Caramel reviews Robot by Roger Bridgman

Caramel loves everything about robots, and he loves books about facts. Today, therefore, he wanted to share with our readers a book on robots that he has read: Robot, written by Roger Bridgman. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Robot by Roger Bridgman.
Caramel reviews Robot by Roger Bridgman.

Sprinkles: Caramel, here we are, ready to talk about a whole book about robots!

Caramel: Robots! Yay!

S: I know you like robots.

C: That’s an understatement. I love them!

S: I know! You reviewed a two-book series about a robot and her travels (The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown), and you told us that then too. So let us get started. What do you want to tell us about this book?

C: This is a book about robots and tons of good facts about them.

S: Tell me one.

C: Let’s see. Did you know that there is a robot that looks like a shark and researchers use it to study sharks? It helps them “film sharks without disturbing their natural behavior”.

S: That’s pretty cool.

C: And did you know that they have a robot that can climb up on walls and actually walk on the ceiling?

S: That’s cool, too. Kind of like ants and bugs and flies.

C: Yes.

Caramel is reading Robot by Roger Bridgman and learning about robots that can help around the home.
Caramel is reading Robot by Roger Bridgman and learning about robots that can help around the home.

S: So there are a lot of different types of robots in this book, right?

C: Yes. There are robots that can help around the home. Then there is a two-page spread on robots that move, one on robots that sense. And another on artificial intelligence. There is a section on robots in the industry and in space and under water.

S: That is pretty cool.

C: There is also a section on fictional robots and robots in art. Like C3PO from Star Wars. But they also have a mistake there! They put a picture of a Dalek, from the Doctor Who universe, but Dalek are not robots. They do say they are mutants, but they should not have put them in a book on robots!

S: I guess people make robot Dalek to play with, though, right?

C: Yes. I even saw a remote-control Dalek once. So maybe that is why they put a picture in the book.

S: I suppose that makes sense.

C: They also have sections on machines with feelings, which is kind of like that Wild Robot I read about.

S: That is interesting! I’ve always thought the feeling part is quite hard to implement. But also, this is a relatively old book, right? It was first published in 2004. A lot must have changed since then, I’d presume.

C: Yep, I think so. In fact we should probably put here that video about robots which behave like animals. That seemed really new!

S: I agree. That video is brand new, only two weeks old now. So here it is:

“Biophysicist Reacts to Animal Inspired Robotics”, YouTube.

C: I like this video a lot! We should see it again.

S: Sure. Let us finish the review first. I know you knew a lot about robots already. What did you learn from this book Caramel?

C: Well, you are right that I knew a lot of things about robots before, so I knew a lot of the things in the book. But I did not know about the shark-shaped robot. And there were just so many different robots! It is a pretty awesome book and I liked it very much.

S: I can see that! I have been observing you looking carefully at the pages of the book over and over again. You have read it all already, but you still enjoy looking at it.

C: Yes. I like robots! And I told you; these are cool robots!

S: That’s wonderful Caramel. So what three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Factful, colorful, and robotful. There are a lot of facts, a lot of colorful pictures, and lots of robots!

S: I cannot argue with that reasoning! Okay, then let us wrap this review up. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading and reviewing Robot by Roger Bridgman, and he looks forward to learning more and more about robots as he grows up.
Caramel loved reading and reviewing Robot by Roger Bridgman, and he looks forward to learning more and more about robots as he grows up.

Caramel reviews Somebody to Love by Valerie June

The book bunnies’ household is very rarely without music, but the bunnies have not really reviewed too many books that engage with it. The one main exception is Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem written by poet Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long, which was reviewed by Caramel about a year ago, and involved music at its heart. Today Caramel reviews another picture book, Somebody to Love, written in 2022 by the singer Valerie June and illustrated by Marcela Avelar, which has music all throughout.

The book bunnies received this book as a review copy.

Caramel reviews Somebody to Love written by Valerie June and illustrated by Marcela Avelar.
Caramel reviews Somebody to Love written by Valerie June and illustrated by Marcela Avelar.

Sprinkles: Caramel, here we are. Yet again, talking about a new book. What do you want to tell us about this one?

Caramel: This is a book about a banjolele.

S: What’s that?

