Caramel reviews Drawn Together by Minh Le and Dan Santat

Caramel reviews Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.

Caramel has reviewed The Cookie Fiasco and Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat before and enjoyed his quirky style. Today he reviews another book illustrated by Dan Santat: Drawn Together, written by Minh Le. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.
Caramel reviews Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book.

Caramel: It is a very interesting book about this boy. He doesn’t really like his grandfather.

S: Or at least we know he doesn’t seem to enjoy spending time with him. Right?

C: Yes.

S: Why is that?

C: He thinks that time with him is boring.

S: How so?

C: They eat different things. The boy is eating hot dog with mustard. and the grandfather is eating noodles and eggs.

S: So they are eating different things. But there is a bigger problem, right? Can they communicate?

C: No. They speak different languages.

S: Yes, the boy speaks English and the grandfather seems to only speak Thai. That might make things difficult, right?

C: Yes.

S: You are lucky that you can communicate with your grandfather, but this boy’s grandfather seems to have difficulty speaking English. So they watch TV. How does that turn out?

C: The boy asks “Can we watch something else?” So he is bored.

S: Yes, so they don’t enjoy the same food and they don’t enjoy the same TV programs. That is sad a bit, right? You do like watching TV with your grandpa.

C: Yep, I sure do!

Caramel is looking at the front cover of Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.
Caramel is looking at the front cover of Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.

S: So the boy is staying with his grandfather and is bored because he cannot communicate with him and he doesn’t think they have anything in common. Then what happens?

C: The boy takes some crayons out of his backpack and starts drawing. Then the grandfather takes out a sketch pad and a brush. It looks old fashioned but he can draw amazing things with it.

S: Yes, the things he can draw are very intricate, very detailed, right?

C: Yes. And I am surprised that this book is illustrated by Dan Santat, because the drawings don’t look like the ones in his other books I reviewed: The Cookie Fiasco and Harold and Hog Pretend for Real!

S: Well, that shows that he is a versatile illustrator, right? He can draw things in many different styles.

C: Yes, he can draw amazing things! He draws awesome dragons!

S: Yes apparently Thai dragons, like Chinese and Japanese dragons, are magical and have super powers. We saw some impressive images on Google. And the dragons in this book are just as amazing!

C: Yes. And then the boy and his grandfather start making art together. And the boy has color but his grandfather’s brush is one color only. But when they paint together, they both have colors.

Caramel is pointing to some of the artwork that the boy and his grandpa create together in  Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.
Caramel is pointing to some of the artwork that the boy and his grandpa create together in Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.

S: So what happens in the end?

C: They hug.

S: So even though they cannot communicate by talking …

C: They can communicate by hugging…

S: And by drawing! And when the boy’s mom comes to pick him up, it seems like the boy won’t be bored next time, right?

C: Right.

S: So did you like the book?

C: Yeah. It has bright colors and amazing drawings.

S: And a sweet story! So it is time to wrap up this review. What do you want to say Caramel?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.
Caramel enjoyed reading Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.

Caramel reviews A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems

After reviewing three books from the Elephant and Piggie Like Reading series (see his reviews of The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat, The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham, and Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat), Caramel is now rereading some of his old favorites from the original Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Wilems. Below he shares his thoughts on A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions, though this time Caramel himself also tried typing some of the words.

Caramel reviews A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems.
Caramel reviews A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems.

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

Caramel: boing! Boing boing boing boing boing!  I love this book! boing!                           

S: So what is that supposed to mean?

C: it is one of the best books that I have ever read! It is a very good book! I love it! And the boinging is about a bouncy ball.

S: Yes, the book has a ball in the center of the story, right? Tell us about the story. What is happening in the book?

C : There is a big guy that takes Piggie’s ball! Piggie is very sad. So Gerald the Elephant goes to the big guy to try and take the ball back.

S : Why can’t Piggie take it back herself?

C : The guy is too big, she’s scared. It’s a humpback whale! They are huge!

S : Yes, apparently they can grow up to 25 to 30 tonnes. That is a huge weight Caramel. And it is about the size of ten mid-sized elephants. So the big guy is probably too big for Gerald as well, right?

Caramel is reading the page where Gerald is telling Piggie that the big guy is really big.
Caramel is reading the page where Gerald is telling Piggie that the big guy is really big.

C: Yes. But in the end everything works out, and all three of them play together. They play a game called whale ball. But I don’t get it.

S: What do you not get Caramel?

C: How is the whale not in the ocean? And where is the water coming from that it spouts from its blow hole?

S: Hmm, those are good questions Caramel, but maybe just like an elephant and a pig are quite unlikely to be friends, the whale joining them is also quite unlikely, but it can happen in fiction. Isn’t that what fiction is about? A lot of times things that don’t always make sense or cannot really happen do happen in stories.

C: I don’t always like that though. I like real things.

S: Yes, of course I know that Caramel. But there are many fiction books you also enjoy reading, right? I think you have enjoyed reading all the Elephant and Piggie books many many times.

C: Yes! I also love the Narwhal and Jelly books!

S: Yes, and you reviewed all four of them:  Narwhal: The Unicorn of the Sea!Super Narwhal and Jelly JoltPeanut Butter and Jelly, and Narwhal’s Otter Friend, all by Ben Clanton. It is a good thing to read a balance of fiction and non-fiction. I think you are doing great!

C: Yes! I like reading. And I will keep reading. And reviewing books!

