Marshmallow reviews Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Today Marshmallow reviews another classic, Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell, first published in 1960. She has been reading a school copy of this book with her class and she was fascinated to learn that the story was based on a real young Native American girl who lived alone for many years on San Nicolas Island during the 19th century.

Marshmallow reviews Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.
Marshmallow reviews Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about finding friends in unexpected places, or young people surviving very difficult situations, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers):  Twelve-year-old Karana has lived on the Island of the Blue Dolphins for all her life with her family. So when her father, the chief, is killed, her tribe’s new chief decides that he will leave the island. He does not return and then white missionaries come and tell them that they need to pack up and get on their ships. When the boats are leaving, Karana realizes that her brother Ramo is not on any of the boats. When she runs to find him, she learns that he had left to find his fishing spear. Then they realize that the ships have left without them. 

Later while they are on the island alone, Karana leaves to collect needed items and comes back to find Ramo dead. Wild dogs had killed him and so she decided that she would take revenge on the wild dogs. So she builds weapons, which is against her tribe’s laws because women are not allowed to make weapons. So as she continues to try to get revenge she eventually makes friends with one of the wild dogs, whom she names Rontu.

Eventually she makes a hut (my favorite part) and a fence around it to make something sort of like a yard. And so she gets used to living on the island. But still she wonders if the ships will return.

Marshmallow is reading Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.
Marshmallow is reading Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a sad and well-written book. It is so sad how Karana’s father and brother die and she is left alone on the island without any one else. I felt really sad that Karana was left alone and she had to survive all by herself.

Island of the Blue Dolphins is a very moving book that every bunny should read at some point. It is a very good book for (probably older) readers. It might be sad for younger ones.

Reading Island of the Blue Dolphins can make the reader wonder what they would do if they were in Karana’s situation. I think that it would be very difficult for me to do all she has done, especially to build a house all by myself because I’m a bunny.

The book shows that humans can be very cruel to each other because people who had come to hunt otters on Karana’s island killed Karana’s father. But it also shows that humans can be very resourceful because Karana is very young but manages to survive on the island all by herself.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell 95%.
Marshmallow rates Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell 95%.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World (Babymouse #1) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Caramel just recently got introduced to the Babymouse series written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm. He really enjoyed the adventures of this feisty little mouse and today he shares with us his thoughts on the first book of the series: Babymouse: Queen of the World. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.
Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.

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

Caramel: This is a good book if you like stories about mice.

S: Well, do you like stories about mice?

C: Yes.

S: Tell me more.

C: There is this mouse named Babymouse and she is going to school and her teacher is a hippo, and her best friend is a weasel named Wilson. He always reads comic books in class.

S: Hmm. So the characters are all different kinds of animals then. Right?

C: Yes, there is also a popular cat. Her name is Felicia Furrypaws. She is mean.

S: Oh, yes according to the trailer of the book series, Felicia is one of Babymouse’s enemies. And another one of her enemies is her locker! Here is that trailer.

Trailer for the Babymouse series.

C: This is a funny trailer, but it is true. Babymouse has big dreams and wild imagination.

S: So what does that mean? In this book what kinds of dreams does she have? Tell me about one of her imaginary adventures.

C: There is this part where Babymouse is a queen and she gives the order to behead the mean cat Felicia. “Off with her head!”

Caramel is reading the part of Babymouse; Queen of the World by Jenifer Holm and Matthew Holm, where Babymouse imagines she is a queen.

S: Just like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland? Of course that is not very nice and it is probably not really happening.

C: No of course not. Babymouse is imagining things.

S: So this is the first book of a series which has twenty books so far.

C: We have to read all of them!

S: So you liked Babymouse that much?

C: Yep! She is funny! I read it in one day and then reread it again and again already.

S: You reviewed graphic novels before. Which ones do you think this is similar to?

C: It’s kind of similar to the Bad Guys books. It is about the same length and size. Same thickness. But there might be more small pictures on each page of this one.

S: Yes, I think there are more frames per page in this book. But it also reminded me a bit of the Narwhal and Jelly books you like so much .

C: Yes, the characters are different types of animals but they are behaving like little kids (or little bunnies I should have said).

S: Kind of like a fable then, right?

C: Yes, kind of.

S: They are about animals, but then again they are not aiming to give us a moral lesson necessarily.

C: No, but you still get something out of them.

S: Like what?

C: Like in this book Babymouse learns that popularity is not important, but having good friends is.

S: Well, that is a good message!

C: And I think I will remember it. But now time to wrap up! Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm, and is looking forward to reading more Babymouse books.
Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm, and is looking forward to reading more Babymouse books.

Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

The book bunny household has enjoyed almost every book they read of Kate DiCamillo. Today Marshmallow reviews one of her favorites: Flora and Ulysses.

Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.
Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked reading any other book by Kate DiCamillo, such as Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and  Mercy Watson, or if you like books about unexpected friendships, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): “Cynic” Flora Belle Buckman’s knowledge is put to the test when her neighbor runs over a squirrel with a vacuum. She knows a lot of things about tumors and other things that can go wrong in life. But one thing that she has yet to learn is how to perform CPR on a squirrel. Which is exactly what she does.

While the vacuum is about to suck up the squirrel, his only thought is, “FOOD!” Not, “I don’t want to die!” or “This is the end.” As the squirrel is waking up, he hears a voice, Flora’s, saying, “Breathe!” And so he does.

When he wakes up he is a different squirrel. And he is very, VERY hungry. So Flora sneaks him into her house. And she names him Ulysses after the vacuum that sucked him up (the Ulysses 2000X).

When Flora and her mother go to sleep, Ulysses goes and raids the pantry and then starts to type on Flora’s mother’s typewriter. He writes: 

“Squirtel! I am. Ulysses. Born anew.”          

Flora’s mother gets upset because she doesn’t know about Ulysses, and so she thinks that Flora typed it. When she eventually finds out about Ulysses, she tells Flora’s dad (they are divorced), to put Ulysses in a sack, then hit Ulysses on the head with a shovel (which will “put him out of his misery”), and then bury him with the shovel.

When Flora hears about this plan, she gets very upset. She is not only upset that her mother could be so cruel to a squirrel but also because she is upset about Mary Ann, her mother’s lamp. Flora’s mother says that she loves Mary Ann with all her heart even though she never says that about Flora. Flora is understandably upset, but she tries to ignore it by saying that she is a cynic and she doesn’t care, but she actually really does. 

Marshmallow is reading Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.
Marshmallow is reading Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.

Marshmallow’s Review: This book is both heartwarming and funny. Kate DiCamillo did a very good job of writing a funny book that can also make the reader happier.

Flora and Ulysses has a lot of interesting characters. For example, Ulysses the squirrel is a very interesting character and it is very funny how his only thought before he got sucked up by the vacuum and became smarter was, “FOOD!” Flora is also a very interesting character. She likes reading Incandesto, a comic book about a janitor who fell into a large pool of a cleaning liquid and became a superhero. And Flora really likes reading the comic strip that is at the end of every Incandesto book, called Terrible Things Can Happen to You! which is how she determines that she is a cynic. 

 Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo 100%.
Marshmallow rates Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo 100%.

Caramel reviews Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) by Mary Pope Osborne

Caramel is on a roll reading Magic Tree House books! He has already reviewed for Magic Tree House books for the book bunnies blog: Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5), Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6), Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2), and Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7). Today he shares with us his thoughts on Book #8: Midnight on the Moon. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) by Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel reviews Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) by Mary Pope Osborne.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what are Jack and Annie up to in this book?

Caramel: They are going to the moon. The title says so. And the cover picture.

S: So why do they go to the moon?

C: Because that is where they will find the fourth thing so that they can help their friend Morgan.

S: Do they find what they need?

C: Yup.

S: Ok, you probably should not tell us what happens when they find all four things.

C: I’ll tell you what happens: Morgan comes back!

S: So they save her! That is great! But tell me more about the moon.

C: They meet a space person there.

S: So there is a man on the moon?

C: Yes.

S: How so? There are no people on the moon right now.

C: There is a moon base and it is past 2031. They traveled ahead in time!

S: Oh that is cool! In many of the previous books they went back in time. Now they go ahead. There is no moon base right now.

C: There isn’t but there might be one in 2031..

S: That is true. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be on a moon base? Or to live in a space station?

Caramel is reading Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) by Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel is reading Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) by Mary Pope Osborne.

C: I don’t know. It might not be that great!

S: Well, there are astronauts who live on the international space station (ISS) circling the Earth right now. If you want to check it out, here is the link to who is on the space station right now. As we are writing this post, there are three.

C: They live there?

S: Well, they stay there for long periods of time and then come back to Earth.

C: I don’t really want to leave Earth. I like it here. I never ever want to leave!

S: I can understand that. But it does seem very interesting, doesn’t it? And Jack and Annie spend only a little bit of time on this moon base, so maybe that kind of a short trip could be nice.

C: No!

S: I don’t know. I would have liked to see the Earth rising

C: That does look nice!

S: I know. But you are right. This planet is our home. And it is perfectly natural not to want to leave it… So what else do you want to say about this book? Now that the mystery about Morgan has been resolved, do you think you will continue with the series?

C: Probably.

S: Why?

C: Because it is interesting. I want to see what else Jack and Annie will do.

S: That is great! We then have a lot more adventures of these two kids to read!

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

Caramel enjoyed reading Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) by Mary Pope Osborne, and recommends it to all little bunnies.