Caramel reviews Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Today Caramel reviews the first book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, published first in 2007. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.
Caramel reviews Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.

Sprinkles: Caramel, let us start with you telling us a bit about this book.

Caramel: This book is about Greg Heffley, who is just starting middle school. AS he writes, he is “stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons”.

S: Hmm, so Greg does not like his school friends much.

C: He does not like most of the other kids in school, that’s right. All except for his one friend, Rowley. Greg is not very happy at school.

S: Hmm, so this Greg does not sound like a very good role model for a little bunny.

C: Greg is definitely not a good role model.

S: But I think a lot of kids sometimes feel out of place and maybe they have some unpleasant feelings about other people. So maybe Greg is in some ways representing the unsatisfied and unhappy part of being a kid.

C: I guess so. He is kind of a jerk actually.

S: Hmm, how so?

C: He is mean to Rowley, and he does write a lot of mean things about people. Like would you ever say your school friends are all morons?

S: Well, moron is a pretty bad word.

C: Then again there are two bullies in the school and they are really really mean to Greg and Rowley.

S: So I can then understand Greg being upset and angry towards those kids, but no, we would not say all kids in our school are morons. Greg is pretty unfiltered that way.

C: Well, it is his diary after all. He uses some bad words in there too.

S: That is true, we can assume he is not planning to say any of the bad words in real life but uses this diary as an outlet for all his negative feelings.

C: Yes, but he calls it a journal, not a diary.

S: What is the difference?

C: I don’t know. I think he thinks diaries are for girls.

S: Hmm, not sure if I like that! You recently reviewed a book about a writer’s notebook, and there, too, we tried to make a distinction between a writer’s notebook and a journal. So maybe Greg thinks calling it a journal rather than a diary makes it sound more serious.

C: Yes, I think he wants to sound all grownup and mature.

Caramel is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.
Caramel is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.

S: But he is in middle school!

C: That is pretty old for me!

S: That is true. Then since you are so far away from middle school, did this book feel alien to you?

C: Well not quite. School is school, and Greg is trying to act big and mature, and he seems to think he is better than everyone else, and that can happen everywhere.

S: Do you really think he thinks he is better than everyone else? I have a sneaking suspicion that he is actually not that confident about himself.

C: I guess he is not happy with who he is, but he is really behaving like a jerk sometimes.

S: But through the course of the year, he does learn some things about being a good friend and finding a place for himself in the school, right?

C: I guess so.

S: Did you know that this is the first of a series and there are many more books about Greg and his friends?

C: Yes, but I might want to wait a bit before reaidng those. Middle school is a long way away.

S: I know. But maybe we will watch the animated version of this book?

C: Yes! I think I’d like that. Can we insert the trailer here?

S: Sure. Here you go:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid | Official Trailer | Disney+ (YouTube).

S: The pictures are straight out of the book itself.

C: Yes they really look like the book.

S: What did you think of the illustrations?

C: They are funny, I think the author wanted to make it look like Greg is drawing things in his diary. The book is like a notebook too, there are lines on each page, each page looks like a lined notebook page, and the writing is almost like handwriting.

S: Very neat handwriting though, because I can read it.

C: Yes. I can read my handwriting too but not everyone else can.

S: It is getting much better through the years though. Practice practice practice.

C: Yep.

S: So what three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Funny, multiple plots, funny drawings.

S: Hmm, you used “funny” twice but let’s let it pass. I agree with you, the word works in both places. So what do you want to tell our readers as we wrap up this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, and is thinking he might come back to it right before starting middle school.
Caramel enjoyed reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, and is thinking he might come back to it right before starting middle school.

Caramel reviews Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM by Drew Brockington

Today Caramel talks about Wafles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM, by Drew Brockington. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions. 

The book bunnies received this book as a review copy.

Caramel reviews Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM by Drew Brockington.
Caramel reviews Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM by Drew Brockington.

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

Caramel: This book is about two cats named Pancake and Waffles. Pancake is Waffles’s sister I think.

S:So what happens to them? Do they go to a planetarium?

C: Yes. They go to a science museum and there is a planetarium there. They go with their father, and they see the dino-cats and the saber tooth tiger …

S: Wait, what is a dino-cat?

C: Basically dinosaurs, but they are cats too.

S: So maybe prehistoric cats?

C: I guess so.

