Marshmallow reviews The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

This week Marshmallow writes about Katherine Applegate’s 2012 book The One and Only Ivan.

Marshmallow reviews The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
Marshmallow reviews The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about animals and their take on the world around us, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Ivan is a gorilla who, by his count, has lived in the Exit 8 Big Top Mall by the Video Arcade for 9,855 days (that is about 27 years). His friends include Stella, Bob, Ruby, Julia, and later Kinyani. Stella is an elephant who has a good memory and tells stories to Ivan. Bob is a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan’s “domain” (which is what he calls his display area) and enjoys sleeping on top of Ivan’s stomach. Julie is a girl whose father, George, works as the mall’s custodian. Ruby is a baby elephant who appears in about the middle of the book. She is “adopted” by Stella, who treats her like her own child. Kinyani shows up later in the book.

Sadly, Stella passes away due to an old injury that causes trouble. Before she passes away, she has Ivan promise to her that he will make sure that he takes her to a zoo, which she thinks is where humans “make amends”. As the book progresses, Ivan starts to change his mind about his “domain” and plans to take Ruby to a zoo. 

Marshmallow is reading The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
Marshmallow is reading The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that this is a really sweet book because Ivan is a really kind character. His character is unique since he never gets angry. He also really likes to draw. He particularly enjoys drawing banana peels. Though people don’t understand what they are supposed to be, his drawings are sold at a shop. 

This is a great book, also because it shows that animals think too. (LIKE BUNNIES!) People seem to forget this when they swat flies or hunt cute animals. (LIKE BUNNIES!) Ivan shows this when he writes about things that happened to him. It is sad, too, because poachers captured him along with his sister, and while they were in a truck, his sister died.

The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is based on the true story of the western lowland gorilla named Ivan, who lived through similar circumstances. He was captured by humans and brought to live with them. But he grew too big so they moved him to be on display. He spent twenty-seven years there but was finally moved to Zoo Atlanta.

The One And Only Ivan has recently been made into a movie. The Book Bunnies haven’t watched the movie yet, but here is the trailer:

The One and Only Ivan | Official Trailer: “An adaptation of the award-winning book about one very special gorilla, Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan” is an unforgettable tale about the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization and the significance of the place one calls home.”

The story, plot, and characters are well written. I really enjoyed reading The One And Only Ivan. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate 100%.
Marshmallow rates The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate 100%.

Caramel reviews Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

Caramel has reviewed several Magic Tree House books already: Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5), Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6), Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2), Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7), Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8), and  Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House #9). This week he wanted to talk about another fact tracker book: Sea Monsters. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.
Caramel reviews Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you found another book about real things, I see.

Caramel: Yes. This is a book about ocean “monsters”.

S: So who are these monsters? Can you tell me a few of them?

C: There is the angler fish, the giant squid, the goblin shark, the cookie cutter shark, the hairy angler fish, the vampire squid, the dragon fish, oar fish, …

S: Okay, I get the point.

C: … giant tube worms. There is also this dunkleosteus–

S: Hmm, I have never heard of most of these. But this last one does not sound familiar at all. What is a dunkleosteus?

C: It is a giant armored fish, I think it is about forty feet long. Its teeth are actually bone.

S: And it is extinct, right?

C: Yes. And there are other extinct species too. There is the liopleurodon, and the megalodon–

S: So I understand. The book talks about large sea creatures, then. Right?

C: Yes. And my favorite is the liopleurodon.

S: Why?

C: Because it is not armored but it has a giant head. I think it looks really interesting!

S: I’m not sure I’d like to face one under water any time soon!

C: You don’t have to worry about that. They are already extinct!

S: That’s good.

C: Not for them.

S: That is right Caramel. This does seem like an interesting book, with many different types of facts in it. So tell me how it is organized.

C: Chapter titles! Here you go: The first chapter is called Sea Monsters. Then the second is Exploring the Oceans. The third is Squids, Octopuses and Other Creatures. Then there is a chapter called Creatures of the Deep.

S: That’s where we learn about the angler fish!

C: Yes. then there is Prehistoric Seas. And there we learn about the liopleurodon, the megalodon and similar creatures. And then the last chapter is called Sea Monster Tales.

S: Which chapter was most interesting for you?

C: I think I liked the Prehistoric Seas chapter most.

S: I know you like prehistoric animals. You have reviewed a Magic Tree House book about the saber tooth before. And another book on dinosaurs. No wonder you chose the liopleurodon as your favorite sea monster.

Caramel is reading about the liopleurodon in Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.
Caramel is reading about the liopleurodon in Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.

S: So what else do you want to tell us about this book?

C: It has a lot of pictures and tons of facts! Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House books tell us all sorts of things. There is also some facts about Steve Irwin and about Jacques Cousteau.

S: We watched a lot of episodes of Steve Irwin’s show together, right? It is sad he died of a sting ray sting. And Cousteau was a famous explorer who was one of the first to go deep into the oceans and to explore. That is great that you read a bit about both. So tell me the most interesting fact you learned from this book.

C: It’s about the largest jellyfish. So let me find it… Okay, here I will read it to you: “The longest animal in the world is not a whale. It is a special jellyfish called a siphonophore. Its tentacles can reach 131 feet long!”

S: Wow, that is long! Wikipedia tells us that “a siphonophore may appear to be an individual organism, each specimen is in fact a colonial organism composed of medusoid and polypoid zooids that are morphologically and functionally specialized.” That is really interesting! I had never heard of them before.

C: Me neither!

S: Okay Caramel, it is probably a good time to wrap up this review. Would you like to tell our readers your three words on this book?

C: Factful, curious because these are really curious animals, and black-and-white because all the illustrations are black and white.

S: Maybe instead of factful we can say “informative”?

C: Yes, that works too!

