Caramel reviews The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

A couple weeks ago Caramel reviewed the graphic novel version of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey. This week he talks about the second book in the series: The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey. As usual Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

(Marshmallow has already reviewed the original; see here for her review.)

Caramel reviews The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel reviews The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, let us hear what you have to say about this book.

Caramel: If you already read the graphic novel version of The Lightning Thief, then this is a good book to read next.

S: So readers need to have read the first book of the series, right?

C: Yes.

S: Would it be enough to have read the original book or the graphic novel?

C: I think reading the originals first makes it easier to follow the graphic novels too.

S: But I am guessing that someone who only reads the graphic novel versions will still get a good story, is that correct?

C: Yes, definitely.

S: Then tell us that story a bit.

C: Percy Jackson, and his friend Annabeth (who eventually becomes his girlfriend) go on a quest that they are not even supposed to go on! Percy Jackson never listens to instructions.

S: Wait, so there is a quest and someone else is supposed to go ..

C: Yes, Clarisse La Rue, a daughter of war god Ares, is the one who is chosen but Percy and Annabeth don’t let go.

S: It is interesting how a lot of main characters in books don’t listen to instructions, right?

C: Yes, Harry Potter never listens to Professor Dumbledore, or Hermione, who is almost always right.

S: That’s true. But maybe through their mistakes we the readers learn some things, like listening to those who are older or wiser than us might actually be a good idea.

C: I agree with that! I do get mad at Harry or Percy when they don’t listen!

Caramel is reading The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel is reading The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.

S: Okay, yes, let us get back to the book. What is this quest about?

C: They need to get the golden fleece. The golden fleece is a mythical object that heals anything.

S: Like that little scab on your knee?

C: Yes, I think if we had the golden fleece, my knee would get better much faster.

S: I think your body is doing really well healing on its own though? I think you will not even see it in a couple weeks.

C: I guess. But the golden fleece heals things much worse than a scarred knee. And it is hidden far far away.

S: And so our heroes have to face many new challenges to get to it, right?

C: Yes, and many new monsters!

S: Which monster was the most interesting one for you in this book?

C: I thought the monsters that wait in the sea of monsters to swallow up ships and heroes are the most interesting ones. Let me see… they are called Scylla and Charybdis. Together they destroy many ships.

S: And that is how in this story world we explain the Bermuda Triangle myth, right? Many people believed that in this region of the North Atlantic ocean, there was some mystery that led to disaster for many ships.

C: Yes. They talk about this in the book too, at least in the original book. And this is the book where Percy meets his half-brother Tyson, who is a cyclops.

S: So half-brother means Tyson is also a son of Poseidon, right?

C: Yep.

S: But aren’t we supposed to dislike and fear cyclops?

C: Some might not be nice, but Tyson is a really good cyclops, and he is a good brother to Percy.

S: I see. Okay, then, maybe we should tie this review up here before we give away more details. What three words would you use to describe this book Caramel?

C: Colorful, Greek mythology, and Percy Jackson.

S: Well, some of those are not descriptive words, but I’ll let it slide this time. What else do you want to say to our readers as we wrap things up?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.

Caramel reviews The Rescue Rabbits by Eric Seltzer

This week Caramel wanted to talk about a fun picture book written by Eric Seltzer and illustrated by Roland Garrigue: The Rescue Rabbits. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews The Rescue Rabbits written by Eric Seltzer and illustrated by Roland Garrigue.
Caramel reviews The Rescue Rabbits written by Eric Seltzer and illustrated by Roland Garrigue.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you found a book about bunnies!

Caramel: Yes! This is a cool book about rabbits that can talk.

S: You and I are talking!

C: Yes, that’s true. But other animals talk in this book too. Like hippos, elephants, a kangaroo. A lot of animals.

S: And they all understand one another, right?

C: Apparently.

S: That sounds so neat! Wouldn’t it be great if we could talk with all other animals?

C: Yep.

S: So tell me what this book is about.

C: There are four rabbits that do stuff. Their names are Ace, Chip, Dot, and Spot. And they help other animals. An elephant and fifty sick hippos and a duck family, a kangaroo…

S: Okay, I get the point. So the rabbits are like a squad …

C: … Like PAW Patrol!

S: Oh yes! That sounds just about right! The PAW Patrol puppies also try and help others in trouble, right?