S: Then what happens?

C: They go to watch Hairballs in 4D.

S: So is that a film?

C: Yes, They always have these types of movies in science centers, so this is one of those. Then they go to the planetarium, and they look at the skies and so on, but then they get separated from their dad. And they are really worried.

S: That does sound like it coudl be scary.

C: Yes. Then they talk to someone who is working there. And in the end, they go to their mom’s home and see some constellations in the night sky and they can recognize them!

S: Wait, so they eventually find their dad?

C: Yes, of course. Otherwise this would not be a funny book, it would be tragic.

S: I understand. So the book is funny then?

C: Yes. Their dad asks them their favorite part of the trip to the museum and apparently it was lunch!

S: That is quite funny!

C: And there are other funny parts too. It is a funny book!

Caramel is reading Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM by Drew Brockington.
Caramel is reading Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM by Drew Brockington.

S: So then funny would be one of your words to describe the book. What other words would you use?

C: Funny, colorful, and … easy to read.

S: Yes, you did read it fast.

C: It was fun so I read it quickly.

S: So were there some facts about space in the book too? It kind of seemed like that to me.

C: Yes some but not as much as some other books, like the Narwhal and Jelly books have a lot more facts. But this did have some facts.

S: Any that was new to you?

C: It takes 27.32 days for the moon to orbit the earth.

S: You might have kind of known it takes about a month but not the exact time, right?

C: That’s right. They also talk about meteorites and such but I knew about those before. They also talk about Neil Pawstrong, which is the cat version of Neil Armstrong, the first human on the moon.

S: That is cool! I saw that other words were cat-ified, too…

C: Yes, like fur-ever, when the kitty siblings are worried they might have to live forever at the museum because they lost their dad, they say “we might have to live here fur-ever” instead.

S: Would you like to live at a museum?

C: No. All the dinosaur skeletons would freak me out, especially at night.

S: I undertand.

C: Wouldn’t you be scared of a museum full of dinosaurs at night?

S: I guess I would.

C: But reading this book, I also learned that there are other books with Waffles the cat, and he is a CatStronaut.

S: What is that?

C: The cat version of an astronaut I think. So there are apparently a lot of other books about the adventures of Waffles when he is a grown cat and an astronaut.

S: Sounds like you are curious …

C: Yes, I am! I want to read more about Waffles …

S: Hmm, we will see if we can get your paws on some of them some day. But for now, what would you like to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM by Drew Brockington, and is looking forward to reading some of the earlier books about the adventures of CatStonauts.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM by Drew Brockington, and is looking forward to reading some of the earlier books about the adventures of CatStonauts.

Caramel reviews A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher

Over the summer Caramel got into keeping a notebook where he doodles sketches and writes stories. Today he reviews the book that inspired it all: A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.
Caramel reviews A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.

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

Caramel: This book is about keeping a writer’s notebook.

S: What is a writer’s notebook?

C: A notebook where writers put writing about their everyday lives. Things they see, think of, and read about. They use it to capture interesting points in the past, so that they can remember them.

S: So it is like a journal, in some ways. They write notes on what is going on and what they think about those things. So how is a writer’s notebook different from a journal? What makes a writer’s notebook a writer’s notebook?

C: Hmm, I am not sure.

S: Maybe it has something to do with the person being a writer?

C: Yes, because if you are a writer, you come back to what you wrote and think about it and maybe you can use it in your stories or poems and so on.

S: So a writer’s notebook is basically a journal, but the person keeping it uses it for their writing purposes.

C: Yes.

Caramel is reading A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.
Caramel is reading A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.

S: So what is in the book exactly?

C: There are chapters about how different people use their writer’s notebooks. For example, there is a chapter about writing down memories of events that were important to you. Then there is a chapter where you learn that you can also write about really small things, things that might be interesting but not really important. But then somehow those might be useful later if you are writing a story or something.

S: I see.

C: There is a chapter called Fierce Wonderings, which is about how you can also write in your notebook about things that you want to know more about. There is a chapter about listening in on other people’s conversations and taking notes if they sound interesting.

S: I guess that teaches you about interesting dialogue.

C: I guess so. You can also have seed ideas.

S: What are those?

C: A seed idea is an idea that you can build on, so for example the author writes about someone who kept collecting facts about spiders.

S: That reminds me of your notebook, where you keep drawing different robot models.

