Caramel reviews A Kids Book About Change by David Kim

Today Caramel wanted to talk about a book he read in the A Kids Book About series: A Kids Book About Change by David Kim. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews A Kids Book About Change by David Kim.
Caramel reviews A Kids Book About Change by David Kim.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book.

Caramel: This book is in the first person.

S: What do you mean?

C: The author says things like “I did blah blah”.

S: So yes, the author is talking about his own experiences and using the “I” pronoun. He is also using the “you” pronoun a lot, right?

C: Yes. He is talking to the reader, asking questions, like, “When a change happened were you scared or excited?” and so on.

S: So what is the book about then?

C: Well, it’s about change, it says so in the title. He talks about how things changed in his life when he was a kid.

Caramel is reading A Kids Book About Change by David Kim.
Caramel is reading A Kids Book About Change by David Kim.

S: And then he asks the reader to think about times when things changed for them, right? Can you think of a time when something changed in yours?

C: Sure. Every single day!

S: What do you mean?

C: In every bunny’s life something changes every single day.

S: For example…?

C: I read a different book almost every day.

S: But the book is about somewhat more important changes, I think.

C: Yes I guess so.

S: So can you think of a big change that affected you?

C: Being born.

S: I doubt you remember that though. So anything closer to today?

C: Distance learning. When the pandemic hit, my school (and it is also Marshmallow’s school) moved to distance learning.

S: Yes, that was a big change. So the author of the book wants you to think about this change. How did you feel? He lists a bunch of words for you to think about: Were you scared? excited? Sad?

Caramel is reading A Kids Book About Change by David Kim.
Caramel is reading A Kids Book About Change by David Kim.

C: I was sad. I am still sad. I miss being with my friends in our school.

S: I know. It is very hard. What does the book suggest you do when you are going through a change?

C: We can “resist change” or “ignore change”, but the author wants us to “embrace change”.

S: Hmm, what does that mean?

C: I think it means don’t fight it, take it.

S: Hmm, so what does it mean in your case, about moving to distance learning?

C: Eventually I started liking some parts of it actually. My teacher makes things a lot of fun, and she sometimes gives us little gifts when we go to pick up materials. And we also start school a bit later, which is nice, I get to sleep more! I also can share some of my Lego things which I could not take to school before.

S: But you still miss your friends and your teacher, a lot, don’t you?

C: Yes.

S: But you have embraced this change, I think. You are trying to see the good things, and trying not to get stuck complaining about the bad things.

C: Yes, and we are doing this so we can all stay healthy.

S: So then, this seems to resonate with the moral of this book. What would you say that that is? What is the main message of this book?

C: Don’t fight against change…

S: … and I think another important message is to talk to people who will listen when you are worried about a change.

C: And in my case that was you Sprinkles.

S: Thank you for sharing with me Caramel. I think you are handling this big change as well as any little bunny can. Did reading this book make you think of anything else?

C: What do you mean?

S: How about impermanence?

C: No, not impermanence, again!

S: I know. You and Marshmallow always complain when we are listening to wakeup videos on our meditation app, and they turn out to be about impermanence. Here is one we liked, about the seventy-two microseasons in traditional Japanese calendar:

“Mindfulness and impermanence — There are 72 Japanese micro-seasons in a year, each lasting about 5 days. With names like “mist starts to linger” or “east wind melts the ice,” these micro-seasons root people in their surroundings and focus on the repeated patterns of nature’s cycles.” YouTube video from the Headspace channel.

C: They are all about impermanence! And especially Marshmallow does not like that.

S: Yes, but the point of those videos is almost the same as this book, right? That change is always happening, and to everyone?

C: Yes, in those videos they say: “an idea so important to mindfulness: impermanence, that is, that everything is changing in our minds, our bodies and the world around us.”

S: So change is the only constant, as an old philosopher once said. Then we’d better get used to it, and learn how to handle it well.

C: Impermanence is permanent!

S: Yes, that is true. So let us wrap this up then. What doesn’t change in our reviews is that I ask you to give me three words that describe this book.

C: Yes, you do always ask me that! Let me see. Colorful, because the letters are colorful.

S: It almost reminds me of The Book With No Pictures that you had reviewed before.

C: True. There are not many pictures in this one, either. There is only a picture of a bowl with some Korean food in it and a plate with a sandwich.

S: Yep, that is kind of why I thought of that book you reviewed before. Okay, you need to give me two more words…

C: Helpful… and impermanence!