C: I don’t exactly remember the show really, but yes, I think that is what they do. Can we watch some episodes at some point? Maybe I can remember–hint hint.

S: Maybe. But let us get back to the book.

Caramel is reading The Rescue Rabbits written by Eric Seltzer and illustrated by Roland Garrigue.  On this page there is a rhino queen, Queen Rex, and she is a bit too big for the helicopter the Rescue Rabbits are riding.
Caramel is reading The Rescue Rabbits written by Eric Seltzer and illustrated by Roland Garrigue. On this page there is a rhino queen, Queen Rex, and she is a bit too big for the helicopter the Rescue Rabbits are riding.

S: So tell me more about the book. What did you think of the drawings?

C: They’re pretty good. They’re very colorful. They are not really exactly realistic but I still like them.

S: Well, helicopter flying rabbits is also not very realistic. This is obviously fiction, right?

C: Yep. And they are all wearing clothes. There is a pelican wearing a hat, a tortoise wearing a cap, and a warthog and an elephant wearing suits. And there is a baby rhino in overalls.

S: And the Rescue Rabbits are also wearing clothes, right?

C: Yep. We are wearing clothes. Normal bunnies don’t wear clothes.

S: That’s right, but a lot of our readers probably do wear clothes. So maybe that is why the Rescue Rabbits are wearing clothes too.

C: Yes! Maybe so the readers don’t feel weird reading about naked animals.

S: And so that they feel like the animals are more like humans.

C: Yes. But not too much like humans, because that apparently freaks out humans. You told me about the uncanny valley before.

S: Yes, you have a good memory. Do you remember what that was exactly?

C: Not quite. What was it?

S: It is when things look too like humans, humans get scared. Here is a neat article about it: What is the Uncanny Valley? It is a concept first thought of in the field of robotics, when people were beginning to think of making robots look more and more like humans.

C: In Star Trek Voyager, there is a holographic life form and he looks exactly like humans. And humans are sometimes scared of him.

S: Yes, kind of like that. But let us get back to the book. What three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Colorful, happy, adventurous.

S: Yes, I like those words and I think they fit this book. So it is now time to wrap up this review. What do you want to tell our readers Caramel?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has enjoyed reading The Rescue Rabbits written by Eric Seltzer and illustrated by Roland Garrigue.
Caramel has enjoyed reading The Rescue Rabbits written by Eric Seltzer and illustrated by Roland Garrigue.

Caramel reviews The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

The book bunnies have all read several books by Rick Riordan, and Marshmallow has reviewed many of them. This week Caramel wanted to review a graphic novel version of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

(Marshmallow has already reviewed the original; see here for her review.)

Caramel reviews The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel reviews The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.

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

Caramel: It’s a graphic novel version of The Lightning Thief, which Marshmallow already reviewed.

S: So does one have to have read the actual book to follow this graphic novel?

C: Well, this book does not seem to have everything that is in the other version of the book.

S: That makes total sense. This is a much slimmer book, and graphic novels have much fewer words. So I would expect that it would skip some things.

C: Yes but I think they skipped some important things!

S: Yes, that is bound to happen, too. But if you were to read only this book, and not the full book, would you get a good story?

C: Yes!

S: So tell me that story. What happens in this book? Tell me as if I have not read the full book.

C: Okay. There is a prophecy. It’s about a god and something stolen.

S: So is the thing that is stolen the lightning mentioned in the title?

C: Yes. Kind of. It is Zeus’s lightning bolt staff. It’s called the Master Bolt. And someone stole it. And Percy Jackson is the prime suspect.

S: So we meet Percy Jackson in this book, right? If we did not read any of the other Percy Jackson books, what should we know about him when we start this one?

C: You don’t need to know anything. The book tells you who he is.

Caramel is reading The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel is reading The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.

S: So who is Percy Jackson?

C: He is a modern-day halfblood. A halfblood is a demigod. That means his dad is a god and his mom is a mortal. He learns about this in the book too. He thought he was just a regular kid before.

S: So I understand that if you liked the Percy Jackson books, you might also like to check out the graphic novel version. But let us assume you have not seen the movie or read any of the other Percy Jackson books. Would this still be an interesting story?

C: Yes. I think so.

S: To fit all the things in the original books into such a slim book would be hard, so they probably have cut out a lot, but is it still pretty action filled and exciting?

