Marshmallow reviews Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Recently, Marshmallow reread the 1939 classic, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, which is about a man (Mr. Popper) that is sent a penguin by an Arctic/Antarctic explorer (Admiral Drake). This was one of the first full-length books Sprinkles and Marshmallow read together. Written by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater, and illustrated by Robert Lawson, the book still amused Marshmallow and she wanted to write about it for the book bunnies blog.

Marshmallow reviews Mr Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater, illustrated by Robert Lawson.
Marshmallow reviews Mr Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater, illustrated by Robert Lawson.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books that are about penguins, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary: One day, Mr. Popper of Stillwater, Minnesota, received in the mail a penguin. The penguin was mailed to him by the famous Antarctic explorer Admiral Drake. Mr. Popper often dreamed of polar explorations, and he had written to Admiral Drake about penguins.

Mr. Popper named the penguin Captain Cook because he kept on making a funny sound like “cook” when he came out of the box and because Mr. Popper loved explorers. (Captain Cook was named after a famous explorer named James Cook.) Mr. Popper had the fridge emptied so then Captain Cook could live inside of it. But soon the penguin started getting sick. Mr. Popper learned from the zoo that maybe Captain Cook was lonely. Then the zoo sent him a female penguin named Greta, and Captain Cook was no longer alone.

Soon Captain Cook and Greta had a family. After some time they had a total of twelve penguins to feed and Mr. Popper decided he needed to find a way to take care of them. He trained then to do tricks like climbing up and down a ladder or marching when Mrs. Popper played the piano. Eventually the penguins became a part of the Popper family. 

The back cover of the book summarizes the story well:

It was hard enough for Mr. Popper to support himself, Mrs. Popper, Bill and Janie Popper. The addition of twelve penguins to the family made it impossible to make both ends meet. Then Mr. Popper had a splendid idea. The penguins might support the Poppers. And so they did.

Marshmallow is showing the back cover of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, written by Richard and Florence Atwater, and illustrated by Robert Lawson.

Marshmallow’s Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a really cute book. It is also a classic, a timeless tale that will definitely warm the reader’s heart.

This is a great read for those who are looking for a book about penguins. It is a fiction book so it does not have facts about the intriguing species of different penguins, like the Blue Fairy Penguin or the Emperor Penguin, but Captain Cook and the rest of the his penguin family will entertain and intrigue the reader to learn more about penguins. (These flightless birds are adorable!) I especially liked how the authors made the penguins realistic and gave them personalities. For example, Captain Cook is a very curios penguin who likes to explore everything that he can lay his wings on. 

I also like the pictures in the book that show the events in the book happening. The pictures are like photos that are snapped right when the events are happening. For example, in one of the scenes Mr. Popper trips on Captain Cook’s leash and the picture in him falling down to the sidewalk he is walking on while Captain Cook is waddling away from the scene. 

Marshmallow is pointing at one of the illustrations in Mr. Popper's :Penguins, written by Richard and Florence Atwater. The illustrations were made by Robert Lawson.
Marshmallow is pointing at one of the illustrations in Mr. Popper’s Penguins, written by Richard and Florence Atwater. The illustrations were made by Robert Lawson.

I think that this book is for any age and is an easy read. Even so it is a book that will make people want to read and reread it over and over again because it is such a sweet story. It is, like I said an easier book to read, so I think it would be great for ages 6-9 but I think that adults would also enjoy it. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Mr Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater 100%.
Marshmallow rates Mr Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater 100%.

Caramel reviews The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray

Caramel often enjoys reading big encyclopedic books on various scientific and technological topics. See for example his review of a big book on engineering, and another big book on dinosaurs. Today he is talking about his recent favorite: The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray.
Caramel reviews The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray.

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

Caramel: I like it because I like elements.

S: What are elements?

C: Elements are like atoms. Hydrogen, oxygen, uranium, tin are all elements.

S: Yes, those are some good examples of elements. Elements are the building blocks of all matter. Why don’t we read from the beginning of the book?

