Caramel reviews Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne

A while ago Caramel reviewed a fact checker book from Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series: Knights and Castles. Today he shares his thoughts on the fifth book of the main series: Night of the Ninjas. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel reviews Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne.

Sprinkles: So tell us a bit about this book Caramel.

Caramel: It’s a book about ninjas. You probably already know that from the title.

S: That’s true. But how do the ninjas come into the story? Why don’t you start by telling us about the main idea of the magic tree house books?

C: They are about two siblings, Jack and Annie. They find a tree house in the woods near their home. They then find out that the tree house is magical.

S: How so?

C: There are many books in the tree house and when the kids look into one and wish they were in the place the book is talking about, they go there.

S: That is a neat idea! So the magic tree house takes them anywhere.

C: And any time too! So it is like the TARDIS of Doctor Who, a time machine and space travel machine. Except I don’t know if it goes into space. Oh wait, there is the eighth book, which is Midnight on the Moon, so they do go into space too.

S: That sounds exciting. And in this fifth book you wanted to talk about, they go to …

C: The time of the ninjas. And the samurai.

S: So that is in Japan, a few centuries ago probably, right?

C: Right. In an earlier book they even went to the time of the dinosaurs.

S: That’s cool! So in the time of the ninjas and the samurai, Jack and Annie have an adventure?

C: Yep. They are trying to help their friend Morgan Le Fay.

S: And you learn something about ninjas in this book too, right?

C: Yes, I learned the three ways of the ninja: Use nature. Be nature. Follow nature.

S: Hmm, those sound kind of cryptic. But the kids make good use of these three rules in the book, right?

C: Right.

S: There are some samurai in this book, besides the ninjas, right? You have read and reviewed a book about samurai before. How do the samurai in this book differ from the ones in your earlier reading?

C: Yes, in that book I learned that samurai are honorable warriors. But in this book, the samurai are the enemies of the ninja, who are helping Jack and Annie. So here, samurai are scarier. There is even a picture of a samurai on one of the first pages and he looks scary.

Caramel is looking at the page in Mary Pope Osborne's Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) with the scary ninja picture.
Caramel is looking at the page in Mary Pope Osborne’s Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) with the scary ninja picture.

S: Yes, I guess there are different ways to think about many historical events and groups of people. So did you enjoy reading about Jack and Annie’s adventures in old Japan?

C: Yes.

S: And we should probably continue reading the next few Magic Tree House books, right? I know Marshmallow really enjoyed reading them all.

C: Yes. I am going to read book 6 next: Afternoon on the Amazon.

S: Hmm, that sounds intriguing. But for now, we can stop here. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne, and would recommend it to all other young bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) by Mary Pope Osborne, and would recommend it to all other young bunnies.

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%.