C: It’s like a ukulele mixed with a banjo. It is a small musical instrument with four strings. And there is a girl in the book named Valerie June who is given one of these instruments.

S: So this is the author, right?

C: I think so. She is a singer and she wrote this book about a song she sings with her banjolele called “Somebody to Love”. Can we put a video of her singing her song here?

S: Sure Caramel. Here it is:

Valerie June sings “Somebody to Love” (2013, YouTube).

S: Do you like the song Caramel?

C: Yes she has a beautiful voice.

S: How about the banjolele?

C: Yes. It has a very distinctive voice.

S: I know you are a lot more musical than me Caramel. But even I could appreciate her voice. And the single instrument makes the piece focus a lot more on her voice I think. But do you think she wrote the book to just have more people learn about her and her song?

C: Maybe. Who knows? But I think she wrote it because she wanted to tell people the story of her banjolele.

S: How so?

C: In the book Valerie takes the banjolele to a park to play music with other people. But the banjolele is too weak and cannot sing a whole song. But technically she should be able to strum and make the sounds she wants so it cannot be the banjolele who is not able to sing so I am not sure I understand.

S: Well, I think it is a bit more symbolic than that.

C: I guess that makes a lot more sense. But what could she mean by the banjolele not being able to sing long enough? Only humans and birds can sing.

S: Well, tell us what happens when the banjolele cannot sing. Maybe that will help us figure it out.

C: She gets embarrassed and puts it away for a very very long time.

S: But then …

C: She finds it again and somehow it plays then and a whole song too. And finally Valerie and the banjolele can sing together.

S: And that is the “Somebody to Love” song, right?

C: Yep.

Caramel is reading Somebody to Love written by Valerie June and illustrated by Marcela Avelar.
Caramel is reading Somebody to Love written by Valerie June and illustrated by Marcela Avelar.

S: So the banjolele had a dream, a song to sing, but at the beginning it could not live up to its dreams. And nobody stood up for it, everyone made fun of it. Right?

C: Yes, but in the end, Valerie gave it another chance and they could sing together.

S: So what happened to the dream of the banjolele?

C: It became a reality. The banjolele became famous. And now people listen to it and Valerie sing together.

S: So what do you think the book is really about?

C: Dreams! You can have dreams and people do not always support you, but you can still hold on to them!

S: Yes, I think so!

C: Hmm, and it makes a lot more sense now, because at the end, there is a whole page listing proverbs about dreams from many different places. My favorite is the Mexican one, which is Soñar no cuesta nada. It means dreams don’t cost a thing.

S: I like that!

C: Yes. So dreaming does not cost you anything, so you can have as many dreams as you want, and some of them will come true as long as you believe in them.

S: I like that too!

C: At the end of the book there is a part where the author talks to the reader about Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I have a dream” speech.

S: What do you know about that speech?

C: I know it moves a lot of people and people should have listened to him more. But he does talk about dreaming for a better America.

S: And Valerie June says that as a black woman artist she learned the power of dreams from him. So she wrote this book to tell young bunnies all about having dreams and believing in them.

C: I think I understand the book much better now.

S: I think we both do. So how would you describe the book in three words?

C: Colorful, musical, and dreamy.

S: I like those words Caramel! So I think this is a good time to wrap up this review. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Somebody to Love written by Valerie June and illustrated by Marcela Avelar and listening to the song with the same name. He recommends the book to all little bunnies who have a dream but are scared they won't be able to achieve it.
Caramel enjoyed reading Somebody to Love written by Valerie June and illustrated by Marcela Avelar and listening to the song with the same name. He recommends the book to all little bunnies who have a dream but are scared they won’t be able to achieve it.

Caramel reviews Spy Penguins: Golden Egg by Sam Hay

The book bunnies naturally love bunnies, but the whole family also has a special place in their hearts for penguins. And many children’s book authors seem to agree that penguins make great characters. Caramel has already reviewed several books about them; see Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon, Penguins Hate Stuff by Greg Stones, And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister, and The Trouble with Penguins by Rebecca Jordan-Glum. (Even Marshmallow has reviewed one; see Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater.) Today Caramel is talking to Sprinkles about another book with penguin heroes: Spy Penguins: Golden Egg, written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Marek Jagucki.

