Caramel reviews Hey Grandude! by Paul McCartney

Caramel reviews Hey Grandude! written by Paul McCartney and illustrated by Kathryn Durst.

Beatles are a favorite band in the Book Bunnies household, as they are in many other places around the world. So when he heard about it, Caramel was very curious to read the newest book Paul McCartney wrote for kids. Below he shares some of his thoughts on this book, Hey Grandude! illustrated by Kathryn Durst. Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes as usual.

Caramel reviews Hey Grandude! written by Paul McCartney and illustrated by Kathryn Durst.
Caramel reviews Hey Grandude! written by Paul McCartney and illustrated by Kathryn Durst.

Sprinkles: Let us hear you talk about this book Caramel. What’s it about?

Caramel: It’s about a grandpa and four children, his four grandchildren.

S: Tell me more.

C: They go on a lot of adventures.

S: What kind of adventures?

C: Let me see. They go to the beach and they see flying fish. And this is only the first adventure.

S: Do they really go to the beach?

C: I think they do.

S: So how do they do that? Aren’t they sitting in their home living room at the beginning of the book?

As Caramel displays Hey Grandude! written by Paul McCartney and illustrated by Kathryn Durst, a green friend is hiding in the background. Can you see him?
As Caramel shows us Hey Grandude! written by Paul McCartney and illustrated by Kathryn Durst, a green friend is hiding in the background. Can you see him?

C: Hmm, probably by magic. They look at some postcards Grandude has and they are magically there. It’s kind of creepy actually.

S: Yes, I can see how it could feel like that. But we have read a couple other books that transport kids to places by magic when they look at specific things, right?

C: Yeah, in the Magic Tree House books, the kids are taken places when they look at some books. But they need to also make a wish there.

S: And here Grandude has a magic compass; that too seems to have something to do with the trips, right?

C: Apparently there’s also a magic cow. And there are some crabs. Actually a lot of crabs.

Caramel and his friend The Loch Ness Monster are looking at the page where Grandude and his "chillers" are being attacked by a lot of tiny crabs.
Caramel and his friend The Loch Ness Monster are looking at the page where Grandude and “his chillers” are being attacked by a lot of tiny crabs.

C: I don’t know why Grandude calls the kids “chillers”.

S: Yeah, that’s kind of funny, right? And the kids don’t call him “grandpa” like you call your own grandpa. He’s called Grandude, right?

C: Yup.

S: Why do you think that is?

C: I don’t know.

S: Can you think of a famous Beatles song that rhymes with “Hey Grandude”?

C: “Hey Jude“?

S: Yes! And that video is neat and it led us to another one, the one with Paul McCartney on Carpool Karaoke. And then we spent all the time watching (skipping all the commercials!) and laughing and humming along, right?

C: Hey Jude, don’t make me cry!

S: You’re still singing, though those are not quite the original Beatles lyrics…

C: Take a sad song and make it better!

S: Yes! I think we are done with this review, it seems to me.

C: I recommend that people read this book, it is fun, but also listen to the Beatles, they’re the best!

S: Yes, I like this recommendation. So what is your final word for this time?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel and The Loch Ness Monster really enjoyed reading Hey Grandude! by Paul McCartney and Kathryn Durst.
Caramel and The Loch Ness Monster really enjoyed reading Hey Grandude! by Paul McCartney and Kathryn Durst.

Caramel reviews Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska by Deb Vanasse

Caramel reviews Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska written by Deb Vanasse and illustrated by Erik Brooks.

Today Caramel wanted to talk about one of his favorite books: Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska written by Deb Vanasse and illustrated by Erik Brooks. Sprinkles is asking questions along the way and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska written by Deb Vanasse and illustrated by Erik Brooks.
Caramel reviews Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska written by Deb Vanasse and illustrated by Erik Brooks.

Sprinkles: Let us talk about this book Caramel. What is it about?

Caramel: It is about a totem pole which is enchanted.

S: In what way?

C: When it’s a full moon, it comes to life. The whole totem pole.

S: Tell me more. What is a totem pole?

C: A totem pole is a tall pole made of wood, with animals carved into parts of it. And it is painted. Here is what Wikipedia says about them: totem poles are “monumental carvings, a type of Northwest Coast art, consisting of poles, posts or pillars, carved with symbols or figures”.

S: And this one is a totem pole in Alaska, according to the book title. And again according to Wikipedia, a totem is “a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe.” So how does this particular totem pole come to life? Tell me more Caramel.