S: I guess that last one needed to make it in, right? Okay, then. Let us call it done. What do you want to say to our readers as we end?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel appreciated reading A Kids Book About Change by David Kim, and recommends it to all other little bunnies who might be facing changes in their lives (which is actually every single one of them, so yeah, this is a good book for all little bunnies...)
Caramel appreciated reading A Kids Book About Change by David Kim, and recommends it to all other little bunnies who might be facing changes in their lives (which is actually every single one of them, so yeah, this is a good book for all little bunnies…)

Caramel reviews Poppy and Rye by Avi

A couple weeks ago Caramel reviewed Poppy, the book that launched Avi’s Dimwood Forest series. This week he is continuing the series, with a review of the next book in line: Poppy and Rye, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Poppy and Rye, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.
Caramel reviews Poppy and Rye, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about Poppy and Rye.

Caramel: Poppy and Rye is a good book if you like mice. Especially if you like battles of mice against bad creatures, like beavers.

S: Well, I never thought about whether I’d like to read about mice battling beavers before. But you are right, this is a book about mice and their fight against a group of mean beavers.

C: And in the lead is a beaver named Caster P. Canad. He is the one who made a dam and it flooded the house that Ragweed’s family used to live.

S: Oh, so Ragweed’s family is in this book? That’s cool.

C: Yes, Rye is his brother, and he is in the title of the book. But this is after Ragweed … oops… I am trying not to give away what happened to Ragweed in Poppy.

S: Yes, but the events in this book happen after all that, right?

C: Yes. Why do you ask?

S: So I am guessing people who are thinking of reading this book should probably have already read Poppy and should already know what happened to Ragweed.

C: Yep, I guess so.

S: So do you think someone could read Poppy and Rye without having read Poppy?

C: They could, but it is probably not a good idea.

S: I agree, I think you would not have a good sense of who Poppy is otherwise. But keep in mind the very first book Ragweed was actually written after Poppy and Rye. So perhaps people do not need to really have read that one just yet.

C: Possibly. But I still think it is a good idea to start with Ragweed. And if you can read Ragweed and Poppy in between, before Poppy, then you can follow these mice all through their adventures in the right way.

S: That is how we are reading through this series, right?

C: Yes.

Caramel is reading Poppy and Rye, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.
Caramel is reading Poppy and Rye, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca. 

S: Okay, so you already told us that there are some beavers who have basically destroyed the home of Ragweed’s family.

C: Yes, the beavers make a dam on the brook and then they flood the home of Clover and Valerian, who are Ragweed’s mom and dad. And the family has to move out.

S: So where does Poppy come into this story? Doesn’t she live far away from the Brook?

C: Yes, but she wants to tell Ragweed’s family the news about his … oh, sorry.. She wants to meet them, let me say.

S: Okay, yes, she goes through the whole forest to get to them, right? Who is with her?

C: A porcupine, a bad-mannered porcupine, a very annoyed porcupine. And his name is Ereth.

S: Some people really like Ereth. Did you like him, too?

C: Yeah, I especially love his grumpiness. He is funny! He always grumbles and says things to annoy Poppy.

S: Yes, but he also really really likes Poppy, right?

C: Yes.

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

C: Funny, descriptive, adventurous.

S: Hmm, you have used two of those words before for the other books from the Dimwood Forest series, but “descriptive” is new. Why do you say that?

C: There is a lot of description in the story. The author describes Ereth and Rye and all the other characters. And the places they are in. The forest, the brook, the area near the dam, and the rock where Clover and Valerian and their litter of billions of mouse babies move into after their first home is flooded.

S: That is true. And so yes, I agree, your descriptive words are good choices for this book. Again. So let us wrap up this review. What would you tell our readers Caramel?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Poppy and Rye, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca, and is looking forward to reading more adventures of these lovable animals from Dimwood Forest.
Caramel enjoyed reading Poppy and Rye, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca, and is looking forward to reading more adventures of these lovable animals from Dimwood Forest.

Caramel reviews Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille by Russell Freedman

Today Caramel wanted to talk about Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler.
Caramel reviews Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler.

Sprinkles: Caramel, tell me a bit about this book.

Caramel: This book is about the life of Louis Braille. Braille is the person who invented the Braille alphabet. The Braille alphabet is used by people who cannot see to read and write.

S: Did you know about him before reading the book?

C: No. I had heard of the Braille alphabet, and I thought it was probably invented by someone named Braille, but I did not know anything else about Braille.

S: So you learned about his life from this book. Tell us about him a bit.

C: Louis Braille was not born blind. He could see at some point but when he was four, one of his eyes got poked out and his other eye got infected and he lost both.

S: Yes, I read that part too. It is a sad accident that leads to the loss of one eye and the infection on the other eye. It is really sad.

C: Yes very sad. And also because the infection could probably be cured today.

S: Yes. It is possible. But he was living in the first half of the nineteenth century, and they did not have antibiotics or anything else to fight infections with.

