Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson

A few weeks ago Caramel reviewed a beautiful nonfiction book titled The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. Today he decided to talk about a similar book: The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures, once again illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.
Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.

Sprinkles: I have been seeing you read and reread this book for the last few weeks. What is it about?

Caramel: It’s about ocean animals. Well, there is also corals…

S: Are corals animals?

C: They’re made of polyps which are little animals. Tiny, probably microscopic.

S: Hmm, let’s see. Wikipedia tells us that corals are made up of polyps as you said. And polyps are tiny invertebrates but nowhere do I see how big they are. So I guess I will take your word for it for now…

C: Oh, wait, I want to tell you this fact: Polyps are relatives of jellyfish! Did you know that?

S: No!

C: And they have “tentacles for sifting food from water”.

S: That is interesting Caramel! I can see why you find this book fascinating! It is full of interesting facts.

C: Yep. Let me tell you a few facts about my favorite ocean creature in this book.

S: Oh, I am curious. What is it about?

C: Here, I found it: Flying fish!

Flying fish do not actually fly. They leap out of the water at high speeds and then glide on their winglike fins. The fish glide to escape larger predators that are attacking them underwater.

Caramel is reading his favorite pages (about flying fish) in The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.
Caramel is reading his favorite pages (about flying fish) in The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.

S: This is all very interesting!

C: There’s more!

S: But we should talk more about the book more generally. So tell me more about the book. What creatures are described in it?

C: I’ll tell you all of the animals in this book.

S: So you’ll read me the table of contents basically?

C: Yes.

S: That’s alright. Go ahead.

C: Sea otter, walrus, hooded seal, blue whale, humpback whale, narwhal, orca (killer whale), bottlenose dolphin, manatee, yellowfin tuna, marine iguana, whale shark, great white shark, ocean sunfish, manta ray, oarfish, humpback anglerfish, sea horse, queen parrotfish, clownfish, green sea turtle, lionfish, sailfish, flying fish, tufted puffin, emperor penguin, pelican, giant clam, lobster, giant Pacific octopus, giant squid, insulamon freshwater crab, sea slug, sea star, lion’s mane jellyfish, and coral.

S: Wow! That is a lot of creatures. And just like in the other Magnificient Book you reviewed, each of these animals gets two pages to itself, right?

C: Yes. And they also have amazing drawings! They are actually hand-drawn! It’s amazing!

S: I know! Some people are really good at drawing and illustrating, right?

C: They’re so good! They’re out of this world! At first I actually thought they were photos, but no, they are hand-drawn.

S: Yes, I am sure the illustrator worked really hard on them. And she must have worked really hard to get this good!

C: This reminds me of a quote, I do not know who it is from: “We do not do it because it is easy. We do it because it is hard.”

S: Oh, that is President John F. Kennedy’s speech about going to the moon. Here is the full transcript. The part you are remembering is:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. 

Isn’t it an inspiring speech? And you are right in remembering it just now. Good illustrators work hard at their craft, and even if they probably find drawing easier than you and me, drawing that well needs a lot of hard work.

C: I guess all that hard work be tiring.

S: Probably. But in the end they have a truly magnificent book!

C: Yes!

S: Okay, Caramel. Let us wrap this up. Do you want to rate it again, by finding three words to describe this book?

C: Yes. Here they are: Awesome, amazing, beautiful.

S: Well, these basically say the same thing, but I know what you mean. The book is beautiful. Alright, here are my three words: “colorful”, “big”, because it is a pretty big book, and “interesting”, because there are a lot of interesting facts in this book that I did not know about.

C: I agree!

S: Ok, and now you tell everyone:

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson, and is looking forward to many more reads where he will study once again the many amazing creatures of the world's oceans.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson, and is looking forward to many more reads where he will study once again the many amazing creatures of the world’s oceans.

Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is a prolific author and the book bunnies have read many of her books through the years. Last year, Marshmallow reviewed Beezus and Ramona, the first book by Cleary featuring one of her signature characters, Ramona Quimby. Today Caramel picks up the mantle and reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle, written in 1965, the first book featuring Ralph S. Mouse. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

Sprinkles: So this week we are talking about a chapter book. This book has been sitting in your room for a while now. What made you decide to finally pick it up?

