Marshmallow reviews Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia

Marshmallow has been thinking a lot about bunnies lately. So she borrowed a For Dummies book from the home library: Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia. Below she writes about her thoughts on this book, her first review of a non-fiction book.

Marshmallow reviews Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia.
Marshmallow reviews Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about taking care of pets, or if you love rabbits (like I do!), then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary: This is a non-fiction book. It contains many facts about rabbits. It tells the reader how to litter box train a rabbit, how to clip the nails of a pet rabbit, and many more tidbits of information. It has a wide variety of facts. 

The book contains nineteen chapters. My favorites are Chapters 10 (Reading Your Rabbit) and 11 (Putting Boxing Gloves on Your Rabbit: Training). These chapters are about how to understand a rabbit’s behavior (Reading Your Rabbit) and how to train your rabbit (Putting Boxing Gloves on Your Rabbit

The nineteen chapters of the book are organized into five parts. My favorite part is Part 1 Bringing on the Bunny Basics. I like this part because it teaches you about the many different breeds of rabbits. 

In the introduction the author lists the people who could like this book:

This book is for you if you:

* Want a rabbit.

* Think rabbits are cool and want to know more about them.

* Have a rabbit and are considering getting another.

* Own a rabbit and are considering breeding or showing it.

* Have a rabbit (or two) and want to expand your knowledge on how to care for these pets.

Marshmallow’s Review: The book Rabbits for Dummies is about how to take care of rabbits. It is a very good book for rabbits (like me!) and rabbit lovers. Reading it can really help a person learn about rabbits. 

The book has pictures that help describe the book contents. Many are distributed in the text, but there is a small section in the middle of the book made up entirely of color photos, printed on higher quality paper.  

Marshmallow is pointing at a Holland lop rabbit, one of her favorites.
Marshmallow is pointing at a Holland lop rabbit, one of her favorites.

At the beginning of each part, there is a comic that is about the contents of that part. These are all pretty hilarious. I laughed out loud while reading some of them. 

At the beginning of each part is a single comic. Marshmallow's favorite is the one starting Part IV.
At the beginning of each part is a single comic. Marshmallow’s favorite is the one starting Part IV.

Overall this is a very good book that is educational, funny, well-written, and very entertaining. It is sure to help everyone that wants to have a pet bunny. However, be warned: it will certainly make you want a bunny even more than you did before. When she lent me the book, Sprinkles had thought that it would make me realize how much work taking care of a bunny would be, but it seems like this has backfired. I now want a bunny even more!

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%

Marshmallow rates Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia 100%.
Marshmallow rates Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia 100%.

Caramel reviews Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat

Caramel has already reviewed The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat and  The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham, two of a new series titled Elephant and Piggie Like Reading. This week he shares his thoughts on a third book in this series, Harold and Hog :Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions when needed.

Caramel reviews Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.
Caramel reviews Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.

Sprinkles: Caramel, what did you think about this book?

Caramel: I thought it was awesome! There are two friends, an elephant and a pig, and they are trying to pretend to be Elephant and Piggie. You know who those are of course?

S: Yes, those are the main characters of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series. And you love that series, don’t you?

C: Yes!

S: And it seems this new elephant, his name is Harold, and his friend Hog, also like our Elephant and Piggie. So they try to be like them.

C: Yes, they pretend to be like them. First Harold tries to be Gerald, That is Elephant’s name. And Hog tries to be Piggie.

S: And does it work?

C: No! They’re are not really very good at it. They are not exactly the same.

S: They have different personalities, right? Harold is not as careful as Gerald and Hog is not as carefree as Piggie. So…

C: So they decide that Harold is going to be Piggie and Hog is going to be Gerald!

S: That is a perfect solution, right? They can still pretend to be best friends!

C: And they ARE best friends!

Caramel is reading Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.
Caramel is reading Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.

C: And even a pigeon shows up!

S: The Pigeon?

C: No. A pigeon. They even ask him if he wants to drive the bus!

S: That is really funny. Does this story remind you of any other stories Caramel?

C: Yes! Remember the one where Elephant and Piggie are in a book?

S: Yes, Mo Willems’ We Are In A Book! There are many interesting meta questions that one can consider reading that book. So this one too raises many questions. In the end Elephant and Piggie look quite puzzled. Why do you think they look that way?

C: I don’t really know.

S: It seems that they are surprised to see two friends so much like themselves but also not like themselves. And these two friends know of them.

C: Like they must be famous or something.

S: Yes, kind of. And then in the end they decide to pretend to be Harold and Hog! Quite a neat full circle!

C: Yes! This is a fun book to read! I like reading it out loud on my own. But it is more fun to read with you. Shall we read it again together?

S: Yes. Let’s. This is a nice place to end our review, too.

C: Yes. Good bye! Stay tuned for more reviews from the Book Bunnies!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.

Marshmallow reviews Encyclopedia Brown Books 1-4 by Donald Sobol

Marshmallow loves to read detective stories with young protagonists. Below she shares some of her thoughts on the first four books of a classic series, Encyclopedia Brown, by Donald J. Sobol.