C: Yes.

S: I think yours is not only a writer’s notebook, but rather, an artist’s notebook. Because you are drawing more than writing.

C: I guess so. But I think the idea is the same.

S: Yes, I can see that. You also keep drawing similar things and try to improve on the details. I think sometimes writers do that in their notebooks too.

C: Writers also put other people’s sentences and ideas in their notebooks too, if they like it.

S: And that is kind of similar to when you were trying to draw Eve in your notebook, inspired by the female robot in the movie Wall-E. You like how she is drawn and want to see if you can draw something similar.

C: Yes.

S: So do you also write stories or even shorter things in your notebook?

C: Yes. I have a few sentences here and there.

S: Do you like keeping a notebook?

C: Yes. Because then I can draw things whenever I want.

S: I can see how that is appealing. So let us get back to this book. What three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Many voices because the author shares writings of many other people, many of them are kids like me. Good ideas to get started with your own notebook… And … quick. It is a short book so I read it quickly.

S: That was definitely more than three words, but you did provide us with three distinct features of the book. Thank you. So let us wrap things up. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher, and will probably continue to doodle and write in his notebook in the coming months and years. .
Caramel enjoyed reading A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher, and will probably continue to doodle and write in his notebook in the coming months and years.

Caramel reviews Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman and Loren Long

Today Caramel reviews the new book Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, written by poet Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Change Sings: A Children's Anthem, written by poet Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long.
Caramel reviews Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, written by poet Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me a bit about this book.

Caramel: This book is about change, and how children can change the world.

S: That sounds inspiring! Tell me, how can children change the world?

C: Well, let me tell you what happens in the book. There is a girl in the beginning, who I think might be Amanda Gorman herself, and she has a guitar and is calling people to join her to try and make the world a better place. She helps another person recycle, then the two of them go and help others by giving them food, and deliver groceries to an elderly woman, and then they invite another boy to join their little band, each of them has an instrument. And the three of them go and build a ramp for a disabled kid’s home. Then that kid joins them too, and the group grows, and they keep cleaning up, planting flowers, and they fix up their community buildings and so on.

S: So they all help, and they all work together to make their community a more welcoming place, a good place to live.

C: Yes. And they are making music all along.

S: Well, the book is called A Children’s Anthem, and according to my dictionary, an anthem is a “a rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group, body, or cause”, so it makes sense that there is music in there, right?

C: Yeah. And it makes it livelier and more fun.

Caramel is reading Change Sings: A Children's Anthem, written by poet Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long.
Caramel is reading Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, written by poet Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long.

S: Amanda Gorman is a poet. Is there poetry in this book too?

C: Yes, the whole book is one long poem. All of it rhymes, and it is fun to read out loud.

S: Yeah, I enjoyed reading it out loud with you. We saw Gorman read her poem “The Hill We Climb” in the inauguration of President Joe Biden this January. Do you remember?

C: Yes I do. Can we put a video of her poem here?

S: Yes, of course. Okay, here it is:

Amanda Gorman reads inauguration poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’ (January 20, 2021, PBS).

S: So what do you think about the poem that is the main text of the book?

C: There are so many different types of people, and the poem brings them all together. And even though they are all very different, they all work together and make their community better.

S: So you also like the illustrations.

C: Yes. They are very colorful. And the children really look like they are dancing and making music and having lots of fun. But this one boy looks like he is dancing but I don’t think that the position he is in is possible, his feet would break!

S: Yes, but think of it not as standing but while jumping up and down or turning around, in some instant, you might look like you are doing something impossible.

C: I guess he could be jumping up. And there is a kid who is playing basketball and that is cool too.

S: Yes, the children when they join are just doing standard kid things and they just join in to help. And that seems to be the message, right? That we can all help.

C: And even us kids can help too, and if we do, we can change the world.

S: That is inspiring. Okay Caramel, we wrote long enough. Tell me your three words to describe this book, and we can wrap it up.

C: Colorful, inspiring, poetic.

S: I like those words Caramel. And what do you want to say to finish the review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Change Sings: A Children's Anthem, written by poet Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long, and recommends it to little bunnies who enjoy the sound of words and like to think about how they can make the world a better place.
Caramel enjoyed reading Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, written by poet Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long, and recommends it to little bunnies who enjoy the sound of words and like to think about how they can make the world a better place.