Caramel: Hmm, I don’t actually know. I just thought about reading it. I picked it up when I was sent to clean up my room.

S: Hmm, that worked out well, I suppose. So what do you want to tell us about it?

C: It has 186 pages, and then there are some extras. There is a note from Beverly Cleary. Then “Ralph answers some questions”, then “Ralph thanks the readers”, and then there is a section called “About the pictures in this book”.

S: Those sound interesting. But who is Ralph? I think we first need to clarify that.

C: Ralph is a mouse who lives in a knot hole in a hotel room, at the Mountain View Inn.

S: And that is supposedly in California, right?

C: I think so.

S: So what happens to Ralph? I’m guessing that he is the mouse in the title. Is that right?

C: Yes. He meets this boy named Keith. Keith has a toy sedan and a sports car, and an ambulance.

S: Does he also have a toy motorcycle?

C: Yes he does. And one day, Ralph tries to ride the motorcycle and falls in a waste bin.

S: That must be scary for him!

C: Yes it is.

S: Is that how he meets Keith?

C: Yes, and then they become friends. Apparently Ralph can talk, and Keith can understand him.

S: After all, this is fiction. We have seen talking animals before, right?

C: Yes, for example Babymouse talks!

S: And Verdi is a talking snake.

C: And we are talking animals!

S: That is true! We have discussed many other books where there are creatures that talk that are usually not expected to talk, at least to humans.

Caramel is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Caramel is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

S: I liked reading this book, but if people want to watch instead, there is a movie of it apparently. Here it is:

YouTube link to The Mouse And The Motorcycle – (Full, 1986).

C: I like this book a lot too! And I’m looking forward to reading the next two books.

S: So there are two more books with Ralph in them?

C: Yes!

S: I think I have not read those. Maybe you will review them for our blog some time.

C: I will.

S: Okay Caramel, so it is time to wrap this up. Let us finish by rating it in three words. What three words would you use to describe the book?

C: Adventurous, imagination, funny.

S: I like those words! I think I could add: “sweet”, “unexpected”, and “friendship”.

C: I like those too.

S: Great! So let us wrap things up! What do you say?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, and recommends it to all other young bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, and recommends it to all other young bunnies.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

A few weeks ago Caramel reviewed the first book in the Babymouse series written by Jennifer Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm: Babymouse: Queen of the World. Then soon after, he reviewed the second book in the series: Babymouse: Our Hero. Today he wanted to talk about the third book: Babymouse: Beach Babe. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) written by Jennifer L Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.
Caramel reviews Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) written by Jennifer L Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you are still excited to talk about Babymouse!

Caramel: Yes!

S: So what is this book about?

C: Babymouse is going to the beach.

S: What happens then?

C: She tries to learn to surf and keeps on crashing into the waves. She also looks for sea shells. She sees a shark when she is scuba-diving. And she plays with her brother.

S: Oh, so finally Babymouse’s little brother Squeak comes into play!

C: Yep.

S: Does Babymouse get along well with her brother?

C: Not exactly.

S: You reviewed another book about a little brother not being treated well by his big sister. Do you remember?

C: Yes! Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid!

S: Is Squeak like Stink?

C: No. One: he is not human. Two: Stink was about how Stink saw the world. In this one there is a narrator…

S: I think there was a narrator in Stink too, but the narrator focused on Stink and what he thought. Here we are more focused on Babymouse, the sister, not the brother. Right?

C: Yes.

Caramel is reading Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) written by Jennifer L Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.
Caramel is reading Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) written by Jennifer L Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.

S: So Caramel, you are now reading chapter books and other bigger kid books. What appeals to you so much in these Babymouse books? Are they not for younger kids?

C: They can be for younger kids (or bunnies!) but the Babymouse books are humorous and fun for bigger kids to read too. Or bunnies. Marshmallow loves them too!

S: That’s true. I saw how she was waiting eagerly for you to finish them so she could read them right after! And they are a bit longer than books for really little bunnies, right?