Marshmallow reviews the first four books of Donald Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown series.
Marshmallow reviews the first four books of Donald J. Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown series.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books that have very smart people in them, or if you simply like detective stories where the main character is a kid who solves crime mysteries, then this might be the book series for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): The name Encyclopedia Brown gives you the hint that he or she is very smart since an encyclopedia is a book that contains facts, A to Z. (Encyclopedia Brown’s real name is Leroy Brown. Encyclopedia is his nickname.) The truth is, yes, Encyclopedia Brown is VERY smart and has a vast amount of knowledge. Encyclopedia is also a great detective. He can solve any mystery, even if it is an eighty-five-year-old case that has been a story for a long time. 

According to Wikipedia, there are at least twenty-nine Encyclopedia Brown books, but I have read only four of them so far. Each book is less than a hundred pages and is easy to read in one day or less. In each book there are about ten stories. Sometimes the stories in one book are related to one another and have common characters. For example Sally Kimball is one of Encyclopedia Brown’s best friends and serves as his body guard. Another character who appears several times is Bugs Meany, often the criminal in the cases brought to Encyclopedia by other kids. 

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch is Marshmallow's favorite among the four.
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch is Marshmallow’s favorite among the four.

The book I like the most is book number two, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch. In that book, one of my favorite stories is The Case of the Glass of Ginger Ale. This story is about a famous blind violinist who got tricked by Hans Braun, “concert master of the Glendon Symphony”. Encyclopedia solves this mystery quickly and gets an autograph from the violinist as well.

Marshmallow is reading her favorite Encyclopedia Brown story: The Case of the Glass of Ginger Ale.
Marshmallow is reading one of her favorite Encyclopedia Brown stories: The Case of the Glass of Ginger Ale.

Another one of my favorites is The Case of the Balloon Man. In this story, a man named Izzy is suspected of kidnapping a little child named Bobby Tyler. Encyclopedia solves this mystery quickly while eating dinner. 

The Case of the Hungry Hitchhiker is a great example of how good Encyclopedia’s mystery solving skills are. In this story, a “hitchhiker” turns out to be a part of a holdup gang. Encyclopedia figures this out by a not-melted chocolate bar that should have been melted. (Especially if you have been standing outside on a ninety-three-degree day for an hour as the hitchhiker claimed.) 

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a book series that everyone will enjoy. The author puts the clues in plain sight, but it is very easy to not notice them because they are not things that will attract a lot of attention. Encyclopedia Brown is clever and always has the right answers. The answers to the mysteries are in the backs of the books. The reader will probably need to go to the end often to find out the answers to the cases that Encyclopedia Brown easily solves.

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%

Marshmallow rates Encyclopedia Brown books 1-4 95%.
Marshmallow rates Encyclopedia Brown books 1-4 95%.

Caramel reviews Samurai by Louie Stowell

Caramel loves reading books about real things. In previous weeks he reviewed Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne and The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab. This week he shares his thoughts on another nonfiction book: Samurai by Louie Stowell. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions as needed.

Caramel reviews Samurai by Louie Stowell.
Caramel reviews Samurai by Louie Stowell.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what is this book about?

Caramel: It’s about samurai of course!

S: But what is a samurai?

C: Samurai were the noble horseback warriors of old Japan. They fought with swords named katana, and bows and arrows. They had a code of honor called bushido. That means that they followed certain rules. For example, if a samurai was losing in a battle, he would not be captured alive. He used one of his special swords to kill himself. This was called seppuku or hara-kiri.

S: That sounds rough. What else did you learn from this book?

C: Samurai thought the cherry blossom was an important symbol, because at the height of its beauty it would fall to the ground to die. Samurai also had to be willing to sacrifice themselves before they got old. They saw the cherry blossom as a proof that this was the natural way of things.

S: That is kind of romantic. And cherry blossoms are really pretty,. aren’t they?

C: Yes, they are! They are called sakura! They are a very pale pink and they are really beautiful!

S: Did you learn anything else?

C: Yes. Samurai wrote poems and read a lot. They also liked the arts. Most samurai were men, though women of samurai families also learned to fight and some even went to battle.

S: Why are you always speaking of them in the past tense Caramel? Are there no samurai left now?

C: Not exactly. In 1873 the emperor of Japan decided to replace the samurai with a modern army. Today there are no samurai left in Japan but only their descendants.

S: That is a big word Caramel! Do you know what it means?

C: It means relatives and people who came after.

S: Yes, that’s more or less it.

C: Samurai served clan lords, or a shogun, the military leader of Japan. The book tells stories of many wars of many samurai families. Many of them died.

S: So did you enjoy this book Caramel?

C: Yes. It was kind of violent though. Lots of people killing each other and themselves, and lots of death.

S: True. Hmm.. What else can we say about this book?

Caramel shows some of the pictures in Samurai by Louie Stowell.
Caramel shows some of the pictures in Samurai by Louie Stowell.

C: There are many pictures in the book. And this is a chapter book. It has seven chapters.

S: Do you have a favorite one?

C: Not really. But I have a least favorite one. The third chapter is called The Scarlet Sea. And it is about two clans of samurai fighting and the losing side dying. It is very sad.

S: Yes, that was a sad story, wasn’t it?

C: Yes.

S: Hmm.. let us end in a more upbeat tone. You also know how to make samurai helmets, right?

C: Yes! Just right for samurai bunnies! You can find some helpful directions here. And below is me wearing a samurai helmet I made!

Caramel is proudly wearing his samurai helmet.
Caramel is proudly wearing his samurai helmet.
Caramel really enjoyed learning about samurai!
Caramel really enjoyed learning about samurai!