Marshmallow reviews The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Today Marshmallow writes about The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. Marshmallow read the 50th Anniversary Edition of this 1961 classic.

Marshmallow reviews The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.
Marshmallow reviews The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you enjoy reading classics or appreciate books that make you think, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Milo is a boy who doesn’t want to do anything. He wants to be in school when he isn’t; when he is in school, he wants to be out of it. Then one day, he receives a large package. Inside is a small tollbooth. As he has nothing to do, he starts to play with the tollbooth and finds himself in a strange land when he drives his toy car through it. Luckily, the tollbooth came with a map of this place, and he was driving around in a small motorized car.

As he drives around in this new land, he goes to many strange places. In one place, he becomes friends with a literal watchdog, Tock, who is a dog with a clock on his side. He goes to the kingdom of Dictionopolis where he meets strange people and learns that Rhyme and Reason, two princesses, have been locked away in a Castle in the Air, because the king of Dictionopolis, Azaz the Unabridged, and the king of Digitopolis, the Mathemagician, who also happens to be Azaz’s brother, disliked one of their verdicts. The Princess of Pure Reason and the Princess of Sweet Rhyme were asked by Azaz the Unabridged and the Mathemagician whether numbers or letters were more important. When Rhyme and Reason said that both were equally important, the two kings banished the princesses.

Milo and Tock, accompanied by the Humbug, who was assigned to be their guide by Azaz, must go and rescue the two princesses. But unfortunately, demons and monsters guard the Castle in the Air. Milo, Tock, and the Humbug will need to journey across the “Land Beyond”, the name of the place Milo is in, to return Rhyme and Reason to their land. 

Marshmallow is reading The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.
Marshmallow is reading The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.

Marshmallow’s Review: The Phantom Tollbooth is a great read, especially if you like language and wordplay. I really like how the author Norton Juster plays with words, like how one character is a watchdog, that means he is a dog with a watch in its side. Another character, the Which, is sort of like a witch, her real name being Faintly Macabre, meaning faintly gruesome, grim, morbid, hideous, or horrific.

I think that the wordplay must be a very big part of why this book is so widely read. Another reason might be because it is good for all ages, not too complicated or scary, though some of the wordplay might not make sense for younger readers. (I did not get most of them when I read it years ago.) I would highly recommend this book to everyone. In fact, I think I will suggest Caramel to read it too, soon. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, 100%.

Caramel reviews A Jedi You Will Be by Preeti Chhibber and Mike Deas

Caramel is a little bunny but he is a big Star Wars fan. (Check out his review of 5-Minute Star Wars Stories!) Today he reviews for the book bunnies blog A Jedi You Will Be, written by Preeti Chhibber and illustrated by Mike Deas. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews A Jedi You Will Be, written by Preeti Chhibber and illustrated by Mike Deas.
Caramel reviews A Jedi You Will Be, written by Preeti Chhibber and illustrated by Mike Deas.

Sprinkles: Caramel, so you found another book about Star Wars, eh?

Caramel: Yes, but I think you had something to do with it too.

S: Yes, I thought you might like it. Did you?

C: Yes!

S: What is it about then? Tell me.

C: It’s about Yoda talking to you. Yoda is a little green alien who is a Jedi master.

S: And so for the few people who do not know what a Jedi is, can you tell me what they are?

C: A Jedi is a person who can use the Force. The Force is everywhere but some can use it for good or for evil. The Jedi use it for good.

S: Yes, in the Star Wars universe, there is this mysterious force, kind of like magic and kind of like just the essence of life, but these Jedi have the power to channel it to do great things. And Yoda has always been my favorite Jedi!

C: Mine too. I do not know much about the Baby Yoda though.

S: Well, we have not watched the series that have him in them, so we have not met him yet. We know Yoda as a wise old master.

C: He is 800 or 900 years old!

S: Yes, apparently that is how old he is when Luke Skywalker comes to learn from him.

C: Yes, that is what happens in this book too. We go to Yoda’s island with Luke and Yoda talks to us about the Force. He gives a lecture about the Force almost.

S: Yes, he does, it is mainly him telling the reader about the Force and how to achieve hard things in life. Do you want to read to me a bit from the book?

C: Okay, here is some part of the book:

Ready are you?
What know you of ready?
For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi.
Easy it is not. 
A Jedi must have the deepest commitment.
Willing to work hard are you?
Caramel is reading A Jedi You Will Be, written by Preeti Chhibber and illustrated by Mike Deas: "Willing to work hard are you?"
Caramel is reading A Jedi You Will Be, written by Preeti Chhibber and illustrated by Mike Deas: “Willing to work hard are you?”

S: So is the book really only about the Force and Star Wars?

C: Hmm, sort of.

S: I think I only partially agree with you. I think some of the advice Yoda gives is pretty applicable to real life.

C: Hmm, yes it is. For example the part I read to you is basically saying working hard is important. Then there is a part where he tells you being big or small is not important. He says, “size matters not!” I like Yoda!

S: He does talk in a strange manner, doesn’t he? His sentences are structured in grammatically incorrect ways. But there are some languages where this type of order (where the subject goes after the verb) might appear.

C: Yes, he speaks funny. He says, “Now close your eyes. Closed are they? See you peeking I do!”

S: That is funny! And you do that too sometimes when I ask you to close your eyes and take a deep breath.

C: No I don’t do that!

S: Yes, you do, when we try to meditate!

C: Hmm, yes, I guess you’re right.

