ears, and he even has a pocket watch that can be wound which Abilene, the little girl who owns him, does for him every day. When she goes to school, she wounds his pocket watch and tells him when she will come back.

When Abilene tells Edward that she loves him, he doesn’t give it a second thought, and instead thinks about the stars. He is very full of himself, and Abilene’s grandmother Pellegrina notices. One night, she tells Abilene a story about a beautiful princess who did not love anyone. At the end of the story, the princess is turned into a warthog and then eaten. When Pellegrina finishes her story, she comes over to Edward and says, “You disappoint me.”

Soon the Tulane family boards a ship that will take them to England, but Pellegrina stays behind. On the ship, two mean boys grab Edward from Abilene and toss him around. Abilene pushes on one of the boys and he misses the other, and so with that “Edward Tulane fell overboard.”

Marshmallow is reading the part of Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane where Edward finally has "the proper outlaw look"--now he finally looks "like a rabbit on the run".
Marshmallow is reading the part of Kate DiCamillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane where Edward finally has “the proper outlaw look”–now he finally looks “like a rabbit on the run”.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is my favorite among Kate DiCamillo’s books that I have read so far. It is not part of a series so you can read it by itself.

In The Miraculous Journey, many years and months pass, and DiCamillo is able to make the reader believe that time actually passes.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane can be read by all ages of bunnies. Caramel and Sprinkles also really liked (listening to) it, but is probably best for young bunnies.

It is really neat to see how Edward’s character changes over the course of his journey. There are also many interesting characters. One of these is Pellegrina, Abilene’s grandmother, who Edward suspects had something to do with his journey. While Edward is in the ocean, he thinks about Pellegrina’s story and realizes that she is like the witch, in the sense that she is punishing him for not loving Abilene back while she loves him so much.

I think the best part is the end of the book, but I can’t tell you the end because it would spoil the book. So if you want to know the end you will need to read the book yourself.

Here is a trailer for the book I really enjoyed watching:

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo 100%.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

A few weeks ago Caramel reviewed the first book in the Babymouse series written by Jennifer Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm: Babymouse: Queen of the World. Today he reviews the second book in the series: Babymouse: Our Hero. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

Sprinkles: So Caramel this is the second Babymouse book you are reviewing for the blog.

Caramel: Yes. I reviewed the first book a few weeks ago.

S: So this has the same characters, like Babymouse and her best friend …

C: Wilson!

S: And then there is …

C: Squeak!

S: Who is that?

C: Her brother.

S: We did not hear about Squeak much before, did we?

C: Yes, he was already in the first book, I think…

S: But he hasn’t played a big role in either book just yet. But there is someone who is playing a big role… Someone who is a big meanie…

C: Oh, yes! Felicia Furrypaws! She is pretty mean.

S: So what happens in this book?

C: They play dodgeball. Babymouse is super bad at dodgeball. In the book you learn about all these things she is good at. But the one thing she is not good at is dodgeball!

Caramel is reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. On these pages we learn about things Babymouse is good at.
Caramel is reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. On these pages we learn about things Babymouse is good at.

S: So ok, she is not good at dodgeball. What is she good at?

C: She’s good at avoiding chores, defying gravity, and skating a perfect figure 4.

S: What does that mean?

C: Skaters like to skate a figure 8 usually. I learned that from Schoolhouse Rock. Let’s insert the video here.

S: Sure. All the book bunnies love Schoolhouse Rock!

Figure Eight, by Schoolhouse Rock!

C: I like this video! And I like the Babymouse books!

S: Seems like it! So was this as fun as the first one?

C: They’re both good.

S: Can someone start reading Babymouse from this second book?

C: I think you can follow the story from this one but if you want to know the whole story of Babymouse, start from the first book.

S: I agree. The stories are quite independent, but the first book seems to be written with the assumption that you don’t know anything about Babymouse and this one seems to think you might know at least a little.

C: I want to read the next books now. I think Babymouse is funny!

S: Yes, she is very imaginative, right? Tell me some of the things she daydreams about in math class?

C: She pretends that she is in prison, and makes a daring escape plan. Then there is the part where she is a superhero. Then there is the part where she gets an award, but that is a dream I think, she gets an award for taking out the trash without being asked!

S: Yes, just before she wakes up in the morning, right? She seems to have a lot of difficulty waking up in the morning.

C: Yes.

S: Do you?

C: No. Because I’m such a good little bunny.

S: That is (mostly) true. So maybe this is a good time for this good little bunny to wrap up this review. What do you think?

C: Okay. Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm and recommends it to all little bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm and recommends it to all little bunnies.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow already reviewed the first book of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief. Today she reviews the second book: The Sea of Monsters. It might be helpful to have read that first book (or at least Marshmallow’s review of it) to understand the following.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about mythology and the Greek gods, and especially if you liked reading the first book (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Percy’s second summer at Camp Half-Blood is not going to be fun and games. But to understand the reason why, we need to go back in time to when Annabeth, a friend of Percy’s, first came to camp. During this time, Thalia, a half-blood daughter of Zeus, sacrificed herself in order to save her three friends, Annabeth, Luke, and Grover. She fought the approaching monsters. As she was dying, her father Zeus turned her into a pine tree with a powerful enchantment. Thalia’s tree put a magical barrier around the gates of Camp Half-Blood that protects the rest of the half-bloods that are trying to enter the camp.

Back in the present, when someone poisons Thalia’s tree, the camp’s magical borders are broken, and all of the half-bloods are in danger. They have no borders to protect them, and monsters are all attracted to the half-bloods, and when they find them, they usually kill them. So, the only way to protect the only safe haven for half-bloods is to find the Golden Fleece. (According to Wikipedia, the story of the Golden Fleece involves many other powers and interpretations. In this story, it is said to have the power to cure anything.)

Unfortunately, a Cyclops who does not want to give it away guards the golden fleece. This Cyclops lives in the Sea of Monsters (which just happens to be the Bermuda Triangle), where Percy’s father does not have much power. (We learn in the first book that Percy’s father is Poseidon, the god of the sea. We also learn there that all half-bloods have one human parent, and the other is an Olympian god or goddess.) So the camp sends out Clarisse, a daughter of Ares who Percy has many disagreements with, to find the Golden Fleece. Percy thinks that Clarisse will not be able to find it, so he decides that he and his friends will do it.

Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book for people who like to read Rick Riordan books or like mythology. You do have to have read the first book or watched the first movie (though the movie does introduce many new events and skips out on some others from the book) to know the backstory of the main characters. The main plot is intriguing and I did not suspect the reason why Thalia’s tree was poisoned.

The Sea of Monsters is a very good book for all ages. Caramel and Sprinkles also enjoyed the second book.

After reading this second book of the series, the book bunnies household watched the second movie. Here is a trailer:

We thought this movie was much better. Annabeth became blonder (like in the book), and Clarisse, who is my favorite character, finally appeared. It did include a lot of events that do not happen in the books at all. Still it was a fun movie to watch.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.