Marshmallow reviews BrainJuice American History: Fresh Squeezed! by Carol Diggory Shields

Today Marshmallow shares some thoughts on a little book of history: BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson.

Marshmallow reviews BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson.
Marshmallow reviews BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you are looking for an amusing history book or like poetry, this might be the book for you.

Too many books? No time to read?
BrainJuice is just what you need.
We squeezed the facts, threw in some rhyme,
Twice the knowledge in half the time.

Whether slowly sipped or gulped with gusto,
BrainJuice
is:
Nutritionally Balanced!
Masterfully distilled!
Unconditionally guaranteed pure!
Totally concentrated;

And
100% refreshing!

This is the poem on the back of this BrainJuice book. BrainJuice American History Fresh Squeezed! explains history in short, memorable poems. It teaches the reader about American history since 245,000,000 BCE when the dinosaurs were around. This is the first poem in the book:

THE FIRST
The first Americans who roamed the prairie
Were kind of big and kind of scary
Some lived alone, some in a bunch,
A few of them ate the others for lunch.
Some were gentle, some were mean,
Some were spotted or dotted or green.
They hissed and growled and roared great roars—
The first Americans were dinosaurs.

The book contains a total of forty-one poems and ends with a moving poem about the Statue of Liberty, called The Lady.

Marshmallow is pointing at one of the poems in BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson. This is about Christopher Columbus and his arrival in the Americas.
Marshmallow is pointing at one of the poems in BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson. This is about Christopher Columbus and his arrival in the Americas.

Marshmallow’s review: Some people think that history is boring, but this book is proof that it is not. The poems are written in a style that will entertain and teach the reader about the American Revolution, the Presidents, and the “discovery” of the Americas. It is a great book for parents to get for their children / child if they want them to be interested in the fascinating history of America. But I think that this would be a good book for all ages. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is a great read for those who think that history is just memorizing dates and the events that happened on those dates. The poems are short so they are easy to memorize so soon you will know all of the main events that occurred in American history quickly and efficiently. Anyone who wants to learn about American history can get down some of the basic facts with this book.

Marshmallow is reading one of the poems in BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson. This is about the presidents.
Marshmallow is reading one of the poems in BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson. This is about the presidents.

The pictures in the book add a lot to the poems. I especially liked the pictures that had writing on them. Some of the pictures are funny and others are just more descriptive.

The pages of the book are split into two parts. There is a thin pink strip on the top of each page which is a timeline that starts in 245,000,000 BCE (when the dinosaurs are around) and ends on September 11, 2001 when “Over 3,000 are killed in terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.” The rest of the page typically contains a poem or a picture associated to the time period.

Another good thing about this fantastic book is that it explains well some very difficult events that might be challenging to explain to young children. It describes the Trail of Tears, for example, but it iis not all inclusive of course. For example it does not mention Japanese internment camps, which I read about in They Called Us Enemy.

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson 95%.
Marshmallow rates BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson 95%.

Caramel reviews Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey and Tom Lichtenheld

Like many other little bunnies, Caramel loves machines used for building and construction. He also loves a good night story. Today he is reviewing a book that brings these two together: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. As always, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.
Caramel reviews Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us about this book.

Caramel: This is a good book if you want to go to sleep. I bet all bunnies would like it.

S: What happens in the book?

C: There are five construction machines going to bed.

S: What do you mean? Do construction machines really ever go to bed?

C: Probably not. But in this book they do.

S: Hmm, so who are these five machines?

C: There is an Excavator, there is a Crane Truck, a Cement Mixer, a Bulldozer, and a Dump Truck. And they are all working all day long on a construction site. They do “construction play” apparently.

S: So they are like little kids playing in a sandbox and they are having a lot of fun all day, right?

C: Yes and no. They are in a sandbox, but they are not little kids.

S: But in the book they end up all going to sleep, right?

C: Yep.

S: Like tired little kids or bunnies who have played all day long…

C: Yeah. Exactly.

Caramel is reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.
Caramel is reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.

S: So tell me more about the book.

C: The words all rhyme. Let me read you some. Here is how the book starts:

“Down in the big construction site,
The tough trucks work with all their might
To build a building, make a road
To get the job done–load by load!”

S: So do you read this book out loud?

C: Sometimes. But I also like it when you read it out loud to me.

S: Yes, it kind of feels like I am putting my little construction machine to bed when I am reading. So if you were a construction machine, which one would you be?

C: None of them. I don’t want to be a construction machine.

S: Then why do you like reading books about them going to bed?

C: I don’t know. I just like machines.

S: Yes, I do know that. You even reviewed a whole book on engineering for this blog. But it is a bit more than that I think. You like books and movies and such that have machines that think, feel, and play with friends. I remember how much you used to enjoy watching the Cars movies.

C: I do like technology. And I like playing with friends.

S: I guess that makes sense! Alright, did you recognize the drawing in the book? You reviewed another book illustrated by the same person; can you tell?

C: Not really. I do like the illustrations in this book a lot. I liked the ones in the other book, too. But I can’t tell they were done by the same person.

S: But you are right, the illustrator makes the construction machines cute and lovable, and you can somehow calm down and get ready to sleep by seeing them slowly go to sleep.

C: Yes. Let us read this book tonight!

S: Good idea!

C: And this is a good place to wrap up our review. Stay tuned for more book bunny adventures!

Caramel loves reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, before going to sleep.
Caramel loves reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, before going to sleep.

Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age by Jeffrey Brown

Marshmallow reviews the second book in Jeffrey Brown’s Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series: Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age.

