Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

The book bunny household has enjoyed almost every book they read of Kate DiCamillo. Today Marshmallow reviews one of her favorites: Flora and Ulysses.

Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.
Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked reading any other book by Kate DiCamillo, such as Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and  Mercy Watson, or if you like books about unexpected friendships, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): “Cynic” Flora Belle Buckman’s knowledge is put to the test when her neighbor runs over a squirrel with a vacuum. She knows a lot of things about tumors and other things that can go wrong in life. But one thing that she has yet to learn is how to perform CPR on a squirrel. Which is exactly what she does.

While the vacuum is about to suck up the squirrel, his only thought is, “FOOD!” Not, “I don’t want to die!” or “This is the end.” As the squirrel is waking up, he hears a voice, Flora’s, saying, “Breathe!” And so he does.

When he wakes up he is a different squirrel. And he is very, VERY hungry. So Flora sneaks him into her house. And she names him Ulysses after the vacuum that sucked him up (the Ulysses 2000X).

When Flora and her mother go to sleep, Ulysses goes and raids the pantry and then starts to type on Flora’s mother’s typewriter. He writes: 

“Squirtel! I am. Ulysses. Born anew.”          

Flora’s mother gets upset because she doesn’t know about Ulysses, and so she thinks that Flora typed it. When she eventually finds out about Ulysses, she tells Flora’s dad (they are divorced), to put Ulysses in a sack, then hit Ulysses on the head with a shovel (which will “put him out of his misery”), and then bury him with the shovel.

When Flora hears about this plan, she gets very upset. She is not only upset that her mother could be so cruel to a squirrel but also because she is upset about Mary Ann, her mother’s lamp. Flora’s mother says that she loves Mary Ann with all her heart even though she never says that about Flora. Flora is understandably upset, but she tries to ignore it by saying that she is a cynic and she doesn’t care, but she actually really does. 

Marshmallow is reading Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.
Marshmallow is reading Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.

Marshmallow’s Review: This book is both heartwarming and funny. Kate DiCamillo did a very good job of writing a funny book that can also make the reader happier.

Flora and Ulysses has a lot of interesting characters. For example, Ulysses the squirrel is a very interesting character and it is very funny how his only thought before he got sucked up by the vacuum and became smarter was, “FOOD!” Flora is also a very interesting character. She likes reading Incandesto, a comic book about a janitor who fell into a large pool of a cleaning liquid and became a superhero. And Flora really likes reading the comic strip that is at the end of every Incandesto book, called Terrible Things Can Happen to You! which is how she determines that she is a cynic. 

 Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo 100%.
Marshmallow rates Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo 100%.

Caramel reviews And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

Today Caramel picked a sweet real-life story of two chinstrap penguins revolving around themes of family and love to share with the Book Bunnies Blog readers. Below he discusses And Tango Makes Three, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, and illustrated by Henry Cole. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions, as always.

Caramel reviews And Tango Makes Three, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, and illustrated by Henry Cole.
Caramel reviews And Tango Makes Three, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, and illustrated by Henry Cole.

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

Caramel: It’s a good book. A really good book. It’s about two penguins who are both boys, and they have a baby together.

S: How does that happen?

C: The zoo keeper gives them an egg. He puts it into their nest. Then they put it in the middle. Every day they turn it, so then all sides get warm. They take turns sitting on the egg.

S: Then what happens?

C: The egg hatches. It then grows strong enough to leave the nest. Then they take their baby to the water to swim.

S: And the zoo guests cheer them on, right?

C: Yes!

Caramel is looking at the page of And Tango Makes Three, where all penguins are playing together and the zoo guests are cheering them on.
Caramel is looking at the page of And Tango Makes Three, where all penguins are playing together and the zoo guests are cheering them on.

S: We have seen penguins at zoos, right?

C: I think so. I think at least once.

S: They are fun to watch. They waddle and dive into the water, and jump out.

C: Yes! They go “weeeeee!”

S: Did you know that this is based on a real story?

C: I didn’t know when I read the book. But then we read together the Wikipedia entry on the book and I learned.

S: Yes, apparently the story is based on two real penguins, named Roy and Silo, like in the book, and their adopted child, Tango.

C: Yes, and Tango makes three! Roy and Silo are two, and then plus Tango makes three.

S: That’s why they named the book that, right? Can you think of another name for the book?

C: No. I think the name of the book is just perfect.

S: I agree. What else do you want to tell us about the book?

C: If you like penguins, this is a really good book!

S: And we love penguins! We have reviewed several books about them before!

C: I didn’t know it was nonfiction before we read more about it on Wikipedia.

S: Does that change your opinion of the book?

C: It makes me like it more. I like real stuff. I also love real penguins!

S: Would you have liked to have received a penguin in the mail like Mr. Popper did in the book Marshmallow reviewed a few days ago?

C: If it listened to me, yes. And it shouldn’t smash me, they can be heavy you know.

S: Oh yes, apparently an emperor penguin can be as heavy as 99 pounds! But chinstrap penguins are much lighter. Wikipedia says they usually weigh around 7 to 10 pounds.

C: Ok, then I could like a chinstrap penguin. But I’d not want it to peck me.

S: Yes, that could possibly hurt. But they are so cute, aren’t they?

C: They’re adorable, especially when they are babies. Grownups are still adorable too.

S: I am thinking it is time for us to wrap up our review Caramel. Will you say your last words as usual?

C: Of course! Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel has enjoyed reading And Tango Makes Three, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, and illustrated by Henry Cole.
Caramel has enjoyed reading And Tango Makes Three, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, and illustrated by Henry Cole.