Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity by Amy Alznauer

This week Caramel is talking about The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, the beautifully told and magically illustrated story of the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares.
Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares.

Sprinkles: So Caramel tell us about this book.

Caramel: You say that all the time!

S: I know, right? I do that because I think that is a good way to get you to start talking about the book. So?

C: Hmm, let me think a bit. This book is about a boy who went to school but his math is far more advanced than his classmates’.

S: So what does he do with that math?

C: He keeps on writing in a notebook, doing more and more math. And then he gets another notebook and writes in it.

S: So he is doing math almost compulsively. He seems like he cannot stop himself, right? He is driven to do math.

C: Yes. He sees numbers everywhere and then he opens up, divides, or cracks up the numbers to find more numbers in them.

S: Right! I liked the way the author put it (and this is also in the back cover of the book):

If Ramanujan could crack the number 1 open and find infinity, what secrets would he discover inside other numbers?

Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about when Ramanujan as a little boy was not yet speaking. Instead, he "just lined up the copper pots across the floor. And when he didn't get his curd rice and mango, he rolled in the monsoon mud."
Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about when Ramanujan as a little boy was not yet speaking. Instead, he “just lined up the copper pots across the floor. And when he didn’t get his curd rice and mango, he rolled in the monsoon mud.”

C: So why did he do math? Because he had to.

S: What do you mean? Is someone forcing him to do math?

C: No he wants to do it. And he cannot stop doing it. It’s almost compulsive.

S: That’s a big word for a little bunny Caramel!

C: I know. I do read a lot.

S: So the title of this book is The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity. This reminds me of the book with a similar title: The Man Who Knew Infinity, by Robert Kanigel. That book is also about Ramanujan, but it is not a beautifully illustrated book for kids like this one. And that book tells us about Ramanujan’s whole life while this one is more about him as a little boy when he was dreaming math and finding it all around him.

C: Oh that is interesting. I think I remember us watching a movie with that name.

S: You have a good memory!

C: Can we put in the trailer here?

S: Sure. Here we go.

S: So tell me more about this book. Do you like the pictures?

C: Yep. They are very detailed, and they are like they are from a dream. There are two pages where the boy is dancing around and jumping over numbers.

Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about the nights when "while he slept, numbers came whispering in dreams."
Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about the nights when “while he slept, numbers came whispering in dreams.”

S: Yes, that page especially but the rest of the pictures are also dreamlike. The colors and the combination of images… But back to that page where Ramanujan is jumping around numbers: Can you imagine yourself jumping and flipping around numbers?

C: Of course! I like jumping! I’m a bunny!

S: That is true! Here is my last question: What does this book make you think about math?

C: Multiplication and division and addition, and numbers, and infinity.

S: Does it make you like them? Do you feel like you could enjoy playing around with numbers?

C: Yes, I already do! I like math!

S: That is great! Ok, this is a good time to wrap things up.

C: I want to rate this!

S: Ok. Give me three words that describe this book.

C: Detailed, mathematics, beautiful.

S: These are good descriptors for the book. I agree. I’d add “dream, infinity, imagination”. So what do we say to end this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, and recommends it to all little bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, and recommends it to all little bunnies.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) 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. Today he reviews the second book in the series: Babymouse: Our Hero. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

Sprinkles: So Caramel this is the second Babymouse book you are reviewing for the blog.

Caramel: Yes. I reviewed the first book a few weeks ago.

S: So this has the same characters, like Babymouse and her best friend …

C: Wilson!

S: And then there is …

C: Squeak!

S: Who is that?

C: Her brother.

S: We did not hear about Squeak much before, did we?

C: Yes, he was already in the first book, I think…

S: But he hasn’t played a big role in either book just yet. But there is someone who is playing a big role… Someone who is a big meanie…

C: Oh, yes! Felicia Furrypaws! She is pretty mean.

S: So what happens in this book?

C: They play dodgeball. Babymouse is super bad at dodgeball. In the book you learn about all these things she is good at. But the one thing she is not good at is dodgeball!

Caramel is reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. On these pages we learn about things Babymouse is good at.
Caramel is reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. On these pages we learn about things Babymouse is good at.

S: So ok, she is not good at dodgeball. What is she good at?

C: She’s good at avoiding chores, defying gravity, and skating a perfect figure 4.

S: What does that mean?

C: Skaters like to skate a figure 8 usually. I learned that from Schoolhouse Rock. Let’s insert the video here.

S: Sure. All the book bunnies love Schoolhouse Rock!

Figure Eight, by Schoolhouse Rock!

C: I like this video! And I like the Babymouse books!

S: Seems like it! So was this as fun as the first one?

C: They’re both good.

S: Can someone start reading Babymouse from this second book?

C: I think you can follow the story from this one but if you want to know the whole story of Babymouse, start from the first book.

S: I agree. The stories are quite independent, but the first book seems to be written with the assumption that you don’t know anything about Babymouse and this one seems to think you might know at least a little.

C: I want to read the next books now. I think Babymouse is funny!

S: Yes, she is very imaginative, right? Tell me some of the things she daydreams about in math class?

C: She pretends that she is in prison, and makes a daring escape plan. Then there is the part where she is a superhero. Then there is the part where she gets an award, but that is a dream I think, she gets an award for taking out the trash without being asked!

S: Yes, just before she wakes up in the morning, right? She seems to have a lot of difficulty waking up in the morning.

C: Yes.

S: Do you?