“THE PERIODIC TABLE is the universal catalog of everything you can drop on your foot. There are some things such as light, love, logic and time that are not in the periodic table, but you cannot drop any of those on your foot. The earth, this book, your foot–everything tangible–is made of elements. Your foot is made mostly of oxygen with quite a bit of carbon joining it, giving structure to the organic molecules that define you as an example of carbon-based life. (And if you’re not a carbon-based life form: welcome to our planet! If you have a foot, please don’t drop this book on it.)”

S: So the book starts with an introduction to the periodic table.

C: Yes, in the beginning of the book, there are seven pages of information about the periodic table. In the next two pages, they talk about s-orbitals, p-orbitals, d-orbitals, and f-orbitals.

S: What are those?

C: The shape of the shells that electron clouds make around the center of the atom. The seed of the atom!

S: Yes, it is called the nucleus in English, but it is in the middle, like a central seed, like a peach would have.

C: Or a cherry! A watermelon would not work though, because watermelons have many seeds. But I like watermelons!

S: I know! But let us get back to the book. After these few pages of introduction material on chemistry, the rest of the book is …

C: about each element! Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon.

S: Yes those are the first ten elements.

C: So each element has two pages, all the way up to Einsteinium and Fermium, which have numbers 99 and 100.

S: Yes, those are the atomic numbers. They count how many protons the element has in each of its atoms. So yes, each of the first hundred elements gets its own two-page spread.

C: Wait! No! Aluminum (13) and Titanium (22) get four pages! Iron (26) gets four pages too! Copper (29), Tungsten (74), Gold (79), Lead (82), Uranium (92) all have four pages to themselves. They’re greedy!

S: I guess so. But they are also important elements. Or at least the author thinks they are. Or maybe he just likes them… So what is your favorite element Caramel?

C: I have two. Titanium (22) and Uranium (92).

Caramel is reading about Titanium, one of his favorite elements, in  The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray.
Caramel is reading about Titanium, one of his favorite elements, in The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray.

S: So what did you learn about Titanium from this book?

C: Titanium is strong but light. You can make golf clubs, and artificial hip joints from Titanium. You can use it on razor blades. You can also use it in dental implants. Then you have a titanium tooth!

S: I might! You’re right! Maybe we can stop here, before we give away more private health information, no?

C: Yeah, I guess so. So here are my last words for this review: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel is still enjoying reading about elements and looking at the beautiful pictures in The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray.
Caramel is still enjoying reading about elements and looking at the beautiful pictures in The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray.

Marshmallow reviews BrainJuice American History: Fresh Squeezed! by Carol Diggory Shields

Today Marshmallow shares some thoughts on a little book of history: BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson.

Marshmallow reviews BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson.
Marshmallow reviews BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you are looking for an amusing history book or like poetry, this might be the book for you.

Too many books? No time to read?
BrainJuice is just what you need.
We squeezed the facts, threw in some rhyme,
Twice the knowledge in half the time.

Whether slowly sipped or gulped with gusto,
BrainJuice
is:
Nutritionally Balanced!
Masterfully distilled!
Unconditionally guaranteed pure!
Totally concentrated;

And
100% refreshing!

This is the poem on the back of this BrainJuice book. BrainJuice American History Fresh Squeezed! explains history in short, memorable poems. It teaches the reader about American history since 245,000,000 BCE when the dinosaurs were around. This is the first poem in the book:

THE FIRST
The first Americans who roamed the prairie
Were kind of big and kind of scary
Some lived alone, some in a bunch,
A few of them ate the others for lunch.
Some were gentle, some were mean,
Some were spotted or dotted or green.
They hissed and growled and roared great roars—
The first Americans were dinosaurs.

The book contains a total of forty-one poems and ends with a moving poem about the Statue of Liberty, called The Lady.

Marshmallow is pointing at one of the poems in BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson. This is about Christopher Columbus and his arrival in the Americas.
Marshmallow is pointing at one of the poems in BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson. This is about Christopher Columbus and his arrival in the Americas.

