Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Today Caramel decided to review an old favorite of the book bunnies household: Harold and the Purple Crayon, written in 1955 by Crockett Johnson.

Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about Harold and his purple crayon?

Caramel: It’s a very cute little story.

S: What is the story about?

C: It’s about this little baby, who is four years old. He goes out for a walk in the moonlight.

S: Did you go for walks in the moonlight when you were four?

C: No.

S: So how is Harold able to go out and walk in the moonlight?

C: Maybe he doesn’t listen to directions.

S: Hmm. If that were the main explanation for the story, I’m not sure all parents would love to read it to their little ones. Can there be another explanation?

C: Maybe he just likes walking. And as he walks, he creates things.

S: So can you think of a time when you could create things as you wished?

C: Yesterday, when I was doodling. I have been doing the Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! And I was also wearing my blue bodysuit, just like Harold.

S: So do you think Harold is really going out for a walk? Is he really ever leaving his bedroom?

C: Hmm, when you say it that way. Probably not. Maybe he is imagining that he is creating things with his purple crayon.

S: Yeah, kind of like how you create things when you doodle! And so what kinds of things does Harold create or find on his way?

C: He decides to have a forest but then he doesn’t want to get lost so his forest has only one tree. He makes it into an apple tree. Or it turns out, as the book says.

Caramel is reading two of his favorite pages in Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon where Harold decides the tree he drew is an apple tree.

S: This is indeed a very sweet story. Did you know that a short film of this story was made too?

C: No. But we did just find it on Youtube:

A cartoon retelling of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon.

S: Yes, this was slightly different from the book, though, right?

C: Yeah, the porcupine shows up in the film much earlier than the moose. But in the book they show up on the same page, right after Harold is done with his picnic. His part of the picnic. He doesn’t finish everything, there is a lot of pie left.

S: Hmm. In the picnic Harold has nine types of pies, all his favorites. What are your favorite pies Caramel?

C: Cherry! I like cherry pie most. I also like lemon cake.

S: Ok, then what happens in the end? Does he finally go to sleep?

C: Yep. And so it is also time to wrap up our review. So stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel still enjoys reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and recommends it to all little bunnies and their grownups.
Caramel still enjoys reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and recommends it to all little bunnies and their grownups.

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.

Caramel reviews Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Today Caramel reviews the 1972 classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz.
Caramel reviews Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz.

Sprinkles: Why don’t you start by telling us what this book is about Caramel?

Caramel: There is this boy named Alexander. This day for him is very bad. I read the book a few times, and we also just read it together last night, didn’t we Sprinkles?

S: Yes, we did. So why is Alexander’s day a bad one?

C: It starts out bad.

S: How?

C: He trips on his skateboard, and he had gum in his mouth when he fell asleep, so when he gets up, it is in his hair.

S: That’s terrible!

C: There’s more. His jacket falls into the sink while the water is still running and gets all wet. And then both his brothers get toys from their morning cereal and he only finds cereal in his box. Nothing else.

S: Hmm. That sounds like an unlucky day!

C: Yes, it is very unlucky for him.

S: So the whole book is about this very bad, no good day, right?

C: Yeah. It is sad for him. I sympathize with him.

S: How so?

C: I sometimes have bad days too. Don’t you know that Sprinkles?

S: Of course. We all have bad days sometimes.

C: And his is especially bad. His friends all get nice desserts in their lunch boxes, and he gets nothing for dessert. And his brother makes him fall down in the mud, and when he punches him, he gets caught and his mom scolds him. For being muddy and fighting. I’m mad at his brother, too.

S: Well, you are right. He should not have pushed Alexander into the mud. But you and Marshmallow also fight sometimes, right?

C: But it’s rare. And we never pushed each other into the mud.

S: Hmm. I guess here in this blog we should not admit to too many family secrets.

C: Yes. Family secrets! I like that.

S: Ok, so let us get back to Alexander. I know you actually have some mixed feelings about this book. Can you share a bit?

C: Ok. I’ll share my true feelings about it. I like it and I don’t like it.

S: Can you say a bit more?

C: The reason I don’t like it is because it is sad for him. Alexander really has a really bad day. And I like it because it’s kind of funny.

Caramel is reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz.

S: It is funny, true! And it is actually quite a realistic book, right? We read a lot of books where people always solve all their problems and end up happy and such. But in real life, sometimes things don’t go our way, and for no good reason, and we get frustrated and feel bad.

