Marshmallow reviews Big Game by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed several books from Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series: you can check out her review of the first book, Belly Up, here, while her review of the second book, Poached, 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 finally got around to sharing with us her thoughts on the third book on the adventures of Teddy Fitzroy: Big Game.

Marshmallow reviews the third book, Big Game, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow reviews the third book, Big Game, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.

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

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy lives at FunJungle, the world’s biggest, most elaborate zoo, where a lot of events have gone wrong. For example, the zoo’s mascot, Henry the Hippo, was murdered in the first book, Belly Up. Then in the second book, Poached, which Caramel is reading now, Kazoo the Koala is stolen, after the zoo and its billionaire owner, J.J. McCracken, went to “enormous lengths” to secure the bringing it to FunJungle. 

Now, the zoo has to face one of their hardest cases. Someone is shooting at Rhonda Rhino! Teddy has gotten into a lot of danger while solving other cases in FunJungle, so he wisely decides that he will sit out on this one. But J.J. McCracken has other ideas. 

Since J.J. knows that he is good at solving mysteries, he brings Teddy to his office, with his daughter, Summer, who is Teddy’s friend. J.J. asks Teddy if he will take the case, and Teddy says that he will consider it and ask his parents about it. While Summer calls her mother, J.J. hints that if Teddy doesn’t help, his parents will be fired. Teddy of course does not want his parents to lose their jobs, so he goes to the scene of the crime, Rhonda’s pen, where she is kept while she is pregnant. 

Marshmallow is reading Big Game by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow is reading Big Game by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is one of Teddy’s hardest cases. It is really hard to decide what to make of the situation, since there are so many loose ends, but of course they neatly tie up at the end. Like how the assailant didn’t use a silencer when they took the first shot and then later in another attempt did. 

I think that the attacker did a very good job of hiding their guilt. I never suspected them. A lot of the clues do not make any sense about who the attacker is, until the end. 

The book is very well written and thought out. The clues are all laid out, and at the end of the book (this is a personal experience, it might not happen to you), I wondered how I hadn’t realized who the guilty person was before. 

The author has once again mixed humor, thrill, and mystery in this book making this a great book for fans of mystery books. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates the third book, Big Game, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, 95%..
Marshmallow rates the third book, Big Game, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, 95%..

Marshmallow reviews Lion Down by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed several books from Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series: you can check out her review of the first book, Belly Up, here, while her review of the second book, Poached, is here, and her review of the fourth book, Panda-monium, is available here. Today she shares with us her thoughts on the fifth book on the adventures of Teddy Fitzroy: Lion Down.

Marshmallow reviews the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow reviews the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s overview: If you liked any of the other FunJungle books or if you like mysteries about animals, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy has gotten himself involved in a mystery, yet again. This time a mountain lion named Rocket is accused of “canicide”. The victim was King, the dog of Lincoln Stone, the famous host of a talk show.

Stone hosts a TV show on which he bad-mouths the government and how everything that they say is wrong and that he is right. He starts to accuse Rocket for killing and then says that he will pay anyone that kills Rocket five hundred thousand dollars. 

Teddy Fitzroy is approached by FunJungle’s vet’s daughter, who asks him to investigate the death of King. She and many other activists in the ALF (Animal Liberation Front) believe that someone has intentionally framed Rocket. As Teddy investigates it is discovered that King was not the breed that Lincoln Stone says he was on his show. And also on the night of the “murder” Stone left King outside when he knew that there were mountain lions around. It soon comes out that he wasn’t nice to King, either. As he learns from Stone’s neighbors that Stone was having a party with guns, Teddy now has even more suspects. One of the guests at the party might have accidentally shot King and then tried to make it look like Rocket ate him. Teddy is overwhelmed with mysteries while he also struggles with a mysterious vandal poisoning the giraffes every Sunday.  

Marshmallow is pointing to the back cover of the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, where the reader can get a quick summary of the plot of the book.
Marshmallow is pointing to the back cover of the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, where the reader can get a quick summary of the plot of the book.

Marshmallow’s review: This book is very suitable for those who want to learn about animals while reading a mystery book. The mystery is hard to figure out, and like the past books in the series, Lion Down has two mysteries that Teddy has to solve. The reader is provided with many suspects for the case about King’s death.