Marshmallow’s review: Some people think that history is boring, but this book is proof that it is not. The poems are written in a style that will entertain and teach the reader about the American Revolution, the Presidents, and the “discovery” of the Americas. It is a great book for parents to get for their children / child if they want them to be interested in the fascinating history of America. But I think that this would be a good book for all ages. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is a great read for those who think that history is just memorizing dates and the events that happened on those dates. The poems are short so they are easy to memorize so soon you will know all of the main events that occurred in American history quickly and efficiently. Anyone who wants to learn about American history can get down some of the basic facts with this book.

Marshmallow is reading one of the poems in BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson. This is about the presidents.
Marshmallow is reading one of the poems in BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson. This is about the presidents.

The pictures in the book add a lot to the poems. I especially liked the pictures that had writing on them. Some of the pictures are funny and others are just more descriptive.

The pages of the book are split into two parts. There is a thin pink strip on the top of each page which is a timeline that starts in 245,000,000 BCE (when the dinosaurs are around) and ends on September 11, 2001 when “Over 3,000 are killed in terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.” The rest of the page typically contains a poem or a picture associated to the time period.

Another good thing about this fantastic book is that it explains well some very difficult events that might be challenging to explain to young children. It describes the Trail of Tears, for example, but it iis not all inclusive of course. For example it does not mention Japanese internment camps, which I read about in They Called Us Enemy.

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson 95%.
Marshmallow rates BrainJuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! written in poetic form by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Richard Thompson 95%.

Caramel reviews Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey and Tom Lichtenheld

Like many other little bunnies, Caramel loves machines used for building and construction. He also loves a good night story. Today he is reviewing a book that brings these two together: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. As always, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.
Caramel reviews Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us about this book.

Caramel: This is a good book if you want to go to sleep. I bet all bunnies would like it.

S: What happens in the book?

C: There are five construction machines going to bed.

S: What do you mean? Do construction machines really ever go to bed?

C: Probably not. But in this book they do.

S: Hmm, so who are these five machines?

C: There is an Excavator, there is a Crane Truck, a Cement Mixer, a Bulldozer, and a Dump Truck. And they are all working all day long on a construction site. They do “construction play” apparently.

S: So they are like little kids playing in a sandbox and they are having a lot of fun all day, right?

C: Yes and no. They are in a sandbox, but they are not little kids.

S: But in the book they end up all going to sleep, right?

C: Yep.

S: Like tired little kids or bunnies who have played all day long…

C: Yeah. Exactly.

Caramel is reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.
Caramel is reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.

S: So tell me more about the book.

C: The words all rhyme. Let me read you some. Here is how the book starts:

“Down in the big construction site,
The tough trucks work with all their might
To build a building, make a road
To get the job done–load by load!”

S: So do you read this book out loud?

C: Sometimes. But I also like it when you read it out loud to me.

S: Yes, it kind of feels like I am putting my little construction machine to bed when I am reading. So if you were a construction machine, which one would you be?

C: None of them. I don’t want to be a construction machine.

S: Then why do you like reading books about them going to bed?

C: I don’t know. I just like machines.

S: Yes, I do know that. You even reviewed a whole book on engineering for this blog. But it is a bit more than that I think. You like books and movies and such that have machines that think, feel, and play with friends. I remember how much you used to enjoy watching the Cars movies.

C: I do like technology. And I like playing with friends.

S: I guess that makes sense! Alright, did you recognize the drawing in the book? You reviewed another book illustrated by the same person; can you tell?

C: Not really. I do like the illustrations in this book a lot. I liked the ones in the other book, too. But I can’t tell they were done by the same person.

S: But you are right, the illustrator makes the construction machines cute and lovable, and you can somehow calm down and get ready to sleep by seeing them slowly go to sleep.

C: Yes. Let us read this book tonight!

S: Good idea!

C: And this is a good place to wrap up our review. Stay tuned for more book bunny adventures!

Caramel loves reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, before going to sleep.
Caramel loves reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, written by Sherri Duskey and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, before going to sleep.