Caramel reviews Survive! Inside the Human Body: The Digestive System by Hyun-Dong Han

A few weeks ago, as the book bunny household was just finishing up watching the (surprisingly violent but also extremely engaging) manga series Cells At Work, we came across a series of graphic novels set inside the human body. Of course both little bunnies read through the books in the blink of an eye. Today Marshmallow interviews Caramel about the first book in the series: Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han.

Caramel reviews Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han.
Caramel reviews Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han.

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

Caramel: This book is a book that can teach a lot. 

M: What is something you learned?

C: I learned that the esophagus is a hole that goes down to your stomach.  

M: What happens in the book?

C: It’s about a girl named Phoebe, and then there is this Doctor Brain. Doctor Brain’s a medical person who’s a mad scientist too. He invents this machine that makes things smaller, and then accidentally, Geo and Doctor Brain get swallowed by Phoebe.

M: Who is Geo?

C: Phoebe’s friend. 

M: Who is the other character on the cover?

C: That is Kay, the assistant of Doctor Brain, and Geo and Phoebe’s friend. 

M: What are Geo and Doctor Brain trying to do?

C: They are trying to get out of Phoebe’s body after she swallows them. 

M: What part of her body are they in?

C: In this book, they are in the digestive tract. 

M: “Digestive tract,” that’s a big word. But wait, does the “In this book” mean that there are more books?

C:  Yes, there are two more. There is a book on The Circulatory System and another on The Nervous System.

Caramel is reading Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han.
Caramel is reading Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han.

M: Is this book scary?

C: Sort of, maybe for little kids. It could be scary for younger kids. 

M: Do you have a favorite character?

C: Doctor Brain because he’s smart. Really smart. 

M: Do you think that this book is easy to read?

C: Yes, it’s a pretty easy book. It’s a graphic novel, and it has fewer words than a normal book.

M: Did you enjoy reading it? 

C: Yes, I really liked it.

M: Do you think that everyone could like it or do you think that the book is meant for a certain age group?

C: I think that every one could like it. 

M: Do you like the pictures or the drawings?

C: The pictures are pretty good drawing. They do describe the action pretty well. They are colorful. 

M: In some parts, there are facts, right?

C: Yes, there are many facts. Here’s one, “We use nearly 40 muscles to chew and swallow.” 

M: Wow! That a lot of muscles. I wonder if bunnies like us use more or less.

Caramel is reading one of the fact based spreads in Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han.
Caramel is reading one of the fact based spreads in Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han.

M: So, Caramel, what are three words that describe this book?

C: Action, informative, and colorful.

M: Sounds good to me! And it’s about time to wrap up. What do you say?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has enjoyed reading Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han, and recommends it to all other little bunnies interested in the human body.
Caramel has enjoyed reading Survive: The Digestive System, illustrated by Hyun-Dong Han, and recommends it to all other little bunnies interested in the human body.

Marshmallow reviews Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier

Today Marshmallow reviews Kristy’s Great Idea, the first book in Ann M. Martin’s classic series, The Baby-Sitters Club, reimagined and rewritten as a graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow reviews Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow reviews Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier.

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

Marshmallow’s Summary: When her mother is unable to find a babysitter for her younger brother, Kristy Thomas comes up with a great idea: The Baby-Sitters Club. She decides that she will start a babysitting business together with her best friends Mary Ann Spier and Claudia Kishi.

The girls decide to meet at Claudia’s house and they talk about what they will do. They decide that they will meet regularly in Claudia’s room because she has a phone that they can use for clients’ calls. Claudia tells Kristy and Mary Ann that she knows whom they should invite to be in the club. They should ask Stacey McGill to join them. Claudia tells them that Stacey just moved from New York and that she used to babysit there.  The rest of the girls meet Stacey in their next meeting and they decide that she can be in the club.

In the rest of the book the girls babysit multiple children and Kristy becomes closer to the children that might become her step-siblings. 

Marshmallow is reading Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow is reading Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a book about friendship. It is the first book of a very successful book series that was originally written in 1986 by Ann M. Martin, but was in 2006 made into a graphic novel, by Raina Telgemeier. 

Kristy’s Great Idea is a good book for people who enjoyed Raina Telgemeier’s other books (see my review of her book Ghosts here). The book is one hundred eighty pages, so younger readers might take a longer time reading it and might find it a little hard to read. I think that this book is probably best for ages seven and up. 

I think that my favorite character is Karen, one of the kids that might become Kristy’s stepsiblings. I think that she is funny because she thinks that her neighbor is a witch, and put a spell on their cat Boo Boo.

The characters are all well developed. They are also very different from each other. For example, Mary Anne is quiet and shy, while her best friend is a bit bossy and opinionated. Meanwhile, Claudia and Stacey are interested in fashion, but Claudia is a great artist (she is the one who draws the Baby-Sitters Club symbol), and Stacey is more into the styles that are popular. But they still are all great friends.

The book bunnies got into the Baby-Sitters Clubs series because of the new Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club. Here is a trailer:

The Baby-Sitters Club trailer from YouTube.

There are a lot of differences between the Netflix show and the graphic novels. And I am guessing there are some differences between the original books and the graphic novels. But so far I have not yet read any of the originals. Maybe some day…

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier 95%.
Marshmallow rates Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier 95%.

Caramel reviews From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom

For his first review back, Caramel grabbed a book from a pile of books on Sprinkles’s desk for which she has been planning a joint review and decided he wanted to review it. The book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching, is about a young child and their identity. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions—and she is still planning a review of the remaining books on her pile on this topic for the near future.

Caramel reviews From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching.
Caramel reviews From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you grabbed this book from my pile and decided you want to review it yourself. Why?

Caramel: I like it. I like the creatures in it. The illustrations.