S: Great! I think then it is finally time for you to say your closing words!

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel recommends Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, to all curious little bunnies who want to know more about ocean life.
Caramel recommends Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, to all curious little bunnies who want to know more about ocean life.

Marshmallow reviews Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first five books from Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series: you can check out her review of the first book, Belly Uphere, while her review of the second book, Poached, is here. Her review of the third book Big Game is here, her review of the fourth book, Panda-monium, is available here, and her review of the fifth book in the series, Lion Down, is here. Today she shares with us her thoughts on the sixth and most recent book on the adventures of Teddy Fitzroy: Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.

Marshmallow reviews Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs's FunJungle series..
Marshmallow reviews Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs’s FunJungle series..

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like animals or if you have enjoyed some of Stuart Gibbs’s other books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy lives in FunJungle, a mix of a zoo and a theme park. He has just apprehended the Zebra Spanker when his friend, Sage Bonotto, asks him to investigate the disappearance of his tyrannosaurus rex. Apparently, while the skeleton of a T-rex was being excavated on his family’s ranch, someone stole her skull.

The case seems impossible. The skull of Minerva (which is what they named the T-rex) was five hundred pounds and the burglary happened in the middle of a really bad storm. The thieves should have left some trace but it seems like they haven’t. Even worse, the local police thinks that it’s a hoax. So Sage asks Teddy to investigate. (Teddy solved some other cases before.)

While Teddy is at the scene of the crime, the twin school bullies Tim and Jim Barksdale call him. Jim asks Teddy whether he can use the Heimlich maneuver on a snake that has eaten a cat.  It turns out that Tim and Jim illegally purchased an anaconda that ate their cat Griselda. As he investigates, Teddy finds that the twins bought it from Snakes Alive, a new zoo that is nearby and is trying to take business from FunJungle. (Their signs say stuff like “MORE FUN THAN FUNJUNGLE—AND A WHOLE LOT CHEAPER!”)

As Teddy learns more about the two cases, things get more and more complicated. You will just have to read the book to find out more!

Marshmallow is reading Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs's FunJungle series..
Marshmallow is reading Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs’s FunJungle series..

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a really good book for people who like to read about animals and mysteries. The characters are very well written. The plot involves a very interesting mystery. There are a lot of people that you could suspect, and the thief is someone I would not have suspected. Without all of the evidence, it would be impossible to solve the case.

At the end of the book, the author, Stuart Gibbs, has some notes about one of the main topics in the book: animal trafficking. This is something Gibbs does in all the FunJungle books, and helps the reader connect the book to real life.

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks is probably best for ages nine and up. This is because the plot is very intricate and it could be very confusing if the reader doesn’t catch all of the evidence. Also it could be scary for readers who do not like snakes. Another reason is because its “language is not very delicate” (as Roald Dahl wrote about Matilda‘s father). But all that aside, this is a very entertaining book. 

Marshmallow’s Review: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs's FunJungle series, 95%..
Marshmallow rates Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs, the sixth book in Gibbs’s FunJungle series, 95%..

Caramel reviews Ragweed by Avi

This week Caramel wanted to talk about Ragweed, a book by Avi. As usual Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Ragweed by Avi.
Caramel reviews Ragweed by Avi.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, this book seems to be a new favorite for you?

Caramel: Yes.

S: What is it about?

C: It’s about Ragweed, a mouse who leaves his home to explore the world.

S: That sounds interesting! And kind of like Ralph, in The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

C: Yes. But Ralph lived in a hotel and Ragweed lives next to a brook.

S: I see. So Ragweed decides to leave his home and travel. Where does he go?

C: He goes to Amperville, I believe. He gets on a train and gets off in a small town named Amperville. Amperville has a part called Mouse Town because that is where the mice live.

S: That sounds good. So Ragweed meets a lot of new mice in this town, right?

C: Yes. One of them is named Clutch.

S: Do you know what clutch means?

C: Nope.

S: Wikipedia tells us that it is a mechanical device connecting and disconnecting parts of a car engine. Did you notice that almost all the Amperville mice in the book had names that were related to cars?

C: Yes. And there is a mouse band called the B-Flat Tires. That’s also about cars.

S: Yes!

C: I think the reason is that they all live in cars.

S: And Ragweed on the other hand is a natural thing, it’s a type of plant, right? Not a car. So from their names you can tell …

C: where they are from! The mayor of Mouse Town is named Radiator for example. Cliutch’s mom is Foglight and her dad is Windshield. And then there is Blinker. I don’t think that is about cars.

S: But look, Wikipedia shows us there are also car blinkers! So even Blinker’s name is related to cars!

C: Yes, that’s interesting!

S: Did you know that Ragweed is part of a series of books but it is not the first book Avi wrote in that series?

C: Really?

S: Yes, apparently Avi, the author, first wrote a book named Poppy, about a mouse named Poppy. And then he wrote Ragweed as a prequel. Do you know what’s a prequel?

C: A book that comes before another?

S: Right. So there is apparently a Ragweed in Poppy, and the author wanted to tell his backstory. So I guess you should eventually read that Poppy book as well.

C: I might read it next then.

S: That sounds good to me.

Caramel is reading Ragweed by Avi and looking at the illustrations by Brian Floca.
Caramel is reading Ragweed by Avi and looking at the illustrations by Brian Floca.

S: What else do you want to tell our readers about this book?

C: Can I rate it then?

S: Yes, give me three words that describe the book.

C: Adventure, danger, cliffhangers.

S: What do you mean by cliffhangers?

C: Well, it ends in a cliffhanger. Sort of.

S: I guess you will just have to read Poppy then.

C: Exactly.

S: Then let us wrap this up so you can get started. What are your last words for this review Caramel?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Ragweed, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.
Caramel enjoyed reading Ragweed, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.