C: Or mad. Or both at the same time. Which is never the best of feelings.

S: So maybe the book can help a reader feel a bit better if they are having a bad day themselves. What do you think?

C: I think it could help. He is obsessed about Australia.

S: Yes, he wants to drop everything and …

C: And go to Australia!

S: As if that will solve his problems…

C: It won’t. But what if he did go to Australia?

S: well, it would not really have helped. That is what his mom says in the end right?

C: Right. She says some days are really bad, and even in Australia! I don’t really understand why he is so obsessed with Australia though.

S: I guess when he is so frustrated, he wants to get away from his problems, as far as possible. And Australia sounds far…

C: Probably it is. It is far from us! But it is not far for people who are already living in Australia.

S: That’s correct. But as Alexander’s mom says, people in Australia also have bad days.

C: Yes. Everybody has bad days sometimes. So for such days, you can read this book. Or just go to sleep. Like I will do now.

S: Ok, that sounds right to me. Why don’t we wrap this up then?

C: Ok, let’s. Stay tuned for more reviews from the book bunnies!

Caramel recommends Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz to all the little bunnies who might be having a bad day.
Caramel recommends Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz to all the little bunnies who might be having a bad day.

Caramel reviews The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back by Aaron Blabey (Bad Guys #3)

A few weeks ago, Caramel reviewed the first book in Aaron Blabey’s Bad Guys series. Then soon after that, he reviewed the second book in the series: The Bad Guys in Mission Unpluckable. Today he reviews the third book: The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back by Aaron Blabey (Bad Guys #3).
Caramel reviews The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back by Aaron Blabey (Bad Guys #3).

Sprinkles: So we just finished reading the book together. But you had read and reread the book several times before already. Why don’t you tell our readers a bit about this book Caramel?

Caramel: Sure. Do you remember what happened at the end of the second book?

S: Yes, but maybe you can remind our readers.

C: Ok. In the very end of the second book, we meet a guinea pig named Marmalade, and he is really angry at our bad guys for saving the chickens.

S: So let’s track back a bit. Who are our bad guys?

C: A shark, a wolf, a snake, a piranha, and a tarantula, who joined the team in the second book.

S: So these are animals that people are usually afraid of, and they usually are villains in stories. And in this series of books, they want to become good, and do good deeds. Right?

C: Actually, only the wolf wants to do that, at least in the first book. But then the others like the idea too, after they save the puppies there. And in the second book they save ten thousand chickens.

S: And this Marmalade is angry at them for saving the chickens?

C: Yes.

S: Why?

C: Because the chicken farm was apparently his. And he is evil. He is a billionaire mad scientist, and is tired of people thinking he is cute and cuddly.

S: So he doesn’t want to be cute and cuddly anymore?

C: No. I don’t know why.

S: Well, that is kind of funny actually, right? The bad guys don’t want to be bad anymore and the cute cuddly animal doesn’t want to be cute and cuddly.

C: Yes.

Caramel is reading The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back by Aaron Blabey (Bad Guys #3).
Caramel is reading The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back by Aaron Blabey (Bad Guys #3).

S: So what happens in this book? in the last one there was also a mysterious ninja. Does that ninja show up in this third book?

C: Well, actually the ninja did not really show up in the second book, only on the last page, they tell us there will be a mysterious ninja. And in this book she shows up.

S: She? The ninja is female? That’s cool!

C: Yes, she is awesome!

S: So what really happens in this book?

C: We learn that Marmalade (“that’s Dr. Rupert Marmalade to you!”) has plans to take over the world. He has a “secret weapon”.

S: And do we learn what this secret weapon is in this book?

C: Yes and no. We see them in this book but we learn how dangerous they are in the next book. Marmalade is trying to turn every single cute and cuddly animal into zombies!

S: Wow! That is not so nice, is it?

C: Nope. Marmalade is evil! All he cares about is having power.

S: So this book also ends in a cliffhanger then?

C: Sort of. So I will end my review with my usual words: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel really enjoyed reading The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back by Aaron Blabey (Bad Guys #3) and is looking forward to reading more about their adventures.
Caramel really enjoyed reading The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back by Aaron Blabey (Bad Guys #3) and is looking forward to reading more about their adventures.