C: I can just read from the book:

“Deep in a cedar forest stood a totem pole, stark and still. Long ago a carver stacked the totem animals and then forgot them.”

S: Well, maybe he did not forget them. Since it was a long ago, maybe he died. Maybe his people had to leave the forest.

Caramel invited a green friend to read Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska. Can you see him?
Caramel invited a green friend to read Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska with. Can you see his tail?

C: Yes, that is possible too. Let me continue to read.

“One night the moon rose low and full. Washed in the light of moonbeams, the totems SPRANG to life.”

S: That sounds exciting! So then what happens?

C: They go have fun for a night. As real living animals.

S: Then what happens?

C: Then before the sun rises they have to return to the pole or else they will have never been. Which is sad. Really sad.

S: Yes, it is sad! Then what happens?

C: None of them can remember the order of the totem pole. How they started in the beginning, like who was on top, who was under, and so on. They all brag about themselves and try to take the supposedly place of honor on the very top.

Caramel and his friend the Loch Ness Monster are reading Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska together.
Caramel and his friend the Loch Ness Monster are reading Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska together.

S: But most of their attempts fail, right?

C: Yes, they fail and come tumbling down to the ground.

S: Until … well maybe we shouldn’t give away the whole thing.

C: Okay, fine.

S: So what do you like about this book most Caramel?

C: I like the animals. They’re so cute! Like us bunnies!

S: So what animals are there among the totems?

C: Let me see. There is a frog, there’s a beaver, an eagle, a bear, and a wolf, and a raven. That is the order of the totem pole.

S: Really? How can the frog carry the bear?

C: I don’t know. Well they’re all made of wood, aren’t they?

S: And of course this is a story! it doesn’t have to make sense in all ways.

C: But in the end the order does make sense. And the Raven explains it.

S: Ok, let’s not give away any more. But this is a magical story really. And I totally understand why you like it so much. Alright, this is a good place to end this review. What last thing do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny adventures!

Caramel loves to read and reread Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska written by Deb Vanasse and illustrated by Erik Brooks.
Caramel loves to read and reread Totem Tale: A Tall Story from Alaska written by Deb Vanasse and illustrated by Erik Brooks.

Caramel reviews Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson

Caramel loves to read and review books which are about real things, see his reviews of books on samurai, dinosaurs, knights and castles, and dental health . He also loves building and making things. So it was only natural that when he discovered Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson, in the book bunnies’ home library, he had to read it immediately. Below he shares some of his thoughts on this reference text. Sprinkles is taking notes as usual and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson.
Caramel reviews Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson.

Sprinkles: How should we start this review Caramel?

Caramel: You just did!

S: Yeah, I did, didn’t I? So what next? What do you want to say about this book?

C: It’s a good book. If you are a bunny who wants to be an engineer when you grow up, this might be the book for you.

S: Why do you say that?

C: The book has a bunch of engineering examples.

S: Yes, the back cover advertises “100 achievements that changed history”. So there are 100 different engineering-related entries in the book, going more or less in chronological order. That means they are listed from the oldest to the newest. Can you tell us a few of your favorites?

C: 65 is Jet Power and it is one of my favorites. But my favorite in the whole book is 73: SR-71 Blackbird.

S: What is that?

C: It’s a spy plane.

S: What does that mean?

C: It means they spy on the enemy. It says it is radar-absorbing, which makes it harder to detect. I also like 82: Stealth Plane, a lot.

Caramel is pointing at one of his favorite entries in Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology: Stealth Planes.

C: And there is 75: Apollo Spacecraft. The NASA program for it was launched in 1961, it says.

S: And there is more information on it on Wikipedia in case others are interested. So each of these entries is about one page, right?

C: Yes. Exactly one page. And there are pictures and I like looking at them. 

S: Then there is text, describing the entry, and telling some of its history, right?

C: Yes. 

S: So what is the first entry?

C: Let me see. First there is some stuff about engineering and applied science. Then they start with 1: Stone Technology. And 2 is Taming Fire. 3 is The First Boats

S: Wow! It goes way back! So how far back does it go?

C: It goes way back. Let me read the beginning of 1 to you:

“Engineering with stone technology is older than the human race. Distant ancestors of homo sapiens (modern humans) began making and using stone tools as long as 3.3 million years ago.”

S: That is a long time ago. To compare, do you remember how long ago the dinosaurs went extinct? 

