Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow already reviewed the first book of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief. Today she reviews the second book: The Sea of Monsters. It might be helpful to have read that first book (or at least Marshmallow’s review of it) to understand the following.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about mythology and the Greek gods, and especially if you liked reading the first book (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Percy’s second summer at Camp Half-Blood is not going to be fun and games. But to understand the reason why, we need to go back in time to when Annabeth, a friend of Percy’s, first came to camp. During this time, Thalia, a half-blood daughter of Zeus, sacrificed herself in order to save her three friends, Annabeth, Luke, and Grover. She fought the approaching monsters. As she was dying, her father Zeus turned her into a pine tree with a powerful enchantment. Thalia’s tree put a magical barrier around the gates of Camp Half-Blood that protects the rest of the half-bloods that are trying to enter the camp.

Back in the present, when someone poisons Thalia’s tree, the camp’s magical borders are broken, and all of the half-bloods are in danger. They have no borders to protect them, and monsters are all attracted to the half-bloods, and when they find them, they usually kill them. So, the only way to protect the only safe haven for half-bloods is to find the Golden Fleece. (According to Wikipedia, the story of the Golden Fleece involves many other powers and interpretations. In this story, it is said to have the power to cure anything.)

Unfortunately, a Cyclops who does not want to give it away guards the golden fleece. This Cyclops lives in the Sea of Monsters (which just happens to be the Bermuda Triangle), where Percy’s father does not have much power. (We learn in the first book that Percy’s father is Poseidon, the god of the sea. We also learn there that all half-bloods have one human parent, and the other is an Olympian god or goddess.) So the camp sends out Clarisse, a daughter of Ares who Percy has many disagreements with, to find the Golden Fleece. Percy thinks that Clarisse will not be able to find it, so he decides that he and his friends will do it.

Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book for people who like to read Rick Riordan books or like mythology. You do have to have read the first book or watched the first movie (though the movie does introduce many new events and skips out on some others from the book) to know the backstory of the main characters. The main plot is intriguing and I did not suspect the reason why Thalia’s tree was poisoned.

The Sea of Monsters is a very good book for all ages. Caramel and Sprinkles also enjoyed the second book.

After reading this second book of the series, the book bunnies household watched the second movie. Here is a trailer:

We thought this movie was much better. Annabeth became blonder (like in the book), and Clarisse, who is my favorite character, finally appeared. It did include a lot of events that do not happen in the books at all. Still it was a fun movie to watch.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Caramel reviews Captain Rosalie by Timothee De Fombelle

This week Caramel reviews Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. Originally written in French, the book was translated into English by Sam Gordon. As usual Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.
Caramel reviews Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, can you tell us what this book is about?

Caramel: It is about a little girl named Rosalie. Rosalie’s mom works in a factory making shells, like cannon balls.

S: So she is working in a factory making weapons for the war, right? there is a war going on.

C: It is World War I. They are in France I think.

S: Do you know when that was?

C: Nineteen hundreds?

S: Yes. The war started in 1914 and lasted till 1918. This story seems to be from the fall of 1917.

C: The book wasn’t written in 1917. It’s about a girl living in 1917.

S: Yes. So what happens to this girl?

C: Her mom leaves her at school before she goes to work. She is five, so she is too young to go to school, but she sits in class all day with the big kids.

S: And she has a mission, right? Why is the book called “Captain Rosalie”?

C: Because she refers to herself as Captain Rosalie.

S: A captain is a military officer. Is Rosalie in the army?

C: She is five! So no.

S: Why does she call herself a captain then?

C: She imagines herself to be a captain.

‘’I am a soldier on a mission. I am spying on the enemy. I am preparing my plan. I am Captain Rosalie.’’ 

S: Yes she thinks she is on a mission. Right?

C: Yup. Her mission is apparently to learn to read.

S: Hmm. Reading is important. But why is it that important to Rosalie?

C: Because she wants to be able to read the letters her dad sends to her mom. Her father is fighting in the war.

Caramel is reading Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

S: Do you recognize the illustrator Isabelle Arsenault? You have already reviewed two books by her: Albert’s Quiet Quest and Colette’s Lost Pet.

C: No I did not know that!

S: Now that you know, can you see some similarities?

C: Yes, the drawing style is very similar. A lot of the pictures have very little color, but some colors are bright, and always there. For example, Rosalie’s hair is really bright red. The color of fire.

S: Yes. The illustrations are mostly black and white, in shades of gray, but occasionally there is a sliver of bright orange, pale blue, or light pink… Do you like the pictures?

C: Yes. They make you feel different feelings.

S: Yes, they are quiet, sometimes sad, sometimes calm. Very emotive. So what else do you want to say about this book?

C: It’s a very sad book, and I think even some adult bunnies cried when they read it. But I liked it really very much.

S: Yes, there is some truth to that, I must admit. I do agree, this is a sad book, but also told vey gently, and truthfully.

C: I want to rate it now.

S: I think that could be a good way to wrap this review up. What is your rating then?

C: I rate it 100%. It is a very good book. Now stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel really liked Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, and recommends it to other little bunnies.
Caramel really liked Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, and recommends it to other little bunnies.

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.