C: Yes. This one is over ninety pages. Actually it is ninety-one pages exactly.

S: That is a lot of pages. And on each page, all sorts of fun and weird things happen. Babymouse does have a huge imagination.

C: Yes.

S: And so do you. Is that part of why you love to read these books?

C: Yes. I think she is funny, and sometimes very talented in coming up with crazy ideas. At some point she pretends that she is a mermaid, she says a mermouse!

S: That sounds fun! So do you want to rate this book, too, like we did the last week’s book? We find three words to describe the book.

C: Sure.

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

C: Hilarious, delightful, crazy imagination.

S: Well, that is four words, but that’s okay. Let me add my words, too. Creative, fun, pink.

C: Yes, those words work too.

S: So then we can wrap this up. What do you say?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has enjoyed reading Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm, and is ready to read the next book in the series.
Caramel has enjoyed reading Babymouse: Beach Babe (Babymouse #3) by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm, and is ready to read the next book in the series.

Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Animals by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson

Today, as he has done many times before, Caramel wanted to talk about a book about facts, and chose a recent favorite: The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson.
Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson.

Sprinkles: Okay Caramel, let us start talking about this book. What do you want to tell us about it?

Caramel: This is one big book for a little bunny like me.

S: That is true! Here is a picture of you standing next to the book so readers can see how big it is!

Caramel is showing us how big The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson, is.
Caramel is showing us how big The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson, is.

C: Yes, see how small I am next to the book!

S: Yes, I can see that. But I know you like this book; you have been almost inseparable from it for a while now.

C: Yes, I like looking at the book, and the pictures, and reading all the facts about all the animals.

S: So what animals are there in this book?

C: I’m going to tell you all of them. African elephant, red giant panda, reindeer, gray wolf, mandrill, flying fox, snow leopard, Przewalski’s horse, red kangaroo, lion ,polar bear, dromedary, orangutan, okapi, grizzly bear, chimpanzee, arctic fox, tapir, tiger, warthog, beaver, giraffe, koala, zebra, sloth, bison, hippopotamus, gorilla, white rhinoceros, wolverine, ring-tailed lemur, ibex, leopard, duck-billed platypus, striped hyena and bush baby.

S: That is a lot of animals. I don’t think I know all these animals. For example, I had never heard of a mandrill before…

C: It’s a type of monkey.

S: I also did not know about ibex, dromedary, and okapi. I also did not know about Przewalski’s horse.

C: The Przewalski’s horse is a type of horse. It’s the oldest breed. And the okapi is a big animal that lives in Central Africa. It has a long tongue, so long that it can lick its own eyes and ears. Kind of disgusting really!

S: Well, staying clean is important. So what about the dromedary and the ibex?

C: The dromedaries are some type of camel. And the ibex is a goat-like animal that lives on mountains. But the arctic fox is one of my favorites. Here is me looking at the page for the arctic fox.

Caramel is checking out the arctic fox in The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson.
Caramel is checking out the arctic fox in The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson.

S: Hmm, I’m not sure a bunny would be too safe near a fox.

C: I think you might be right. I also like the African elephant. Here is me looking at the page for the African elephant.

Caramel is reading more about the African elephant in The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson.
Caramel is reading more about the African elephant in The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson.

S: So each of the animals has a two-page spread where there is a really realistic drawing of the animal and a few interesting facts about it.

C: I don’t know how the person drew the pictures! It seems impossible.

S: What do you mean?

C: They’re so incredibly realistic! The eyes seem to be actually reflecting light, and they are looking at me when I am looking at them!

S: Yes, you are right Caramel, I agree the pictures really make this book magnificent. And the facts are all quite interesting, right?

C: Yes. For example I learned from this book that the arctic fox’s coat changes color between white and grayish brown so it can blend in its environment.

S: That is neat! And I can now see why you have not gotten bored of this book yet, even though you have been reading it over and over again so many times.

C: Yes, and I want to read it ten hundred thousand more times. So let’s end this review.

S: Okay. So what do we say?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoys reading and looking at the truly magnificent illustrations in The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson.
Caramel enjoys reading and looking at the truly magnificent illustrations in The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson.