Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is a prolific author and the book bunnies have read many of her books through the years. Last year, Marshmallow reviewed Beezus and Ramona, the first book by Cleary featuring one of her signature characters, Ramona Quimby. Today Caramel picks up the mantle and reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle, written in 1965, the first book featuring Ralph S. Mouse. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

Sprinkles: So this week we are talking about a chapter book. This book has been sitting in your room for a while now. What made you decide to finally pick it up?

Caramel: Hmm, I don’t actually know. I just thought about reading it. I picked it up when I was sent to clean up my room.

S: Hmm, that worked out well, I suppose. So what do you want to tell us about it?

C: It has 186 pages, and then there are some extras. There is a note from Beverly Cleary. Then “Ralph answers some questions”, then “Ralph thanks the readers”, and then there is a section called “About the pictures in this book”.

S: Those sound interesting. But who is Ralph? I think we first need to clarify that.

C: Ralph is a mouse who lives in a knot hole in a hotel room, at the Mountain View Inn.

S: And that is supposedly in California, right?

C: I think so.

S: So what happens to Ralph? I’m guessing that he is the mouse in the title. Is that right?

C: Yes. He meets this boy named Keith. Keith has a toy sedan and a sports car, and an ambulance.

S: Does he also have a toy motorcycle?

C: Yes he does. And one day, Ralph tries to ride the motorcycle and falls in a waste bin.

S: That must be scary for him!

C: Yes it is.

S: Is that how he meets Keith?

C: Yes, and then they become friends. Apparently Ralph can talk, and Keith can understand him.

S: After all, this is fiction. We have seen talking animals before, right?

C: Yes, for example Babymouse talks!

S: And Verdi is a talking snake.

C: And we are talking animals!

S: That is true! We have discussed many other books where there are creatures that talk that are usually not expected to talk, at least to humans.

Caramel is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Caramel is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

S: I liked reading this book, but if people want to watch instead, there is a movie of it apparently. Here it is:

YouTube link to The Mouse And The Motorcycle – (Full, 1986).

C: I like this book a lot too! And I’m looking forward to reading the next two books.

S: So there are two more books with Ralph in them?

C: Yes!

S: I think I have not read those. Maybe you will review them for our blog some time.

C: I will.

S: Okay Caramel, so it is time to wrap this up. Let us finish by rating it in three words. What three words would you use to describe the book?

C: Adventurous, imagination, funny.

S: I like those words! I think I could add: “sweet”, “unexpected”, and “friendship”.

C: I like those too.

S: Great! So let us wrap things up! What do you say?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, and recommends it to all other young bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, and recommends it to all other young bunnies.

Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones by Jeffrey Brown

Marshmallow reviews Lucy & Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones, the third book in the Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series of Jeffrey Brown.

Marshmallow has reviewed two books by Jeffrey Brown before: Lucy and Andy Neanderthal and Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: The Stone Cold Age. Today she writes about the third book in this series: Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones.

Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown.
Marshmallow reviews Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked the previous books in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series, or more generally if you enjoy reading comic books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): We meet Lucy and Andy Neanderthal in Lucy and Andy Neanderthal. They live in the Stone Age with their brother, Danny, their parents, Mr. Daryl, Phil, and Margaret. In the second book The Stone Cold Age, they meet a clan of humans, and they work with to them to find them a home, a cave. 

In this third book, Lucy and her best friend Sasha, one of the humans, start the Super Adventure Explorers Discovery Club. The human children, together with Lucy and Andy, scout around the area and meet some other people. These other people are not very nice, especially when the Super Adventure Explorers Discovery Club discovers their plan to try and take over the cave that the humans live in. The Super Adventure Explorers Discovery Club immediately starts preparations to defend the cave from the newcomers. 

Marshmallow is pointing the reader to the pages of Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown, where Andy burns things up in order to eradicate lice.
Marshmallow is pointing the reader to the pages of Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown, where Andy burns things up in order to eradicate lice.

