Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity by Amy Alznauer

This week Caramel is talking about The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, the beautifully told and magically illustrated story of the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares.
Caramel reviews The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares.

Sprinkles: So Caramel tell us about this book.

Caramel: You say that all the time!

S: I know, right? I do that because I think that is a good way to get you to start talking about the book. So?

C: Hmm, let me think a bit. This book is about a boy who went to school but his math is far more advanced than his classmates.

S: So what does he do with that math?

C: He keeps on writing in a notebook, doing more and more math. And then he gets another notebook and write in it.

S: So he is doing math almost compulsively, he seems like he cannot stop himself, right? He is driven to do math.

C: Yes. He sees numbers everywhere and then he opens up, divides, or cracks up the numbers to find more numbers in them.

S: Right! I liked the way the author put it (and this is also in the back cover of the book):

If Ramanujan could crack the number 1 open and find infinity, what secrets would he discover inside other numbers?

Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about when Ramanujan as a little boy was not yet speaking. Instead, he "just lined up the copper pots across the floor. And when he didn't get his curd rice and mango, he rolled in the monsoon mud."
Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about when Ramanujan as a little boy was not yet speaking. Instead, he “just lined up the copper pots across the floor. And when he didn’t get his curd rice and mango, he rolled in the monsoon mud.”

C: So why did he do math? Because he had to.

S: What do you mean? Is someone forcing him to do math?

C: No he wants to do it. And he cannot stop doing it. It’s almost compulsive.

S: That’s a big word for a little bunny Caramel!

C: I know. I do read a lot.

S: So the title of this book is The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity. This reminds me of the book with a similar title: The Man Who Knew Infinity, by Robert Kanigel. That book is also about Ramanujan, but it is not a beautifully illustrated book for kids like this one. And that book tells us about Ramanujan’s whole life while this one is more about him as a little boy when he was dreaming math and finding it all around him.

C: Oh that is interesting. I think I remember us watching a movie with that name.

S: You have a good memory!

C: Can we put in the trailer here?

S: Sure. Here we go.

S: So tell me more about this book. Do you like the pictures?

C: Yep. They are very detailed, and they are like they are from a dream. there are two pages where the boy is dancing around and jumping over numbers.

Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about the nights when "while he slept, numbers came whispering in dreams."
Caramel is reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares. These pages are about the nights when “while he slept, numbers came whispering in dreams.”

S: Yes, that page especially but the rest of the pictures are also dreamlike. The colors and the combination of images… But back to that page where Ramanujan is jumping around numbers: can you imagine yourself jumping and flipping around numbers?

C: Of course! I like jumping! I’m a bunny!

S: That is true! Here is my last question: What does this book make you think about math?

C: Multiplication and division and addition, and numbers, and infinity.

S: Does it make you like them? Do you feel like you could enjoy playing around with numbers?

C: Yes, I already do! I like math!

S: That is great! Ok, this is a good time to wrap things up.

C: I want to rate this!

S: Ok. Give me three words that describe this book.

C: Detailed, mathematics, beautiful.

S: These are good descriptors for the book. I agree. I’d add “dream, infinity, imagination”. So what do we say to end this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, and recommends it to all little bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, written by Amy Alznauer and illustrated by Daniel Miyares, and recommends it to all little bunnies.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow already reviewed the first book of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief. Today she reviews the second book: The Sea of Monsters. It might be helpful to have read that first book (or at least Marshmallow’s review of it) to understand the following.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about mythology and the Greek gods, and especially if you liked reading the first book (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Percy’s second summer at Camp Half-Blood is not going to be fun and games. But to understand the reason why, we need to go back in time to when Annabeth, a friend of Percy’s, first came to camp. During this time, Thalia, a half-blood daughter of Zeus, sacrificed herself in order to save her three friends, Annabeth, Luke, and Grover. She fought the approaching monsters. As she was dying, her father Zeus turned her into a pine tree with a powerful enchantment. Thalia’s tree put a magical barrier around the gates of Camp Half-Blood that protects the rest of the half-bloods that are trying to enter the camp.

Back in the present, when someone poisons Thalia’s tree, the camp’s magical borders are broken, and all of the half-bloods are in danger. They have no borders to protect them, and monsters are all attracted to the half-bloods, and when they find them, they usually kill them. So, the only way to protect the only safe haven for half-bloods is to find the Golden Fleece. (According to Wikipedia, the story of the Golden Fleece involves many other powers and interpretations. In this story, it is said to have the power to cure anything.)

Unfortunately, a Cyclops who does not want to give it away guards the golden fleece. This Cyclops lives in the Sea of Monsters (which just happens to be the Bermuda Triangle), where Percy’s father does not have much power. (We learn in the first book that Percy’s father is Poseidon, the god of the sea. We also learn there that all half-bloods have one human parent, and the other is an Olympian god or goddess.) So the camp sends out Clarisse, a daughter of Ares who Percy has many disagreements with, to find the Golden Fleece. Percy thinks that Clarisse will not be able to find it, so he decides that he and his friends will do it.

Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book for people who like to read Rick Riordan books or like mythology. You do have to have read the first book or watched the first movie (though the movie does introduce many new events and skips out on some others from the book) to know the backstory of the main characters. The main plot is intriguing and I did not suspect the reason why Thalia’s tree was poisoned.

The Sea of Monsters is a very good book for all ages. Caramel and Sprinkles also enjoyed the second book.

After reading this second book of the series, the book bunnies household watched the second movie. Here is a trailer:

We thought this movie was much better. Annabeth became blonder (like in the book), and Clarisse, who is my favorite character, finally appeared. It did include a lot of events that do not happen in the books at all. Still it was a fun movie to watch.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Today Caramel decided to review an old favorite of the book bunnies household: Harold and the Purple Crayon, written in 1955 by Crockett Johnson.

Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
Caramel reviews Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about Harold and his purple crayon?

Caramel: It’s a very cute little story.

S: What is the story about?

C: It’s about this little baby, who is four years old. He goes out for a walk in the moonlight.

S: Did you go for walks in the moonlight when you were four?

C: No.

S: So how is Harold able to go out and walk in the moonlight?

C: Maybe he doesn’t listen to directions.

S: Hmm. If that were the main explanation for the story, I’m not sure all parents would love to read it to their little ones. Can there be another explanation?

C: Maybe he just likes walking. And as he walks, he creates things.

S: So can you think of a time when you could create things as you wished?

C: Yesterday, when I was doodling. I have been doing the Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! And I was also wearing my blue bodysuit, just like Harold.

S: So do you think Harold is really going out for a walk? Is he really ever leaving his bedroom?

C: Hmm, when you say it that way. Probably not. Maybe he is imagining that he is creating things with his purple crayon.

S: Yeah, kind of like how you create things when you doodle! And so what kinds of things does Harold create or find on his way?

C: He decides to have a forest but then he doesn’t want to get lost so his forest has only one tree. He makes it into an apple tree. Or it turns out, as the book says.

Caramel is reading two of his favorite pages in Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon where Harold decides the tree he drew is an apple tree.

S: This is indeed a very sweet story. Did you know that a short film of this story was made too?

C: No. But we did just find it on Youtube:

A cartoon retelling of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon.

S: Yes, this was slightly different from the book, though, right?

C: Yeah, the porcupine shows up in the film much earlier than the moose. But in the book they show up on the same page, right after Harold is done with his picnic. His part of the picnic. He doesn’t finish everything, there is a lot of pie left.

S: Hmm. In the picnic Harold has nine types of pies, all his favorites. What are your favorite pies Caramel?

C: Cherry! I like cherry pie most. I also like lemon cake.

S: Ok, then what happens in the end? Does he finally go to sleep?

C: Yep. And so it is also time to wrap up our review. So stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel still enjoys reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and recommends it to all little bunnies and their grownups.
Caramel still enjoys reading Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and recommends it to all little bunnies and their grownups.

Marshmallow reviews Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel by Rey Terciero

Having already reviewed the original (unabridged) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Marshmallow recently read a modern retelling of the story: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel, written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo. Below she shares her thoughts on this book.

Marshmallow reviews Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel, written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo.
Marshmallow reviews Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel, written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women and enjoy graphic novels like Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are four siblings who live in Brooklyn, New York. Their father is away in the Middle East fighting in the army. Meg wants to marry rich, Jo wants to write and be left alone, Beth wants to be a songwriter, and finally Amy wants to be an artist. They all have problems in their lives. Amy is bullied in school, Beth has health issues, Jo has trouble dealing with her “secret”, and Meg doesn’t like being poor and wants to have nice things. They are also all very worried that their father will not come back from the war. 

Marshmallow’s Review: This modern retelling of the classic Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a great graphic novel. I think the author Rey Terciero and the illustrator Bre Indigo did a great job of remaking Little Women for today’s readers.

This book shows each of the original characters and their characteristics very well, The pictures are also all very well created. They depict the feelings of the characters very well. 

It is interesting how the author made this a modern retelling. Almost all of the events that happen in the original happen in the retelling except that they are modernized. As a result, this is not as old-fashioned as the original book. In the original, the sisters all get married (except for Beth, who dies). In this version nobody gets married because they are all too young (and nobody dies, either).

I think that this version of the story is a lot more relatable since the sisters are all realistic. All of the girls suffer from different problems, and on top of all that, they all worry for their father who is in the Middle East fighting in a war.

I also recently watched the movie remake of Little Women. Here is the official trailer, which made me really want to see the movie:

The official movie trailer of Little Women (2019).

The movie stuck very close to the original and so it was similar to the book but not precisely. But in the graphic novel, I liked how Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are all very different. If you read the original or watched the movie, you can tell that the characters in the graphic novel are the same characters, but they encounter many different problems and they are living in today’s world. They also all change a lot from how they were in the beginning, so the story is interesting.

This is a very good book for eight to seventeen year olds. It might be slightly confusing if you haven’t read the original, but you can read it and still get much out of it in any case.   

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo 100%.
Marshmallow rates Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo 100%.