S: You are right, the illustrations are neat. They have beautiful colors and they remind one of being in a dream.

C: This book is a good book if you like mythical animals.

S: Okay, I see what you did there. That is the kind of thing Marshmallow says about books when she is reviewing them. But where do you find mythical animals in this book?

C: In the pictures!

S: Tell me more about the book Caramel.

C: There is a child named Miu Lan in this book. They are not a boy nor a girl.

S: Are they a mythical creature themselves then?

C: Sort of. Basically they are.

S: But not really, right? Because this can happen sometimes, and a child may not feel like they are a boy or a girl or a little bit of both or neither.

C: Yes, but I think Miu Lan is actually a mythical creature, because they can change their form when they want. When they want to, they can grow a turtle shell and porcupine quills.

Caramel is looking at the pages in From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea (written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching) where Miu Lan is going to school for the first time and they are so excited that "they grew a tail of peacock feathers and a coat of tiger stripes".
Caramel is looking at the pages in From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea (written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching) where Miu Lan is going to school for the first time and they are so excited that “they grew a tail of peacock feathers and a coat of tiger stripes”.

C: And they can also fly!

S: Yes, I love how they have scales and feathers or wings or stripes as they wish. It is pretty exciting to think about. But do you really think they are doing those things when they claim they are?

C: Probably not. But it would be cool if we could do that, wouldn’t it?

S: I think so, too. I’d especially like to be able to fly.

C: As bunnies we can at least jump pretty high…

S: Again, true. But back to Miu Lan. I don’t think they are a mythical being any more than you or me. But there are two little creatures that show up on each page that look like mythical beasts themselves.

C: Yes. There is a dog with a fish tail, or maybe a whale tail. I don’t know. I think that is the best creature in the book.

S: There is also a poem that the mother sings to her child every other page and we hear it resonate through the story, like in a retelling of a myth, where you would have repeated verses. Can you read that poem to me?

C: Okay let me find it. Ah, here we go:

whatever you dream of,
i believe you can be,
from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea.
you can crawl like a crab or with feathers fly high,
and i'll always be here, i'll be near, standing by,
and you know that i'll love you till the day that i die. 
whatever you dream of,
i believe you can be,
for you are my child, courageous and free. 

S: That is beautiful Caramel, isn’t it?

C: Yes but it is not the best sleeping poem, because I don’t think I want to think of you dying before I go to sleep.

S: I can see that, but saying “I’ll love you till I die” is something people say when they love someone so deeply and so unconditionally, that they want to make sure the person knows their love will always be there as long as that person lives. I can see how the death part might be off-putting. Other than that, do you like the poem?

C: Yes. Other than the death part I like it.

S: So the book is about this child Mui Lan who is different from other children in their school and they try to fit in and find friends and have some difficulties.

C: Yes. But in the end things work out. They do make friends.

S: That is true. This is a beautiful story. Maybe I will read it to you again tonight.

C: Yes, yes, yes, yes, I’d like that!

S: So now are we ready to wrap up this review?

C: Yes! Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures in From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching.
Caramel enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures in From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching.

Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle

Marshmallow reviewed A Wrinkle in Time, the first book in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, a few weeks ago. Today, for her first post after the book bunnies’ 2020 summer break, she reviews the second book in this collection: A Wind in the Door.

Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like science fiction, or if you have enjoyed reading books by Madeleine L’Engle, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): One day when Meg Murry comes home from school, her brother Charles Wallace tells her that there are dragons in their garden. (This is not the first time that something unusual happens to the Murrys. In A Wrinkle in Time, the children rescued their father from an evil entity.) When Meg goes outside she sees her old school principal Mr. Jenkins is there. Then the pet snake of her twin brothers hisses at him, and Mr. Jenkins turns into a winged monster and rips the sky.

The Murry family discusses the fact that there is a strange sound that scientists are hearing and things in space are disappearing. They are vanishing, becoming nothingness. When Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend, Calvin O’Keefe, see the “dragons” that Charles Wallace had mentioned, they see that it is a Cherubim, an extraterrestrial creature made up of wings and eyes. If not observed up closely, the Cherubim would look like a drive of dragons.

This also leads the three friends to learn that the Cherubim, Proginoskes, whom Meg nicknames Progo, is a Namer, a creature who names things, as opposed to an Echthroi, a creature that would unname things. Proginoskes apparently learned the names of all of the stars once.

Before all of this started, Meg and Charles Wallace’s mother started researching mitochondria and the mitochondria’s farandolae. (Mitochondria are real things: they are organelles in found in many cells. According to Wikipedia, the farandolae are “micro-organelles inside mitochondria that exist in the Time Quintet fantasy universe.”)

Meg eventually starts to notice that her brother has been tired and exhausted for a long time and that she had been ignoring his strange signs because she didn’t want to believe that he was sick. Meg gathers from her mother and from her brother, that their mother thinks that something is wrong with Charles Wallace’s mitochondria and his mitochondria’s farandolae. If his farandolae and mitochondria die, then Charles Wallace is in big danger.

Marshmallow is reading A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
Marshmallow is reading A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book that shows the bond between Meg and Charles Wallace. Meg is willing to risk her life for her little brother. To save him she even goes into one of his mitochondria and meets one of his mitochondria’s farandolae to save him. 

It is very interesting that Madeliene L’Engle’s fantasy universe has some real parts and some created parts. I didn’t know what mitochondria were before I read this book. It is so cool that there are mitochondria in everyone, even in bunnies like me! 

I think that this is a good book for all ages of bunnies, but it is on the longer side, and so younger bunnies might want to read it with older ones or have an older bunny read it to then. It might be scary for younger bunnies in some parts, so maybe older bunnies reading it with younger bunnies is a good idea. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 95%.
Marshmallow rates A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 95%.