Marshmallow’s Review:  Lucy and Andy’s third book, Bad to the Bones, is a great read for all bunnies of all ages (Caramel really liked reading it too!). I really enjoyed this book because it was funny and the characters were familiar. It is probably a good idea to read the first two books (they are both very good books!), because the characters are very interesting, and knowing their characteristics in the previous books is helpful. But if you want to just read this one alone, then this is a fun read too. 

The Club members set up multiple defenses and then they act like they just happened to be there, and the reader realizes that they are actually part of the defense. For example the newcomers try to steal some of their soup, but the Super Adventures Explorers Discovery Club make it to taste terrible. 

Bad to the Bones has really funny drawings of really funny characters. My favorite characters are Andy or Lucy because they have a lot of faces that they can make and they are also some of the main characters. The author Jeffrey Brown does a very good job in making characters that readers will easily want to read about, and the drawing are really funny. 

Just like the first two books in the series, this is a graphic novel that has a mix of facts about the lives of Neanderthals and a lot of other subjects. Two modern characters Pam and Eric show up here and there, at the end of most chapters, and tell us these facts. I definitely know a lot more about Neanderthals than I did before I began reading this series.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown 95%.
Marshmallow rates Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones (the third book in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series) by Jeffrey Brown 95%.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

A few weeks ago Caramel reviewed the first book in the Babymouse series written by Jennifer Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm: Babymouse: Queen of the World. Then soon after, he reviewed the second book in the series: Babymouse: Our Hero. Today he wanted to talk about the third book: Babymouse: Beach Babe. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) written by Jennifer L Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.
Caramel reviews Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) written by Jennifer L Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you are still excited to talk about Babymouse!

Caramel: Yes!

S: So what is this book about?

C: Babymouse is going to the beach.

S: What happens then?

C: She tries to learn to surf and keeps on crashing into the waves. She also looks for sea shells. She sees a shark when she is scuba-diving. And she plays with her brother.

S: Oh, so finally Babymouse’s little brother Squeak comes into play!

C: Yep.

S: Does Babymouse get along well with her brother?

C: Not exactly.

S: You reviewed another book about a little brother not being treated well by his big sister. Do you remember?

C: Yes! Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid!

S: Is Squeak like Stink?

C: No. One: he is not human. Two: Stink was about how Stink saw the world. In this one there is a narrator…

S: I think there was a narrator in Stink too, but the narrator focused on Stink and what he thought. Here we are more focused on Babymouse, the sister, not the brother. Right?

C: Yes.

Caramel is reading Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) written by Jennifer L Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.
Caramel is reading Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) written by Jennifer L Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.

S: So Caramel, you are now reading chapter books and other bigger kid books. What appeals to you so much in these Babymouse books? Are they not for younger kids?

C: They can be for younger kids (or bunnies!) but the Babymouse books are humorous and fun for bigger kids to read too. Or bunnies. Marshmallow loves them too!

S: That’s true. I saw how she was waiting eagerly for you to finish them so she could read them right after! And they are a bit longer than books for really little bunnies, right?

C: Yes. This one is over ninety pages. Actually it is ninety-one pages exactly.

S: That is a lot of pages. And on each page, all sorts of fun and weird things happen. Babymouse does have a huge imagination.

C: Yes.

S: And so do you. Is that part of why you love to read these books?

C: Yes. I think she is funny, and sometimes very talented in coming up with crazy ideas. At some point she pretends that she is a mermaid, she says a mermouse!

S: That sounds fun! So do you want to rate this book, too, like we did the last week’s book? We find three words to describe the book.

C: Sure.

S: So what three words would you use for this book?

C: Hilarious, delightful, crazy imagination.

S: Well, that is four words, but that’s okay. Let me add my words, too. Creative, fun, pink.

C: Yes, those words work too.