Caramel reviews Spy Penguins: Golden Egg, written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Marek Jagucki.
Caramel reviews Spy Penguins: Golden Egg, written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Marek Jagucki.

Sprinkles: Okay Caramel, you got this chapter book a while ago, and finally you decided to talk about it for the blog. Perhaps we just needed to finish all the dragon books in the house first.

Caramel: Yup. And don’t forget pangolin books!

S: I guess those dragons and pangolins are always going to be your favorites. But it seems that penguins come quite close.

C: Yes, penguins might be possibly my third favorite creatures. But if you include robots, then maybe penguins might be fourth on my list. Still I like them a lot.

S: I know. You already reviewed several books for the blog about them. But let us focus on this one now. What is Spy Penguins: Golden Egg about?

C: It is about two penguins named Jackson and Quigley, who want to be spies. They are young though; at least Jackson is still living with his parents. Still, they want to join the FBI and solve crimes.

S: What is the FBI? Is it the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

C: No, no, no! It is the Frosty Bureau of Investigation!

S: Hmm, this kind of reminds me of the book N.E.R.D.S. that you reviewed a while back. There, too, you had a bunch of characters who were solving crimes.

C: Yes, Jackson and Quigley also have gadgets and gizmos, like the kids from N.E.R.D.S. But they are penguins and actually they are too young for the FBI. Still they try to solve crimes. Even when they are told not to. Which is kind of like Harry Potter, who never listens to the grownups in his life.

S: I know, right? It seems that a lot of book characters don’t listen to the grownups in their lives and get mixed up in all sorts of things. But sometimes they turn out to be fun and exciting. So tell me what kinds of crimes are Jackson and Quigley working to solve?

C: In this book, there is a criminal named Icejob, who has escaped from prison. And the two spy penguins try to find him.

S: And what is the golden egg in the title?

C: There is a game called the Golden Egg Games, which is kind of like the Olympics. It happens every ten years. And the winner, the caretaker and the egg, get rewarded.

S: Wait, so you are supposed to run or do some athletic stuff with an egg??

C: Pretty much. And Jackson is taking care of his sibling egg because his mom is sick. And so the two of them, Jackson and the egg, play in the Golden Egg Games, and —

S: Hey! No big spoilers! How is the Golden Egg game related to the criminal Icejob?

C: Well, Icejob steals the Golden Egg and the egg which is supposed to become Jackson’s sibling.

S: So is the Golden Egg like a trophy you get when you win the Golden Egg Games?

C: No. It is a giant golden egg, and the winners’ names are written on it.

S: Hmm. Kind of like the record of the history of the games, then?

C: Yes, I think you could say that.

Caramel is reading Spy Penguins: Golden Egg, written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Marek Jagucki.
Caramel is reading Spy Penguins: Golden Egg, written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Marek Jagucki.

S: Hmm, this all sounds quite fun and exciting. I’m guessing those two words might be some of your words for this book, am I right?

C: Yep. I’d say, fun, exciting, and funny. And there are neat pictures in the book, too.

S: I can see you liked the book Caramel. Did you know this was one of a series of books about these two penguins?

C: Yes. This is apparently book three in a series.

S: Did you know it when you began to read the book?

C: Not really, but you figure it out soon enough. It did say some things about some characters and events from the earlier books.

S: Hmm, but it seemed like you still enjoyed the book, even though you had not read the first two books.

C: Yes. I think you could definitely enjoy this without having read the first two books. But now I want to read them!

S: We’ll see if we can find copies to get in your paws some time Caramel.

C: And this third book kind of ends with a cliffhanger. What I mean is that there is some new mystery that we learn about.

S: Kind of like in The Menagerie, then.

C: Right. The main story of this book is finished, but there are hints about the next adventure, and I want to learn more!

S: I don’t know if there will be a fourth book though, Caramel. I did not see anything about it online. So maybe the author might have been thinking of writing a fourth book, but I’m not sure if she ended up doing so.

C: Oh I hope she does! I want to read more about these spy penguins!

S: I can see that! But perhaps this is a good time to wrap up this review. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: First I want to say to the author: please please please write a fourth book. And then maybe some more!

S: Okay… And to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Spy Penguins: Golden Egg, written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Marek Jagucki, and he is hoping that these two fun-loving penguins will have many more adventures together.
Caramel enjoyed reading Spy Penguins: Golden Egg, written by Sam Hay and illustrated by Marek Jagucki, and he is hoping that these two fun-loving penguins will have many more adventures together.