C: No. Because I’m such a good little bunny.

S: That is (mostly) true. So maybe this is a good time for this good little bunny to wrap up this review. What do you think?

C: Okay. Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm and recommends it to all little bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm and recommends it to all little bunnies.

Caramel reviews Captain Rosalie by Timothee De Fombelle

This week Caramel reviews Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. Originally written in French, the book was translated into English by Sam Gordon. As usual Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.
Caramel reviews Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, can you tell us what this book is about?

Caramel: It is about a little girl named Rosalie. Rosalie’s mom works in a factory making shells, like cannon balls.

S: So she is working in a factory making weapons for the war, right? there is a war going on.

C: It is World War I. They are in France I think.

S: Do you know when that was?

C: Nineteen hundreds?

S: Yes. The war started in 1914 and lasted till 1918. This story seems to be from the fall of 1917.

C: The book wasn’t written in 1917. It’s about a girl living in 1917.

S: Yes. So what happens to this girl?

C: Her mom leaves her at school before she goes to work. She is five, so she is too young to go to school, but she sits in class all day with the big kids.

S: And she has a mission, right? Why is the book called “Captain Rosalie”?

C: Because she refers to herself as Captain Rosalie.

S: A captain is a military officer. Is Rosalie in the army?

C: She is five! So no.

S: Why does she call herself a captain then?

C: She imagines herself to be a captain.

‘’I am a soldier on a mission. I am spying on the enemy. I am preparing my plan. I am Captain Rosalie.’’ 

S: Yes she thinks she is on a mission. Right?

C: Yup. Her mission is apparently to learn to read.

S: Hmm. Reading is important. But why is it that important to Rosalie?

C: Because she wants to be able to read the letters her dad sends to her mom. Her father is fighting in the war.

Caramel is reading Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

S: Do you recognize the illustrator Isabelle Arsenault? You have already reviewed two books by her: Albert’s Quiet Quest and Colette’s Lost Pet.

C: No I did not know that!

S: Now that you know, can you see some similarities?

C: Yes, the drawing style is very similar. A lot of the pictures have very little color, but some colors are bright, and always there. For example, Rosalie’s hair is really bright red. The color of fire.

S: Yes. The illustrations are mostly black and white, in shades of gray, but occasionally there is a sliver of bright orange, pale blue, or light pink… Do you like the pictures?

C: Yes. They make you feel different feelings.

S: Yes, they are quiet, sometimes sad, sometimes calm. Very emotive. So what else do you want to say about this book?

C: It’s a very sad book, and I think even some adult bunnies cried when they read it. But I liked it really very much.

S: Yes, there is some truth to that, I must admit. I do agree, this is a sad book, but also told vey gently, and truthfully.

C: I want to rate it now.

S: I think that could be a good way to wrap this review up. What is your rating then?

C: I rate it 100%. It is a very good book. Now stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel really liked Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, and recommends it to other little bunnies.
Caramel really liked Captain Rosalie, written by Timothee De Fombelle and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, and recommends it to other little bunnies.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World (Babymouse #1) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Caramel just recently got introduced to the Babymouse series written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm. He really enjoyed the adventures of this feisty little mouse and today he shares with us his thoughts on the first book of the series: Babymouse: Queen of the World. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.
Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.

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

Caramel: This is a good book if you like stories about mice.

S: Well, do you like stories about mice?

C: Yes.

S: Tell me more.

C: There is this mouse named Babymouse and she is going to school and her teacher is a hippo, and her best friend is a weasel named Wilson. He always reads comic books in class.

S: Hmm. So the characters are all different kinds of animals then. Right?

C: Yes, there is also a popular cat. Her name is Felicia Furrypaws. She is mean.

S: Oh, yes according to the trailer of the book series, Felicia is one of Babymouse’s enemies. And another one of her enemies is her locker! Here is that trailer.

Trailer for the Babymouse series.

C: This is a funny trailer, but it is true. Babymouse has big dreams and wild imagination.

S: So what does that mean? In this book what kinds of dreams does she have? Tell me about one of her imaginary adventures.

C: There is this part where Babymouse is a queen and she gives the order to behead the mean cat Felicia. “Off with her head!”

Caramel is reading the part of Babymouse; Queen of the World by Jenifer Holm and Matthew Holm, where Babymouse imagines she is a queen.

S: Just like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland? Of course that is not very nice and it is probably not really happening.

C: No of course not. Babymouse is imagining things.

S: So this is the first book of a series which has twenty books so far.

C: We have to read all of them!

S: So you liked Babymouse that much?

C: Yep! She is funny! I read it in one day and then reread it again and again already.

S: You reviewed graphic novels before. Which ones do you think this is similar to?

C: It’s kind of similar to the Bad Guys books. It is about the same length and size. Same thickness. But there might be more small pictures on each page of this one.

S: Yes, I think there are more frames per page in this book. But it also reminded me a bit of the Narwhal and Jelly books you like so much .

C: Yes, the characters are different types of animals but they are behaving like little kids (or little bunnies I should have said).

S: Kind of like a fable then, right?

C: Yes, kind of.

S: They are about animals, but then again they are not aiming to give us a moral lesson necessarily.

C: No, but you still get something out of them.

S: Like what?

C: Like in this book Babymouse learns that popularity is not important, but having good friends is.

S: Well, that is a good message!

C: And I think I will remember it. But now time to wrap up! Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm, and is looking forward to reading more Babymouse books.
Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm, and is looking forward to reading more Babymouse books.