S: So then we can wrap this up. What do you say?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has enjoyed reading Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm, and is ready to read the next book in the series.
Caramel has enjoyed reading Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm, and is ready to read the next book in the series.

Marshmallow reviews One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series)

Last year Marshmallow reviewed Quests for Glory, the fourth book of Soman Chainani’s School for Good and Evil series, and then A Crystal of Time, the fifth book. Finally the wait is over, and today she writes about her thoughts on the sixth and final book in the series: One True King.

Marshmallow reviews One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series).
Marshmallow reviews One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series).

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like fantasy, twisted fairy tales, and Soman Chainani’s books, then you will enjoy this book! If you haven’t read the first five books of the School for Good and Evil series though, then you might want to read them first.

Here is how I introduced the series in my earlier reviews:

It all began in The School for Good and Evil, Soman Chainani’s first novel. This was a school of fairy tales, where witches and princesses, warlocks and princes were trained. In the end a select few would become the heroes and the villains of future storybooks. The tales would be recorded by a magical pen, The Storian. We learn about this whole world through the eyes and experiences of Agatha and Sophie, two friends whose destiny takes them to different places and brings them back together.

The first book is followed by A World Without Princes, where witches and princesses are friends, and warlocks and princes become accomplices. The dividing line now becomes gender, instead of good versus evil.

The third book of the series, The Last Ever After, reorganizes the world of the School, and Sophie and Agatha have many new adventures.

The fourth book, Quests for Glory, started the Camelot Years, when both Agatha and Sophie have graduated and now expect that their stories are finished. We know of course that that is definitely not the case. They face many new challenges, both in Quests for Glory and in A Crystal of Time.

The book under review here is the sixth and final addition to this series.

The Book Bunnies were so enthusiastic about One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series) that they pre-ordered it twice. So now Marshmallow can pose with two beautiful books at the same time!
The Book Bunnies were so enthusiastic about One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series) that they pre-ordered it twice. So now Marshmallow can pose with two beautiful books at the same time!

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Tedros, the fiance of Agatha and the heir of King Arthur of Camelot, is now an outlaw. In the fourth book, we meet Rhian and Japeth, the twins with a plan: Japeth would attack and pillage kingdoms while Rhian would come and “save” them. When Tedros fails to pull the famous sword Excalibur from the stone, like his father had done once, people of Camelot begin to lose faith in Tedros. When Rhian manages to fool Excalibur and successfully pulls it out, they crown Rhian as king and declare Tedros an imposter. And Sophie becomes Rhian’s queen.

Marshmallow is looking at all the Excaliburs in One True King, the sixth and last book of Soman Chainani's School For Good and Evil series.
Marshmallow is looking at all the Excaliburs in One True King, the sixth and last book of Soman Chainani’s School For Good and Evil series.

Then in the fifth book, Rhian is killed by Japeth, the Snake, who takes the place of his twin. As Tedros and his friends investigate, they learn more and more about Japeth. But all the evidence that they find eventually leads to one shocking conclusion. It seems like Japeth and Rhian were correct. There is another heir to King Arthur’s throne. 

Marshmallow is reading One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series).
Marshmallow is reading One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series).

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that One True King is a really good book, because it has a lot of surprises. The plot is very intriguing and how the story wraps up is very well written. I felt sad about some parts of Merlin’s story—though it was also hilarious that he became a baby–“Mama llama!”

Just like the fifth book, this sixth book is very long, with over six hundred pages. But it still makes you want to read it fast so you can learn what’s going to happen in the end. I read it in one sitting because I wanted to know what would happen. It was very intriguing.

One True King is probably more suitable for older kids, because it has some mature moments. It is probably best for kids of age thirteen and up. 

One True King wraps up the whole story of Sophie and Agatha, and the amazing fantasy world Soman Chainani created. I will miss this world and the characters.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series) 100%.
Marshmallow rates One True King by Soman Chainani (Book 6 of The School for Good and Evil series) 100%.