Caramel reviews Pangolins by Lisa Fanton

Last week, when Caramel was reviewing the four books that make up the Endangered and Misunderstood series, he remembered one of his new favorite nonfiction books: Pangolins, a 2019 book written by Lisa Fanton full of amazing full-page photos and many inspirational quotes, as well as a lot of interesting facts about these intriguing little creatures. That is why he chose to discuss this book today in his blog post. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Pangolins by Lisa Fanton.
Caramel reviews Pangolins by Lisa Fanton.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, after last week, having talked about that pangopup in Adventures of a Pangopup, I had a feeling you were not done with pangolins. So here we are, talking about a book all about them. Can you first say a few words to introduce the book to our readers?

Caramel: Adventures of a Pangopup was fiction; this book, Pangolins, is nonfiction, all the way. And it has some startling news.

S: What’s this startling news?

C: There are eight species of pangolins around the world, and the news is that all eight are on the red list, which means that they are really in danger of going extinct.

S: Oh no! That’s terrible!

C: Yes! Of the eight species, four live in Africa and four in Asia, and all eight are hunted, almost to extinction. It is terrible.

S: What do people do with pangolins?

C: They kill them and take their scales. They grind them and use them in some traditional medicine and in soups. And some people eat the meat. They are tiny though!

S: Rabbits are small, too, and people eat them, too.

C: Yes, true, I don’t like to think of bunnies like me being eaten, either, but at least bunnies are not going extinct. And these are poor adorable creatures! Did you know their scales are made of keratin, same stuff making your nails and hair?

S: That is cool. And I saw in the book that they are the only mammals whose bodies are covered with scales instead of fur. That is so interesting!

C: Yes! And people hunt them for their scales! And I can’t believe it. If they want keratin, why don’t people use their nails instead? About this, there is a really nice sentence in the book I want to share:

Nobody in the world needs a pangolin scale … except a pangolin.

S: I agree with that sentiment completely Caramel. It seems this book has made you even more passionate about pangolins.

C: Yes! They are so cute! And people should leave them alone!

Caramel is reading Pangolins by Lisa Fanton.
Caramel is reading Pangolins by Lisa Fanton.

C: Did you know that pangolins yawn? There is a really cute picture of a pangolin yawning in the book.

S: Yes, the photos in this book are all pretty amazing.

C: They are in full color, taken by professional photographers, and you can see the scales of the pangolins and their faces, too. And some of them are rolled up into a ball. The book says that some people call them walking pinecones and artichokes with legs, and I like those descriptions too.

S: They are quite accurate descriptions, I’d say.

C: But the pangolins are a lot cuter than pinecones or artichoke. And I like pinecones — I even reviewed a book about a pinecone — but I think the pangolins are a lot cuter still. And artichokes are tasty, so I don’t want people to think of pangolins as tasty edible things.

S: I understand that, Caramel.

C: Did you know that if they are caught, they thrash around and might cut the bag they are put in and so on? And when they are scared, they roll up into a ball, which is also very cute. And they fart to defend themselves.

S: They are really weird and really cute animals. And I think this book does a great job of showing how beautiful they can be in their natural habitats.

C: I agree. Here are my three words for this book: Informative, striking, because the photos are striking, and amazing. Because what else could a good book about pangolins be? Pangolins are amazing, and so is this book!

S: I agree, Caramel. I am not as passionate about pangolins as you are, but this book made me like them a lot more. They are really interesting creatures, and beautiful, too, in their own way. I also liked several of the quotes sprinkled throughout the book.

C: Yes, there are lots of nice quotes along with all the facts about pangolins. And that is why I called it informative.

S: Agreed. So do you think other young bunnies should read this book?

C: Yes. Young and old, all bunnies should. Because the pictures are amazing, and the facts are even better. And there are not too many words, so young bunnies can read them too.

S: Again, I agree. So it is about time to wrap up this review then. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading and rereading Pangolins by Lisa Fanton, and recommends it to all other bunnies who love living beings.
Caramel loved reading and rereading Pangolins by Lisa Fanton, and recommends it to all other bunnies who love living beings.