Caramel reviews Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7) by Mary Pope Osborne

Caramel has already reviewed three Magic Tree House books for the book bunnies blog: Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5), Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6), and Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2). Today he shares with us his thoughts on Book #7: Sunset of the Sabertooth. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7) by Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel reviews Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7) by Mary Pope Osborne.

Sprinkles: Caramel tell us about this book. Let us assume readers already know …

Caramel: about the magic tree house and our previous reviews.

S: Yes, we put a link to each of your reviews of magic tree house books above. So this book also takes us to an adventure with Jack and Annie to somewhere new.

C: And it takes us to a different time.

S: Ok, tell us about this different time.

C: It is the ice age. There are sabertooths around.

S: Hmm, saber-toothed cats, according to Wikipedia, were “predatory mammals that are characterized by long, curved saber-shaped canine teeth which protruded from the mouth even when closed”. So their canine teeth looked like sabers, very sharp swords. And all saber-tooth mammals went extinct around 9000 years ago. So Jack and Annie must have gone back in time quite a bit!

C: Yes! But in the first Magic Tree House book Dinosaurs Before Dark, they had gone back to the time of the dinosaurs, so this is a bit closer to now.

S: So what happens in the time of the sabertooth? Why are Jack and Annie there?

C: They’re still trying to save their friend Morgan Le Fay, just like in the last two books. In the fifth book (Night of the Ninjas), a ninja gave them a moonstone. In the sixth book (Afternoon on the Amazon), a monkey gave them a mango. And in this one the Master of the Animals gives them a third item.

S: And they look at some cave paintings, don’t they?

C: They do. And that is where they see the picture of the Master of the Animals. But Sprinkles, we just took a virtual tour of one such cave in France!

S: Yes we sure did. Here is the Wikipedia link to Lascaux, and the link we used to go on this virtual tour. Did you enjoy taking the tour?

C: Yep. It actually felt like we were flying through the cave. And I really felt like I was inside the cave.

S: Yes, I thought the tour was really well made too. The drawings were quite striking, bright and visible.

C: They were awesome!

Caramel is reading Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7) by Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel is reading Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7) by Mary Pope Osborne.

C: Let us talk more about the book.

S: Yes, good idea! What more do you want to say about the book?

C: Jack and Annie ride on a mammoth!

S: A friendly mammoth I hope?

C: It is! It took them back to the tree house.

S: So do you think you will read the next book in the series?

C: Yep. I want to know how they will save Morgan.

S: You are sure they will save her?

C: Yes, they already found three of the four things they need. So I’m positive about it.

S: Sounds good to me! So let us wrap this review up.

C: Yes! Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel has enjoyed reading Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7) by Mary Pope Osborne, and recommends it to all bunnies who love to read about Jack and Annie's adventures with the magic tree house.
Caramel has enjoyed reading Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7) by Mary Pope Osborne, and recommends it to all bunnies who love to read about Jack and Annie’s adventures with the magic tree house.

Caramel reviews Cars on Mars by Alexandra Siy

Readers of the book bunnies blog know that Caramel loves nonfiction books where he can learn about real things. See for example his review of a book on samurai, another on knights and castles, another on elements and the periodic table, yet another on dinosaurs, and finally another on engineering. Today Caramel shares his thoughts on a neat book by Alexandra Siy: Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet. As always, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy.
Caramel reviews Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us about this book.

Caramel: It’s about rovers.

S: What is a rover?

C: They are vehicles that go on Mars or other planets. When humans can’t go there themselves, they send the rovers to the planet to explore. They rove it.

S: Hmm, the dictionary definition of roving is “travel constantly without a fixed destination; wander”. So I guess these vehicles go around a planet just exploring and recording and measuring and so on, right?

C: Yep, basically.

Caramel is reading Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy.
Caramel is reading Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy.

S: So this book is about the rovers on Mars. Why is that important?

C: Because we want to know what is on Mars. It apparently has tons of iron.

S: Is that why it is called the red planet?

C: Yes. Iron is red.

S: Apparently Romans called it Mars because red reminded them of blood and war and Mars was their god of war. And Greeks called it Ares because Ares was their god of war. But today we are still very interested in Mars. Why do you think this is so?

C: It’s a planet that is kind of like earth in many ways and it is one of the closest. And maybe we can use the iron in there.

S: There is a lot of iron on earth too, so we do not really need to go to Mars for it, but it is of course interesting to learn about other planets, especially one so close to ours! and for many years people thought there were other living things on Mars. Have you heard of Orson Welles and his radio play about the Martian Invasion?

C: No I did not know about that! It sounds very interesting. Can we listen to it?

S: Yes, after we are done with this post, we will definitely listen to this recording. So let us get back to our book. What else would you like to tell us about it?

C: The book has many pictures of Mars and the rovers. There is Spirit and then there is Opportunity. And the book ends with this:

Although they found proof of past water on Mars (mission accomplished!), Spirit and Opportunity keep on keepin’ on. Noone knows when or where they will finally stop. But Steve and everyone else who is part of this far-out road trip hope that some day there will be tire tracks and footprints, side by side, on Mars.

S: That ends on a really positive note. But we now know that Spirit did not go on for too much longer and stopped communicating in 2010. Opportunity did go on for a lot longer, till 2018. So this book is a snapshot of the life stories of these two rovers.

C: Right. And you can learn a lot about Mars and space travel and making vehicles that can go around on other planets when you read it.

