Caramel reviews Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clanton

Caramel enjoyed reading the hilarious adventures of Narwhal and Jelly in Narwhal: The Unicorn of the Sea! and Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt. Below he shares his thoughts on the third book in Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly series: Peanut Butter and Jelly. Sprinkles is taking notes and occasionally asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Peanut Butter and Jelly, by Ben Clanton.
Caramel reviews Peanut Butter and Jelly, by Ben Clanton.

Sprinkles: Caramel, you can’t seem to have enough of these Narwhal and Jelly books!

Caramel: Because I love them! I can’t wait till the next book comes out.

S: You are planning a review of the next one too, right?

C: Yes, but let me first tell you about this one. In this book Narwhal finds out that he loves peanut butter. He eats so much peanut butter that he turns yellow. He eats all the peanut butter in the whole wide world, and then gets very small. He is as small as a peanut! And he’s still yellow!

S: So what happens when there’s no more peanut butter to eat?

C: He goes back to waffles. And peanut butter when he can find it.

S: That sounds so funny! Ok, let us look at the book together. Is the book organized in a similar way to the previous ones?

C: Yes, there are again three chapters, and a fact section (Delicious Facts) and another superhero story (Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick vs PB&J). Can I tell you my favorite fact from this one? Or two?

S: Ok, let us hear it Caramel.

C: Here I go:

“Scientists believe narwhals suck up their food whole and eat mainly fish.”

and

“Sea cucumbers eat all sorts of things, including poop.”

And right next to this fact is a slimy sea cucumber saying “Yummy!” These books are so funny!

S: You especially appreciated the yummy poop joke, I’m sure!

C: Yes!

S: I could guess! Ok, what else do you want to tell us about this book?

C: Can I just read one chapter out loud?

S: Yes, but only to me. Others have to read the book themselves!

C: Fine. (Caramel reads out loud the chapter titled “Ahoy! Peanut Butter?”, giggling all the way through.)

S: So we learn a lot about Narwhal in this book, right?

C: He gets funnier and funnier in every book. And Jelly looks very confused all the time. And did you know that the author Ben Clanton ate 41 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while writing this book?

S: Wow! That’s a lot of PB&J sandwiches! So Caramel, which character feels closer to you? Do you think you are more like Narwhal or more like Jelly?

C: Jelly! No Narwhal. I love peanut butter, too! I kind of even feel like a peanut sometimes.

S: You are kind of small for now, that’s true. Ok, so let us wrap this up. How would you complete this sentence:

What I liked most about this book is …

C: Peanut Butter! That is Narwhal’s new name in this book. Because he is funny.

S: Thanks Caramel. I’m looking forward to your next review.

C: So am I!

Caramel loved Peanut Butter and Jelly!
Caramel loved Peanut Butter and Jelly!

Marshmallow reviews A Tale Dark and Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz

In her third review Marshmallow shares her thoughts on A Tale Dark & Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz.

Marshmallow reviews A Tale Dark & Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz.
Marshmallow reviews A Tale Dark & Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz.

Marshmallow’s quick take: This is the story of Hansel and Gretel but not the version we are accustomed to. Though it is a scary book, it is a great read. Definitely not for younger kids though; too bloody!

“Reader: beware. Warlocks with deadly spells, hunters with deadly aim, and bakers with ovens retrofitted for cooking children lurk within these pages. But if you dare, turn the page and learn the true story of Hansel and Gretel — the story behind (and beyond) the breadcrumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Come on in. It may be frightening, it’s certainly bloody, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but unlike those other fairy tales you know, this one is true.”

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): After having their heads cut off by their father, the king of Grimm, and coming back to life because someone puts their heads back in their places, Hansel and Gretel run away in fear that their father will decapitate them again and next time they may not be so lucky. Their escape turns into a failure; they face problem after problem and they seem to be cursed. (They are actually cursed.)

They travel from town to town and village to village in search for good parents. While in search for good parents, Gretel and Hansel go through many challenges. like losing a finger and nearly being killed by a warlock (Gretel) and being gambled away to the devil and disguising as the devil’s grandma (Hansel).

But when they hear rumors about a dragon wrecking the kingdom of Grimm and hiding in a human body to stay unseen, they decide that it is time to go home to Grimm. They have to save the kingdom! But someone very close to them has been taken over by the dragon. Someone who they had known for their whole life. Should they kill the infected person or not? Save the kingdom but lose one of their closest family members? You can find out in A Tale Dark & Grimm.

Marshmallow’s Review: This was a great read, but it is not, I repeat, it is NOT for children younger than seven. The narrator says himself many times not to let younger children read it.

The author writes little notes that foreshadow what will happen, like in Chapter 5: A Smile As Red As Blood. (A Smile As Red As Blood is about how Gretel falls in love with a man, who turns out to be a warlock, who invites girls to his house and kills them and after that eats them for supper. I already told you the book is really bloody!)