Caramel loves reading and rereading A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems.
Caramel loves reading and rereading A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems.

Caramel reviews Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat

Caramel has already reviewed The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat and  The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham, two of a new series titled Elephant and Piggie Like Reading. This week he shares his thoughts on a third book in this series, Harold and Hog :Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions when needed.

Caramel reviews Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.
Caramel reviews Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.

Sprinkles: Caramel, what did you think about this book?

Caramel: I thought it was awesome! There are two friends, an elephant and a pig, and they are trying to pretend to be Elephant and Piggie. You know who those are of course?

S: Yes, those are the main characters of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series. And you love that series, don’t you?

C: Yes!

S: And it seems this new elephant, his name is Harold, and his friend Hog, also like our Elephant and Piggie. So they try to be like them.

C: Yes, they pretend to be like them. First Harold tries to be Gerald, That is Elephant’s name. And Hog tries to be Piggie.

S: And does it work?

C: No! They’re are not really very good at it. They are not exactly the same.

S: They have different personalities, right? Harold is not as careful as Gerald and Hog is not as carefree as Piggie. So…

C: So they decide that Harold is going to be Piggie and Hog is going to be Gerald!

S: That is a perfect solution, right? They can still pretend to be best friends!

C: And they ARE best friends!

Caramel is reading Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.
Caramel is reading Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.

C: And even a pigeon shows up!

S: The Pigeon?

C: No. A pigeon. They even ask him if he wants to drive the bus!

S: That is really funny. Does this story remind you of any other stories Caramel?

C: Yes! Remember the one where Elephant and Piggie are in a book?

S: Yes, Mo Willems’ We Are In A Book! There are many interesting meta questions that one can consider reading that book. So this one too raises many questions. In the end Elephant and Piggie look quite puzzled. Why do you think they look that way?

C: I don’t really know.

S: It seems that they are surprised to see two friends so much like themselves but also not like themselves. And these two friends know of them.

C: Like they must be famous or something.

S: Yes, kind of. And then in the end they decide to pretend to be Harold and Hog! Quite a neat full circle!

C: Yes! This is a fun book to read! I like reading it out loud on my own. But it is more fun to read with you. Shall we read it again together?

S: Yes. Let’s. This is a nice place to end our review, too.

C: Yes. Good bye! Stay tuned for more reviews from the Book Bunnies!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Harold and Hog Pretend for Real! by Dan Santat.

Caramel reviews The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat

Caramel always enjoyed reading the Elephant and Piggie books of Mo Willems, and so he was very excited when he saw the book series Elephant and Piggie Like Reading. Below he shares his thoughts on the first book he read from the series: The Cookie Fiasco, by Dan Santat. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews The Cookies Fiasco by Dan Santat.
Caramel reviews The Cookies Fiasco by Dan Santat.

Sprinkles: Tell me about this book Caramel.

Caramel: This book is about four friends who love cookies, and they have some chocolate chip cookies, but there are only three cookies, and they want to share equally.

S: Who are the four friends?

C: Hippo, Croc, and two squirrels. The hippo is pink and purple, the croc is green, and the squirrels are orange and blue. The book is very colorful. And at the very end there is a cow who joins them.

S: What does this have to do with Elephant and Piggie?

C: They’re reading the book with us. So we see them only at the beginning and at the end of the book. But they are as funny as usual!

S: I agree! And the book actually feels quite similar to the Elephant and Piggie books, right? The back cover and the binding even have the same color scheme and design style… So it’s pretty familiar to someone like you who read so many of the Elephant and Piggie books, right?

C: Right!

S: So how do the four friends resolve the problem?

C: The hippo breaks the cookies in half and then in smaller pieces. Till the three cookies become twelve cookie pieces. And then each friend can get three pieces. That’s fair!

S: Our family could use this trick too, right? If we wanted to share three cookies among the four of us bunnies, then we could split each cookie into four and then each of us could take one piece from each cookie.

C: Yeah! Then we could all eat yummy cookies!

S: Yes! Looking at the book again, is there a character you liked more than others?

C: I liked the crocodile most.

S: Why is that?

C: Because I really like his answer when the others try to get him to give up his share:

-I heard crocodiles do not like cookies.

-Maybe YOU should not get a cookie!

-Huh?! I eat cookies! I love cookies! I could eat a whole plate right now!

And he’s looking really worried on that page. He’s funny!

Caramel is reading one of his favorite pages in The Cookies Fiasco by Dan Santat.
Caramel is reading one of his favorite pages in The Cookies Fiasco by Dan Santat.

S: Yes he is! The whole book is quite fun to read. Do you like reading it with me or do you like to read it alone?

C: It’s always more fun to read with somebody else.

S: Yes! I enjoy reading it with you too. We can make funny voices when we do that, right?

C: Yep! But in the end I always agree with Gerald the Elephant. This book makes me hungry and thirsty! Especially for chocolate chip cookies and some milk!

S: Yes, some cookies and milk would be nice. Maybe this is a good time to end this review. Or we will get hungrier and hungrier.

C: I WANT TO EAT COOKIES NOW!!!

S: Ok, let’s see what we have in the kitchen…

Caramel really enjoyed reading The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat and is looking forward to reading other Elephant and Pigggie Like Reading books.
Caramel really enjoyed reading The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat and is looking forward to reading other Elephant and Pigggie Like Reading books.