Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson

Marshmallow has been raiding the book bunnies home library because she is at home all day every day these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today she reviews an old favorite of Sprinkles that she discovered recently among the grownup comic books: The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.
Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like comic books, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Calvin is a six-year-old child who has many adventures with his stuffed tiger Hobbes. Unfortunately, he does not enjoy school and he daydreams about how he is Spaceman Spiff who has been captured by evil aliens who represent his teacher, Mrs. Wormwood. He escapes from school and pretends that it is a matter of life and death. He likes playing these games and has all sorts of adventures.

In Calvin’s mind, Hobbes is alive and his best friend. They are inseparable and are together every moment that they can be.

He pretends that whenever he comes home, Hobbes jumps on him and attacks him. He pretends that he and Hobbes have all sorts of disagreements. He even fights his stuffed tiger. He and Hobbes make many gruesome snowmen when it snows. Some of them are being hung, and some are being buried alive.

Calvin is very entertaining, but he is also very rude and obnoxious. He is a very strange human child (bunnies are never this disagreeable). He is definitely not a good role model. He skips school and is unable to wash himself. He pretends that an evil alien is trying to force him to give it information.

Marshmallow is reading The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book but it is also an older book, and its age shows a bit. It is a little inappropriate for younger children and I do not suggest reading it to a child younger than 9. He says some rude things that are not very nice to some groups of people. It is probably best for ages 9 and up.

Calvin and Hobbes is known as “the last great newspaper comic”, according to Wikipedia. Bill Watterson has created in Calvin a great character that has entertained readers for many years.

The comics are very interesting and thought provoking. When Calvin is asked by Hobbes if he has any New Year resolutions, his response is “No way! I’m already a great person!”

Calvin is also a very strange child. He has a vivid imagination that can be unsettling. He enjoys pretending that he is an all-powerful being that destroys worlds. He builds very complex cities. Then he destroys them. And his parents think that he is being very creative. When he listens to a song about Santa Claus that goes like “He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake… He knows when you’ve bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!” Calvin stops listening and he says, “Santa Claus: kindly old elf, or CIA spook?” (You can see this comic from 1987 here.)

Marshmallow’s Rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson 90%.
Marshmallow rates The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson 90%.

Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Today Caramel decided to review an old favorite of the book bunnies household: Harold and the Purple Crayon, written in 1955 by Crockett Johnson.

Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about Harold and his purple crayon?

Caramel: It’s a very cute little story.

S: What is the story about?

C: It’s about this little baby, who is four years old. He goes out for a walk in the moonlight.

S: Did you go for walks in the moonlight when you were four?

C: No.

S: So how is Harold able to go out and walk in the moonlight?

C: Maybe he doesn’t listen to directions.

S: Hmm. If that were the main explanation for the story, I’m not sure all parents would love to read it to their little ones. Can there be another explanation?

C: Maybe he just likes walking. And as he walks, he creates things.

S: So can you think of a time when you could create things as you wished?

C: Yesterday, when I was doodling. I have been doing the Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! And I was also wearing my blue bodysuit, just like Harold.

S: So do you think Harold is really going out for a walk? Is he really ever leaving his bedroom?

C: Hmm, when you say it that way. Probably not. Maybe he is imagining that he is creating things with his purple crayon.

S: Yeah, kind of like how you create things when you doodle! And so what kinds of things does Harold create or find on his way?

C: He decides to have a forest but then he doesn’t want to get lost so his forest has only one tree. He makes it into an apple tree. Or it turns out, as the book says.

Caramel is reading two of his favorite pages in Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon where Harold decides the tree he drew is an apple tree.

S: This is indeed a very sweet story. Did you know that a short film of this story was made too?

C: No. But we did just find it on Youtube:

A cartoon retelling of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon.

S: Yes, this was slightly different from the book, though, right?

C: Yeah, the porcupine shows up in the film much earlier than the moose. But in the book they show up on the same page, right after Harold is done with his picnic. His part of the picnic. He doesn’t finish everything, there is a lot of pie left.

S: Hmm. In the picnic Harold has nine types of pies, all his favorites. What are your favorite pies Caramel?

C: Cherry! I like cherry pie most. I also like lemon cake.

S: Ok, then what happens in the end? Does he finally go to sleep?

C: Yep. And so it is also time to wrap up our review. So stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel still enjoys reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and recommends it to all little bunnies and their grownups.
Caramel still enjoys reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and recommends it to all little bunnies and their grownups.

Marshmallow reviews Poached by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed two books from Stuart Gibbs’s FunJungle series: see her review of Belly Up, the first book of the series, and her review of Panda-monium, the fourth. Today she reviews the second book: Poached.

Marshmallow reviews Poached by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow reviews Poached by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about animals or if you like reading mystery books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy has once again landed in the middle of trouble. This time, the victim is Kazoo, the koala that the Australian government lent to the billionaire J.J. McCracken, who built FunJungle, the world’s newest and most thrilling zoo.