The reader also learns about habitat loss. The author combines mystery, suspense, and humor while informing the reader about habitat loss, a very big problem that hurts many animals.

Marshmallow is reading the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow is reading the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.

This is a very funny book and it will entertain many different audiences. (Actually the whole series is like that. Caramel recently started reading Belly Up and he is enjoying it a lot!)

You could probably read this book before reading the earlier books in the series, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Reading the first books will help you understand the book better. Just reading Panda-monium could be okay though, if you don’t want to read all the books. Still I think reading all of them in the right order is probably the best idea. (If you want to read a book from a series that does not require reading the earlier books, then Ivy + Bean One Big Happy Family might be the book for you.)

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, 100%.
Marshmallow rates the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, 100%.

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%.

Caramel reviews Verdi by Janell Cannon

Today Caramel reviews a book he borrowed from his school when his school closed down for the next few weeks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: Verdi by Janell Cannon. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Verdi by by Janell Cannon.
Caramel reviews Verdi by by Janell Cannon.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, why did you pick this book to talk about today?

Caramel: Because I like this book. I like the illustrations, and the story.

S: I think the author both wrote the story and illustrated it herself.

C: Yes, she did. I like it. It is very green.

S: Yes, it is very calming. In fact we can read it out loud together, or watch someone else read it out loud, and it makes us feel calm and cozy, right?

C: Yep. Here is a video of someone reading Verdi that we found and watched:

A video reading of Verdi by Janell Cannon.

S: So can you tell us what this story is about Caramel?

C: A green python that does not want to be green. He is young so he is not green yet. And he does not want to become green, like the other ones. The other greens, he calls them.

S: That sounds interesting. What color is he then?

C: He is yellow. They are actually called green tree pythons. They are green when they are grown up, and they live on trees, so that is why they are called green tree pythons.

S: That is interesting! That Wikipedia article also says they get as long as six feet!

C: Yes. After the story ends, the book has a section on snakes. And you can learn lots of facts there.

S: And I know you like your facts Caramel! So tell me a few of your favorite snake facts from that section in the book.

C: Ok. There are about 2500 species of snakes!

S: That is a lot of snake types. What else?

C: And the biggest snake in the world is 33 feet!

S: That is long! Anyways it is interesting that these green tree pythons are born yellow and then they change into green as they mature. So this Verdi does not want to change. Why do you think that is?

C: Maybe he wants to stay young forever?

S: That sounds likely. He does not think too highly of the other already green ones, right?

C: He thinks they are lazy and boring.

S: And then what happens?

C: And then he turns green anyway.

S: And does he become lazy and boring?

C: No. He is big and green but he makes friends with two yellow snakes and together they jump and make figure eights with each other. It is such a nice book!

S: It is sweet, true. What do you think it all means?

C: I think it means that even if you do not want something to happen to you but if it is a part of your nature, then you will have to go through it anyways.

S: So you might not want to grow up but you will have to some day.

Caramel is rereading his favorite page and looking at his favorite illustration in Verdi by by Janell Cannon.
Caramel is rereading his favorite page and looking at his favorite illustration in Verdi by by Janell Cannon.

C: But it is ok to grow up. He is big and green but still can have fun and friends.

S: Yes, so maybe it is not that bad to grow up after all.

C: But I don’t want to grow up much either. I actually really don’t.

S: Why so?

C: It’s fun being a young bunny.

S: That is true. But there are also a lot of things you can’t do when you are such a young bunny.

C: But do you even remember when you were a young bunny?

S: Of course Caramel. I remember a lot of things. I was frustrated a lot because I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do.

C: Do you remember your school?

S: Yes, I do. I remember many of my friends and my teachers. But let us get back to Verdi. Do you know what Verdi means?

C: Yes, it means green. In Italian I think.

S: Yes, so that is kind of amusing, isn’t it? His name is green, so we could have guessed that he would eventually become green anyways.

C: Yep. But still it’s a nice story. I like reading it.

S: That is great Caramel. So let us wrap this up.

C: Yes! Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Verdi by by Janell Cannon.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Verdi by by Janell Cannon.