S: Okay, let us wrap up with you telling us three words about this book.

C: Colorful, funny, and grammatically incorrect! But also lots of good advice!

S: Hmm, that is more than three words, but it will do! So what do you say next?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading A Jedi You Will Be, written by Preeti Chhibber and illustrated by Mike Deas, and he recommends it to all other Star Wars fans, young and old.
Caramel loved reading A Jedi You Will Be, written by Preeti Chhibber and illustrated by Mike Deas, and he recommends it to all other Star Wars fans, young and old.

Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle

Marshmallow reviewed A Wrinkle in Time, the first book in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, a few weeks ago. Today, for her first post after the book bunnies’ 2020 summer break, she reviews the second book in this collection: A Wind in the Door.

Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like science fiction, or if you have enjoyed reading books by Madeleine L’Engle, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): One day when Meg Murry comes home from school, her brother Charles Wallace tells her that there are dragons in their garden. (This is not the first time that something unusual happens to the Murrys. In A Wrinkle in Time, the children rescued their father from an evil entity.) When Meg goes outside she sees her old school principal Mr. Jenkins is there. Then the pet snake of her twin brothers hisses at him, and Mr. Jenkins turns into a winged monster and rips the sky.

The Murry family discusses the fact that there is a strange sound that scientists are hearing and things in space are disappearing. They are vanishing, becoming nothingness. When Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend, Calvin O’Keefe, see the “dragons” that Charles Wallace had mentioned, they see that it is a Cherubim, an extraterrestrial creature made up of wings and eyes. If not observed up closely, the Cherubim would look like a drive of dragons.

This also leads the three friends to learn that the Cherubim, Proginoskes, whom Meg nicknames Progo, is a Namer, a creature who names things, as opposed to an Echthroi, a creature that would unname things. Proginoskes apparently learned the names of all of the stars once.

Before all of this started, Meg and Charles Wallace’s mother started researching mitochondria and the mitochondria’s farandolae. (Mitochondria are real things: they are organelles in found in many cells. According to Wikipedia, the farandolae are “micro-organelles inside mitochondria that exist in the Time Quintet fantasy universe.”)

Meg eventually starts to notice that her brother has been tired and exhausted for a long time and that she had been ignoring his strange signs because she didn’t want to believe that he was sick. Meg gathers from her mother and from her brother, that their mother thinks that something is wrong with Charles Wallace’s mitochondria and his mitochondria’s farandolae. If his farandolae and mitochondria die, then Charles Wallace is in big danger.

Marshmallow is reading A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
Marshmallow is reading A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book that shows the bond between Meg and Charles Wallace. Meg is willing to risk her life for her little brother. To save him she even goes into one of his mitochondria and meets one of his mitochondria’s farandolae to save him. 

It is very interesting that Madeliene L’Engle’s fantasy universe has some real parts and some created parts. I didn’t know what mitochondria were before I read this book. It is so cool that there are mitochondria in everyone, even in bunnies like me! 

I think that this is a good book for all ages of bunnies, but it is on the longer side, and so younger bunnies might want to read it with older ones or have an older bunny read it to then. It might be scary for younger bunnies in some parts, so maybe older bunnies reading it with younger bunnies is a good idea. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 95%.
Marshmallow rates A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 95%.

Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Today Marshmallow reviews a classic: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, first published in 1962. This is the first book of L’Engle’s Time Quintet.

Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like classic science fiction or just like some of Madeleine L’Engle’s books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary: Meg Murry wakes up on a stormy night and finds a mysterious guest in the kitchen. Soon Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin O’Keefe set off to find Meg and Charles’s father who was sent on a dangerous and secret mission. The Murry family stopped receiving letters from him and they had not seen him since.

The children set out to find Mr. Murry and the mysterious guest, Mrs. Whatsit, helps them with her friends, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Meg and her companions learn that there is an evil entity, the Black Thing, that is taking over the universe and that their father is in danger. They travel to the world in which he is captive and try to rescue their father. They face a man with red eyes, who can control the people who look into his eyes. Charles Wallace looks in his eyes intentionally and they manage to rescue Meg’s father, but Charles Wallace gets stuck on the planet. They have saved Meg’s father, but now they have to save Charles Wallace. 

Marshmallow is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Marshmallow is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very intriguing book because there are very interesting characters and the plot is very well written. My favorite character is Charles Wallace. He is very logical. He is also different from everyone else but he is ok with that.

I think that A Wrinkle in Time makes a great read for bunnies of all ages, but if the bunny is very young then there probably should be an older bunny reading the book to them because it is on the longer side. (It has 232 pages.) I think that A Wrinkle in Time is probably best for bunnies ages 8 and up because it may not be an easy read for younger bunnies. 

A Wrinkle in Time starts with a very famous sentence, Snoopy‘s favorite:

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

The sentence even has its own Wikipedia page! Apparently L’Engle used the sentence intentionally, even though it is seen by many as a cliche.

Madeleine L’Engle’s book has been made into a movie, twice. The first one was made in 2003. The second one was made in 2018. Caramel, Sprinkles, and I saw the movie in the theatre and we enjoyed it. Here is the trailer:

This is the trailer to the second movie. It was made in 2018, and was directed by Ava DuVernay.  

Madeleine L’Engle’s book is a classic and a great read for all ages. It is an entertaining read for all bunnies but also gets scary or sad at some points (more scary than sad). I really enjoyed reading it.  

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 100%.
Marshmallow rates A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 100%.