With both his parents working and living at FunJungle, Teddy is around the place most of the time, which allows him to investigate the crime. Unfortunately, one particular security guard, Marge O’Malley, who he calls Large Marge behind her back, is determined to prove that Teddy is involved with the stolen koala. (I know calling people names behind their backs is not nice, but this O’Malley is really not a nice person herself… at least in this book! For more on her you will need to read Panda-Monium!) While all this is happening, Teddy also has school issues. Vance Jessup, the school bully, enjoys bullying him on a daily basis. 

Since the security crew in FunJungle is so convinced that Teddy stole the koala, they are not even trying to find the real criminal. So it is once again all up to Teddy to solve the mystery and find Kazoo.

Marshmallow is reading Poached by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow is reading Poached by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s Review: Poached is a very good book for those who have enjoyed Stuart Gibbs’ past Spy SchoolMoon Base Alpha, and The Last Musketeer series. It is a great sequel to the first book in the FunJungle series, Belly Up. You can probably enjoy reading this even if you have not read Belly Up, but I would not recommend doing that. Reading the first book would help you know and understand the characters here much better.

On top of being a great read, Poached also has some interesting facts about animals. For example you can learn a lot about koalas while you read. You can also follow the great Teddy Fitzroy through his journey with bull sharks and bullies, and learn more about the bull sharks.

Just like the first book in the series, this one has some great characters. J.J. McCracken, for example, seems to be Teddy’s “biggest fan” sometimes, but then turns around and tries to have him arrested. Teddy is also a well-written character. He reacts to situations like a normal person would.

You might be thrilled or horrified, but with humor, action, and crisis, Stuart Gibbs has created a great read for all ages and all bunnies. I recommend this book highly!

The best age is 8 and up though. Younger bunnies might not understand the plot thoroughly. Gibbs manages to write very complex plots! On the other hand, if their parents can read it to them, this might not be an issue.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Poached by Stuart Gibbs 100%.
Marshmallow rates Poached by Stuart Gibbs 100%.

Caramel reviews Verdi by Janell Cannon

Today Caramel reviews a book he borrowed from his school when his school closed down for the next few weeks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: Verdi by Janell Cannon. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Verdi by by Janell Cannon.
Caramel reviews Verdi by by Janell Cannon.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, why did you pick this book to talk about today?

Caramel: Because I like this book. I like the illustrations, and the story.

S: I think the author both wrote the story and illustrated it herself.

C: Yes, she did. I like it. It is very green.

S: Yes, it is very calming. In fact we can read it out loud together, or watch someone else read it out loud, and it makes us feel calm and cozy, right?

C: Yep. Here is a video of someone reading Verdi that we found and watched:

A video reading of Verdi by Janell Cannon.

S: So can you tell us what this story is about Caramel?

C: A green python that does not want to be green. He is young so he is not green yet. And he does not want to become green, like the other ones. The other greens, he calls them.

S: That sounds interesting. What color is he then?

C: He is yellow. They are actually called green tree pythons. They are green when they are grown up, and they live on trees, so that is why they are called green tree pythons.

S: That is interesting! That Wikipedia article also says they get as long as six feet!

C: Yes. After the story ends, the book has a section on snakes. And you can learn lots of facts there.

S: And I know you like your facts Caramel! So tell me a few of your favorite snake facts from that section in the book.

C: Ok. There are about 2500 species of snakes!

S: That is a lot of snake types. What else?

C: And the biggest snake in the world is 33 feet!

S: That is long! Anyways it is interesting that these green tree pythons are born yellow and then they change into green as they mature. So this Verdi does not want to change. Why do you think that is?

C: Maybe he wants to stay young forever?

S: That sounds likely. He does not think too highly of the other already green ones, right?

C: He thinks they are lazy and boring.

S: And then what happens?

C: And then he turns green anyway.

S: And does he become lazy and boring?

C: No. He is big and green but he makes friends with two yellow snakes and together they jump and make figure eights with each other. It is such a nice book!

S: It is sweet, true. What do you think it all means?

C: I think it means that even if you do not want something to happen to you but if it is a part of your nature, then you will have to go through it anyways.

S: So you might not want to grow up but you will have to some day.

Caramel is rereading his favorite page and looking at his favorite illustration in Verdi by by Janell Cannon.
Caramel is rereading his favorite page and looking at his favorite illustration in Verdi by by Janell Cannon.

C: But it is ok to grow up. He is big and green but still can have fun and friends.

S: Yes, so maybe it is not that bad to grow up after all.

C: But I don’t want to grow up much either. I actually really don’t.

S: Why so?

C: It’s fun being a young bunny.

S: That is true. But there are also a lot of things you can’t do when you are such a young bunny.

C: But do you even remember when you were a young bunny?

S: Of course Caramel. I remember a lot of things. I was frustrated a lot because I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do.

C: Do you remember your school?

S: Yes, I do. I remember many of my friends and my teachers. But let us get back to Verdi. Do you know what Verdi means?

C: Yes, it means green. In Italian I think.

S: Yes, so that is kind of amusing, isn’t it? His name is green, so we could have guessed that he would eventually become green anyways.

C: Yep. But still it’s a nice story. I like reading it.

S: That is great Caramel. So let us wrap this up.

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

Caramel really enjoyed reading Verdi by by Janell Cannon.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Verdi by by Janell Cannon.