“No, of course it can’t. The moon can eat children, and fingers can open doors, and people’s heads can be put back on. But rain? Talk? Don’t be ridiculous. Good thinking, Gretel dear. Good thinking. ”

Though this is a scary book it is a great read. It is the original story of Hansel and Gretel, plus extra added. Instead of killing the witch who lives inside an edible house, they find a baker inside, who tries to eat them. There are gambling dukes and talking ravens that see the future and warlocks who like to cook young women.

Marshmallow’s rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates A Tale Dark & Grimm 90%.
Marshmallow rates A Tale Dark & Grimm 90%.

 

Caramel’s second review: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt, by Ben Clanton

Caramel enjoyed reading the hilarious adventures of Narwhal and Jelly in Narwhal: The Unicorn of the Sea! Below he shares his thoughts on the second book of the series: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt, by Ben Clanton. Sprinkles is taking notes.

Caramel reviews Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton.
Caramel reviews Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton.

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

Caramel: This is the second book about the adventures of Narwhal and Jellyfish. In this one, Narwhal is a superhero. And Jellyfish is his super side kick. Can I just read out loud to you a bit?

S: Sure!

C: Here I go!

“Ahoy Jelly! I was just about to go for a swim. After that I’ll have something for lunch. Probably a waffle! And then … I’m going to become a superhero!”

C: It’s very tempting to read! I want to continue to read it to you!

S: Why do you like it so much Caramel?

C: The pictures are so funny! The characters are so funny! Everything is funny! And there are facts again, and I love to read them. Can I read you one of my favorite facts in this book?

S: Sure.

C. “The mimic octopus can change its color, shape, and movements to look like other sea life such as snakes, lionfish, stingrays, and jellyfish.”

This book has three chapters, or no, wait. It has five chapters. Three of them are about Narwhal and Jelly. And one is about facts and the other is a story Narwhal and Jelly write, called Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick. This book is really hilarious!

S: That is a big word Caramel!

C: But the book is really really funny!

S: So how would you complete this sentence:

What I like most about this book is …

C: It’s funny! And Narwhal and Jelly are silly but fun to read about!

S: This time the author Ben Clanton describes himself on the back cover as “more powerful than a toy locomotive”. What do you think that means?

C: I have no idea! He seems to be a goofy and funny guy! I like his books so much!

S: And we will review more of his books soon!

C: Stay tuned for more reviews from Book Bunnies!

Caramel recommends Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton highly! May the Force be with you!
Caramel recommends Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton with much enthusiasm!

Marshmallow reviews The BFG, by Roald Dahl

In her second review Marshmallow shares her thoughts on an old favorite: Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

Marshmallow reviews The BFG by Roald Dahl.
Marshmallow reviews The BFG by Roald Dahl.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like stories about orphans, or if you are a fan of Roald Dahl, then this might possibly be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): When Sophie is snatched out of her bed during the witching hour by some unseen horror that stifles her scream for help with a gigantic thumb and carries her to some unknown land, naturally she thinks that she is going to die. (The unseen horror turns out to be a giant, the Big Friendly Giant from the title of the book.) But when the giant starts a conversation about how human beans (beings) taste like, how Turks taste like turkey, and how people from Jersey taste like cardigans, and how Greeks taste greasy, she is very confused. At the end of the conversation, the giant proclaims that he does not eat “human beans” for snacks, and Sophie feels better.

“What a strange and moody creature this is, she thought. One moment he is telling me my head is full of squashed flies and the next moment his heart is melting for me because Mrs. Clonkers locks us in the cellar.”

Sophie soon learns that the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is the only friendly giant in the Land of Giants; all the others eat humans. Sophie thinks the BFG is “strange and moody”, but soon they become very good friends. The BFG is gentle and kind. Sophie is lonely.

In the afternoon, they see the other giants galloping off to England to eat people. (They apparently just grab them and eat them on the spot!) The giants always tell the BFG where they are going. For example, “We is off to Mrs Sippi and Miss Souri to guzzle them both!”  

Sophie and her new friend the BFG need to stop this massacre of human beans. Can the Queen of England help?

Marshmallow’s Review:I think that The BFG is a good book. It poses a lot of philosophical questions. For example: Are the giants that eat humans much worse than we are? At some point (page 71 in my edition of the book), Sophie says, “I think it’s rotten that those foul giants should go off every night to eat humans. Humans have never done them any harm.” The BFG answers, “That is what the little piggy-wig is saying every day. He is saying ‘I has never done any harm to the human bean so why should he be eating me?`”

“That is what the little piggy-wig is saying every day,” BFG answered. “He is saying `I has never done any harm to the human bean so why should he be eating me?`”

The illustrations by Quentin Blake help the reader imagine the characters in the story, especially how much bigger the giants are from the human beans. They are bigger than the BFG and Blake’s drawings help us see that.

This is a good book, but it can be frightening for kids younger than five. Sophie gets kidnapped by a giant at the beginning of the story, right from her bedroom in the middle of the night. When I was about five and my mom wanted to read this to me, I got really scared and so we had to stop reading.

Marshmallow’s rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates The BFG by Roald Dahl 90%. May the Force be with you!
Marshmallow rates The BFG by Roald Dahl 90%.