C: Yes. They did use leeches for some medical purposes, which is weird.

S: Yes, I think so too. But apparently they still use leeches for some medical purposes!

C: I did not know that! That is so strange. I learn something new every day!

Caramel is reading Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler He is on the page where the Braille alphabet is being described. .
Caramel is reading Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler He is on the page where the Braille alphabet is being described. .

S: Tell me more about the book.

C: If you like biographies, you would probably like this book. It is about a young person doing some really big and important things. Like inventing an entirely new alphabet! And he was also blind!

S: Yes, but maybe being blind, he knew what would help him better than seeing people who assumed that everybody should use the same alphabet. In the book we learn that Louis as a student learns about a writing system devised by an army captain and then modifies it in novel ways that would make it practical and easy to learn and use.

C: Yes. The government and the school do not want to use his system at first.

S: Yes, first his school has a headmaster who likes his ideas but once he is replaced, the new director bans its use.

C: The students already had been using it, but the new headmaster bans it. So they still use it, but in secret.

S: Yes, it is a very interesting story, isn’t it?

C: Yes, it definitely is. But it is also very sad.

S: Why do you say that?

C: Because he works so hard to develop this alphabet, he works when everybody is sleeping. But then people do not want to use it.

S: But in the end things work out, don’t they?

C: Yes. But he also dies.

S: Yes, people do die, but you are right that his death is sad too.

C: He dies from tuberculosis, and we can cure it today, right?

S: Yes, that is true and it is indeed sad. But at least he knew his alphabet was being used and was much appreciated by then. So what three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Fascinating, biography, black-and-white illustrations.

S: Hmm, that is a few more words than three, but I’ll let it be. What do you want to tell our readers as we wrap up this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has appreciated reading Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler, and recommends it to other little bunnies who might like to learn about a young person who overcame big obstacles and achieved great things.
Caramel has appreciated reading Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille, written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Kate Kiesler, and recommends it to other little bunnies who might like to learn about a young person who overcame big obstacles and achieved great things.

Caramel reviews Poppy by Avi

On the second anniversary of the launch of the book bunnies blog (check out our Hello World post for memories!), Caramel is ready to share with our readers his thoughts on Poppy, the first book in the Tales from Dimwood Forest series by Avi. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Poppy, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.
Caramel reviews Poppy, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, this is your first review for 2021. And you picked Poppy for it. Why?

Caramel: Because it is the first book I read this year. I think.

S: Can you tell us a bit what this book is about?

C: It is about Poppy, as you can tell from the title. Poppy is a deer mouse. She lives with her big family (with about two hundred other deer mice) in the Gray House. The Gray House is a big old house, abandoned by its owner who was a farmer.

S: So is the story mainly about Poppy and her family?

C: No, but it is mostly about her and her adventures.

S: You had reviewed another book in this series before: Ragweed. Though it was written after this one, in terms of the story timeline, it is supposed to have happened before. But that was all about Ragweed and his adventures; Poppy was not in that book at all.

C: That is true. Ragweed met Poppy in the second book, Ragweed and Poppy, which we did not review because I read it on the Kindle.

S: Yes, I read that book too. Ragweed tried to save Poppy from a trap in that book. Do we see Ragweed in Poppy as well?

C: Only in the first chapter because he gets … oops, sorry, I should not spoil the plot.

S: Hmm, now I am curious. I might have to read this book.

C: That’s the point. You should read it. It’s a good book. All except the part where Ragweed gets … oops, sorry.

S: Okay, let us move away from the Ragweed topic. Tell me more about Poppy then.

C: The mouse or the book?

S: The mouse.

C: She goes on an adventure and gets into a lot of trouble.

S: That sounds like an exciting read. In fact I remember you not wanting to turn out the lights last night so you could read more.

C: Yeah. I picked up the book and had to finish it. But you made me go to sleep so I woke up in the morning and first thing, I got reading and finished it.

Caramel is reading Poppy, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.
Caramel is reading Poppy, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca.

S: So what are three words that you can use to describe the book?

C: Fun, adventurous, cliffhangers.

S: That is funny! In your review of Ragweed, you had also picked similar words: “Adventure, danger, cliffhangers”.

C: I think we can use those same words here too.

S: So what is next? Will you read the next book in the series?

C: Yes. And I will probably review it for the blog. But I can’t believe Ragweed got … oops…

S: Okay, maybe we should end this review before you spill the beans. What do you want to say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Poppy, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca, and is looking forward to reading more about the creatures of Dimwood Forest.
Caramel enjoyed reading Poppy, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca, and is looking forward to reading more about the creatures of Dimwood Forest.