C: Yes. A lot happens. Percy fights a lot of monsters and gets into a lot of trouble. A lot of big big trouble.

S: That sounds like it would be fun to read!

C: Yep!

S: The Percy Jackson books all are connected to Greek mythology. This one also makes the same types of connections, right?

C: Yes.

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

C: Action, colorful, and mythological.

S: Hmm, I like those words. So let us wrap up this review then.

C: Yep! Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.

Caramel reviews The Monster in My Basement by Dave Preston

Today Caramel talks about The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

The book bunnies received this book from the publisher (CrissCross Applesauce, a City of Light Publishing imprint) as a review copy.

Caramel reviews The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris.
Caramel reviews The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris.

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

Caramel: It’s about the monster in the basement of Dave’s house.

S: Who is Dave?

C: Dave is a little boy. He is the main person in the story.

S: The author’s name is Dave, too. Maybe he is writing about a time when he was a little boy?

C: Oh yes. And maybe he believed that there was a monster in his basement!

S: That is possible! Remember that other book you reviewed about this other boy who had a monster in his closet?

C: Yes: How to Catch a Monster. That book was also fun.

S: So is this book fun to read?

C: Yep. In the very beginning, Dave puts on a blanket as a cape and puts a pot on his head as a helmet, and the top of the pot is his shield. He uses a wooden spoon as a sword.

S: So all ready to take on the monster in the basement?

C: I don’t know if he knows then there is a monster in the basement. But then he hears it groan and is really afraid.

S: But he still goes into the basement?

C: Yes. He is a bit too curious, I think.

S: So are you telling me you would not have gone to check?

C: Well, probably not. I am a scaredy bunny.

S: I am not so sure of that! But okay, this kid, his name is Dave, and he finds a monster in his basement. Then what?

C: We should not give away the entire story!

S: You’re right. We won’t. But I think you can say a little bit more.

C: The monster, his name is Howard, he says he is hungry and Dave thinks he is the dinner!

S: That does sound scary! And they meet Howard’s mom, and Dave is still pretty scared, right?

C: Yep. But I think I won’t say more about what happens next. Curious bunnies need to read the book to learn!

Caramel is reading The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris. On these two pages, Dave meets Howard's mom.
Caramel is reading The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris. On these two pages, Dave meets Howard’s mom.

S: Alright, that’s fair. Let us talk a bit more about the book in general terms then. What can you tell us about the pictures?

C: They’re very colorful. Mostly red, black, yellow. Howard is very colorful too. His hair is red and his eyes are yellow!

S: So he does look scary, right?

C: Yes, and so Dave is always scared. Till the end. But I won’t tell the end. A bunny must not tell his secrets.

S: Yes, we agreed that you won’t tell the end. But now I’m curious about what other secrets you’re keeping from me…

C: Oh nothing… Let’s talk more about the book!

S: Okay, I’ll let that slide. For now. Let us talk about the book. There are notes at the end for a song about the book, right?

C: Yes. And there is a web page where you can listen to the song too.

S: Yes, we did visit that site and listened to the song from the beginning to the end together. The author Dave Preston wrote the song, too. What did you think about it?

C: The song is fun, too. It goes through the entire book actually.

S: Yes, then you can hear for yourself the rhyme in the text, right?

C: Yes, there is the part “shake a little bit, shake a little bit, shake, shake, shake”, which they repeat all the time.

S: Yes, that is called a refrain. That part occurs several times in the book, and in the song, too, of course, to remind us that Dave is scared!

C: Yes, he’s scared of being Howard’s lunch. Or dinner. Not sure, who knows… And you know, one of my favorite parts is that when Howard’s mom says “It’s time to eat!” the clock is there, and instead of numbers, it has the letters of the word HUNGRY. Twice, circling around the clock!

S: Yes, that is a nice touch, and a very good observation for a little bunny like yourself!

C: Yep, I am a careful reader.

S: Okay, I think it is time for us to wrap up this review. What are your three words to describe this book?

C: Repetitive, colorful, and funny.

S: Repetitive in a good sense, though, I suppose, no?

C: Yep. It’s like a nursery rhyme, or a song with a repetition. It’s called a refrain, you tell me. Right?

S: Right. So what do you say when we’re wrapping up our review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has really enjoyed reading The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris, and would recommend it to all other little bunnies.
Caramel has really enjoyed reading The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris, and would recommend it to all other little bunnies.