S: That sounds like a good read to me. And you can check out this NASA page to learn more about the newer rovers and more generally about NASA’s Mars program. What do you want to say last?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy with a Martian friend. Can you see this little alien?
Caramel enjoyed reading Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy with a Martian friend. Can you see this little alien?

Caramel reviews Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6) by Mary Pope Osborne

Caramel has already reviewed two Magic Tree House books for the book bunnies blog: Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5) and Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2). Today he shares with us his thoughts on Book #6: Afternoon on the Amazon. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6) by Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel reviews Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6) by Mary Pope Osborne.

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

Caramel: In all the books in this series, Jack and Annie travel around the world with a magical tree house. This time we go to the Amazon with them. The Amazon is a big river in South America. It is longer than 100 miles!

S: Wikipedia says it is over 4000 miles! And it is the second longest river in the world (after the Nile in Africa).

C: Yes, that is right. The book says so too. I forgot.

S: The Amazon river is also, according to Wikipedia., “the largest river by discharge volume of water”. So what are Jack and Annie doing near the Amazon?

C: Just like in The Night of the Ninjas, they are trying to help their friend Morgan Le Fay.

S: In many of the other books, they meet people or animals in the places they go to. What happens here?

C: They find themselves on a tree in the rain forest. There are millions of army ants, a jaguar, a monkey, some vampire bats, and all sorts of animals. They also get on a canoe and travel in the river.

S: Do they find what they are looking for?

C: Yes! It turns out it is a mango! And then they go back home.

Caramel is reading Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6) by Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel is reading Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6) by Mary Pope Osborne.

S: So did you learn anything new reading this book?

C: Yes. I learned about army ants and what they sound like:

“When animals hear a crackling sound, they flee in panic. The sound means that 30 million flesh eating army ants are marching through the dead leaves.”

S: So now you know that if you hear such a sound when you are in the rain forest, you might want to watch out!

C: They’re flesh-eating! That’s scary!

S: But the rain forest sounds fascinating, right?

C: Yes, so I am going to read the fact checker book on rain forests next.

S: I know you liked the fact checker book you read before. Maybe you can review the next one here, too.

C: Yep. I most likely will.

S: And we still don’t know what is wrong with Morgan, right?

C: No we don’t. Maybe she got transformed into the mouse, Peanut.

S: That would be interesting!

C: Yes, then their friend would be with them all along. Hmm…

S: Hmm, I guess that means you will need to read the next couple books as well.

C: Yes… But for now, stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel has enjoyed reading Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6) by Mary Pope Osborne, and is looking forward to reading more of the series.
Caramel has enjoyed reading Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6) by Mary Pope Osborne, and is looking forward to reading more of the series.

Caramel reviews Storm Boy by Paul Owen Lewis

This week Caramel reviews a book about a Haida prince and his adventure into the spiritual world of the whale people: Storm Boy, written and illustrated by Paul Owen Lewis. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Storm Boy by Paul Owen Lewis.
Caramel reviews Storm Boy by Paul Owen Lewis.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us a bit about what this book is about.

Caramel: I think this is a very good book about a Haida prince, who was lost in the sea in a storm. Then he went to the spirit world of the killer whale people.

S: Wait, who are the killer whale people?

C: You don’t know what killer whales are? They are also called orcas!

S: Well, let me see. Wikipedia says that the killer whale is “a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Killer whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as seals and other species of dolphin.” Wow! I did not know that killer whales “are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups (pods) which are the most stable of any animal species. Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviours, which are often specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of animal culture.” That is cool!

C: That is like a huge family…

S: Yes and they pass on what they know to their offspring, just like humans, and bunnies! But what do killer whales have to do with this Haida prince?

C: He is saved by them. And they also help him get home in the end.

S: But Caramel, when we look at the pictures of the book, we see large human-shaped people, not whales!

C: Because that is when they are in human form.

S: What do you mean?

C: The end of the book tells us that.

S: Yes, you are right. The author put some notes at the end of the book to explain some of what’s going on. So it is there we learn that this is a traditional hero’s journey story, told in the tradition of Northwestern American peoples. The following quote by Joseph Campbell is used to help us understand the story deeper:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

Joseph Campbell

C: And according to the way the Haida people see the world, all animals are like people, and they can take human form.

Caramel is looking at the part of Storm Boy by Paul Owen Lewis where the Haida prince is welcomed to the house of the chief of the killer whale people.
Caramel is looking at the part of Storm Boy by Paul Owen Lewis where the Haida prince is welcomed to the house of the chief of the killer whale people.

S: That is such an interesting way to see the world, isn’t it Caramel? That all animals are like us, they too have their homes, families, and cultures? And we can communicate with them if we want or at least we can try…

C: Yep.

S: So if you could meet one such people, what type of people would you like to meet? Whale people? Wolf people? Badger people?

C: I don’t know. I’m just a bunny, and I guess I would want to meet other bunny people.

S: That would be neat, wouldn’t it? So what else do you want to say about this book?

C: I want to rate this book like Marshmallow does in all her reviews. I rate it 100%! This is a neat book for all little bunnies! And big bunnies too. The pictures are very colorful!

S: And they have such detail in them! You are right, older folks could also get much out of this… Anyways Caramel, it is about time for us to wrap this up. So-

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel rates Storm Boy by Paul Owen Lewis 100%.
Caramel rates Storm Boy by Paul Owen Lewis 100%.