Last week Marshmallow reviewed They Called Us Enemy, written by the Star Trek veteran George Takei together with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, and illustrated by Harmony Becker. Today she wanted to review a more light-hearted graphic novel and she chose the second book of Jeffrey Brown’s Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series: Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age. For her review of the first book, Lucy and Andy Neanderthal, see here. (Caramel reviewed a book by Jeffrey Brown too; you might enjoy his review of My Teacher is a Robot.)

Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age by Jeffrey Brown.
Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age by Jeffrey Brown.

Marshmallow’s Overview:  If you like graphic novels and movies or books about the ice age, then this might be the book for you. You can enjoy it even if you have not read the first book (or my review of it).

Marshmallow’s Summary: Lucy and Andy Neanderthal are living in the Ice Age and now are friends with a clan of humans. Some of the Neanderthals like Lucy are best friends with some of the humans (Sasha), but her brother, Andy, is not enjoying the humans that are living in his cave with him. One human child, named Richard, especially annoys him by making fun of him. But he does make friends with a boy named Tommy who is scared of cave bears.

Lucy and Andy have fun with their new friends. They go to the beach and collect shells. They also face a cave bear. In the end, Sasha’s mom has a new child and so Sasha becomes an older sister.

Marshmallow is reading Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age by Jeffrey Brown.
Marshmallow is reading Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age by Jeffrey Brown.

Marshmallow’s Review: I enjoyed this book very much. Like the last book I reviewed this is a graphic novel. It has funny drawing and will make readers read it in one sitting. This book has excellent characters that are amusing, relatable, and interesting. It also has facts that intertwine fiction and nonfiction. 

“Fact and fiction cleverly collide in this prehistoric romp.

Shelf Awareness

The above quote describes this excellent book well. It is fun and entertaining to think about how humans and neanderthals must have interacted. The book is full of facts but is also completely hilarious. If you enjoyed the first book, you will certainly enjoy this one too.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading and rereading this terrific book about Neanderthals and the Ice Age. The author, Jeffrey Brown, draws hilarious drawings that describe that characters personalities. This is a very good book that can be read and reread over and over again.  I would recommend it to any and all bunnies who like books and want to laugh out loud while reading.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age by Jeffrey Brown 100%.
Marshmallow rates Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age by Jeffrey Brown 100%.

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.

Caramel is a little Star Wars fan even though he has only watched four of the movies (Episodes I and IV-VI) so far. He is very curious about the upcoming ninth installment of the franchise and so he was excited to get his paws on this book of stories from the movies. Below he shares his enthusiasm about this book as well as his excitement about the whole series. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.
Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.

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

Caramel: This book has a lot of stories from the Star Wars movies.

S: How many stories are there?

C: There are eleven stories.

S: Are they related to the Star Wars movies?

C: Yes. Each of the eleven stories is from one of the movies. So for example the first story is “Race to the Finish Line” and it is from The Phantom Menace.

S: And then the rest of it goes from there, right? The stories seem to be following the movies in chronological order. That means the stories follow the timeline of the movies. Is that correct?

C: No. Not quite. The book starts from Episode I and the movies started started with Episode IV.

S: Yes in that sense the book is not following the order of the movies, but if you ordered the movies in terms of the timeline of the events happening, then you would have Episode I first.

C: I guess that is true.

Caramel is reading The Last Adventure" from The Revenge of the Sith (Episode III).
Caramel is reading The Last Adventure” from The Revenge of the Sith (Episode III).

S: Ok, so tell me about one of the stories you like.

C: The first story is about Anakin Skywalker. He is trying to win a pod race.

S: What is a pod race?

C: It’s hard to explain, it’s kind of like a car race, except they are flying in the air. They are in pods connected to two jet engines. And they go really fast.

S: Anakin is a kid in this story, right? So are all the other racers kids like Anakin?

C: Nope. But he is a good pilot and he wins!

S: Oh, that is what happens in the movie The Phantom Menace, too. So it seems like the stories are from the movies. Is that correct?

C: Yes. But actually I don’t know. I haven’t watched all the movies yet.

S: That is true! We have so far only watched Episodes I, IV, V, and VI. And I bet you don’t remember Episodes IV, V, and VI too well, either. You were a very much younger bunny then.

C: Yes that is true. But maybe we will watch them all in order now that we have watched Episode I.

S: Yes, I think that will be neat. And then if we can finish all eight by December, then we might even catch the ninth episode in the theaters. Would you like that?

C: Yeah! That sounds awesome!

S: So till then we get to read the stories here. Can you tell me a bit more about the stories? Which movies are the stories from?

C: The first story is called “Race to the Finish Line” and is from The Phantom Menace. The second one is from Attack of the Clones and is called “Yoda and the Count”. The third story is “The Last Adventure” and is from Revenge of the Sith. The next story is “Escape From Darth Vader” and is from A New Hope.

S: That’s the fourth movie, the very first Star Wars movie ever made.

C: And the first one we watched. Ok, let me continue. The next story is “Destroy the Death Star!” and it is also from Episode IV. The next story is “The Battle of Hoth” and is from The Empire Strikes Back. The next two are from Return of the Jedi. And the last two are from The Force Awakens.

S: That is Episode VII. And we have not watched it yet. But there are no stories from Episode VIII then, right?

C: That’s correct.

S: So I guess the book was published before then and so we will just have to watch The Last Jedi ourselves… But tell me, do you like this book?

C: Yep. The stories are cool, they also have really good illustrations.

S: So they are not screenshots from the movies, are they?

C: No, they are drawn by some really good artists.

S: That’s neat Caramel. So I think this is a good place to end our review so you can continue flipping through the pages and reading these stories for the umpteenth time. Right?

C: This is only my fifth time I think, but yes, it is time to finish the review. And I can now say: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures! Oh and I will add: May the Force be with you!

Caramel loved 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press and wants to say: May the Force be with you!
Caramel loved 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press and wants to say: May the Force be with you!