C: About sixty-five million years ago. I already reviewed a book about them!

S: So dinosaurs were around even earlier. 

C: That’s for sure. 

S: So what is the last achievement they list in the book?

C: 100 is Solar Power. Then there is a long section called Engineering 101: The Basics.

S: What’s in that section? 

C: There is a part named Imponderables where they ask questions like: “Will space planes change transportation?”, “What will graphene do for us?”, “Will we run out of raw materials?”, “Can engineering solve climate change?”, “Can screens replace paper?”

S: Very interesting questions. The one about screens and paper is about books and reading, I think. We still love reading paper books, right?

C: Yes. This book for instance. It has lots of colorful pictures I can look at. 

S: Screens could have colored pictures, too, of course, but holding a book in your paws is a neat experience. So are we done with the review? 

C: Yes. Stay tuned for more Book Bunnies adventures!

Caramel really enjoys reading sections from Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson.
Caramel really enjoys reading sections from Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson.

Caramel reviews My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown

Caramel is going to have a new teacher this school year, and so Sprinkles thought he might find it amusing to read about a little boy who thinks his teacher is a robot. Below Caramel talks about his thoughts on My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown.
Caramel reviews My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown.

Sprinkles: I thought you might find this book about a little boy and his teacher amusing Caramel.

Caramel: Yes. I did find it fun to read. It was funny.

S: What is it about?

C: A little boy named Fred and his teacher Mr. Bailey.

S: So what happens to Fred and Mr. Bailey?

C: Fred keeps thinking that Mr. Bailey is a robot.

S: Why?

C: I don’t know.

S: Does Mr. Bailey look like a robot?

C: No but they can make robots that look like humans.

S: Ok, so what about Mr. Bailey makes Fred concerned?

C: I don’t know really.

S: I guess Fred likes to live in an imaginary world, doesn’t he?

C: Yes. This imaginary world is super duper funny. For example, when Mr. Bailey tells them it’s time for history, Fred gets excited and imagines the class pet gold fish is a pre-historic sea creature.

S: Yes, that part is exceptionally funny, right? When Mr. Bailey says history, Fred thinks maybe they’ll talk about dinosaurs. Do they?

C: No. They do the history of Japan.

S: You know some things about the history of Japan, don’t you Caramel?

C: Yep. I even reviewed a book about samurai on this blog.

S: Yes, that was a neat book and a neat review. So when they are talking about Japan, what happens to the classroom?

C: The kids do all sorts of things about Japan. Two of them do a tea ceremony. Then there is a cherry blossom tree and a samurai, and a sumo wrestler. Or at least a kid named Scooter who says:

Who wants to sumo wrestle?

S: And the whole room transforms, right? Do you think there is an actual cherry tree in the classroom?

C: No, I think it’s all stuff Fred is imagining.

S: Or maybe Fred and his classmates all together, right? There is a little girl (I think her name is Charlotte) sitting in the middle of a sand meditation garden. Do you think that that meditation garden is really in the classroom?

C: No. Of course not.

S: Do you think Charlotte is really riding a unicorn at the very end and the mud monsters are really attacking the kids when they’re in the playground?

C: No! They are all pretend. But they could actually have made the mud monsters themselves, right?

S: Yeah, that’s true.

Caramel is looking at one of the fun pages in My Teacher is a Robot where the kids are all in the school playground and are being attacked by the mud monsters.
Caramel is looking at one of the fun pages in My Teacher is a Robot where the kids are all in the school playground and are being attacked by the mud monsters.

S: So do you think Mr. Bailey is really a robot?

C: No. I don’t think so.

S: Well maybe that’s just another way Fred makes his life more interesting. If your teacher is a robot, then school becomes a bit more ….

C: Interesting! But I’m not sure I want my teacher to be a robot.

S: I’m quite sure you do not have to worry about that. You’re meeting your new teacher very soon, right?

C: Yes. I already know her name, but I don’t know much else about her.

S: Well, I think you at least know she’s not a robot.

C: Actually I don’t. Eek!

S: Ok, Caramel. How about we wrap up this review here and then you report back when you figure it all out and tell us if your new teacher is a robot or not?

C: Ok. Stay tuned for more book bunny adventures!

P.S. added August 29 2019: Caramel is happy to report that no, his new teacher is not a robot, and is in fact a really nice person.

Caramel enjoyed reading My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown.
Caramel enjoyed reading My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown.