Marshmallow reviews Animal Friendship! Collection by National Geographic Kids

Marshmallow reviews Animal Friendship! Collection by National Geographic Kids, a collection of three books in one volume:

Book 1: Best Friends Forever! And More True Stories of Animal Friendships (by Amy Shields)

Book 2: The Whale Who Won Hearts! And More True Stories of Adventures with Animals (by Brian Skerry with Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld)

Book 3: Lucky Leopards! And More True Stories of Amazing Animal Rescues (by Aline Alexander Newman)

Marshmallow has been reading the Animal Friendship! Collection by National Geographic Kids on and off for a couple years now. Finally she is writing about it.

Marshmallow reviews Animal Friendship! Collection, Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids.
Marshmallow reviews Animal Friendship! Collection: Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like nonfiction books about animals, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Overview: This book has three books in one volume:

Book 1: Best Friends Forever! And More True Stories of Animal Friendships (by Amy Shields)
Book 2: The Whale Who Won Hearts! And More True Stories of Adventures with Animals (by Brian Skerry with Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld)
Book 3: Lucky Leopards! And More True Stories of Amazing Animal Rescues (by Aline Alexander Newman)

In the first two books, there are four stories each, each made up of three chapters. The third book has three stories, each made up of three chapters. That means that there are, in total, eleven stories (all told in a total of 33 chapters) in the collection.

Each story is three chapters long. The stories are all about different animals: there are stories about leopards, apes, dogs, whales, cats, sharks, and so on. In the stories of the first book, there is a friendship between two species of animals that are each unique in different ways. Most stories in the second book are about human interactions with special animals, and the stories in the third book are about people rescuing hurt animals. The stories are all real, and the book contains many colorful photos of the events happening.

Marshmallow is pointing towards an adorable baby harp seal, the protagonist of only one of the many sweet stories in Animal Friendship! Collection, Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids.
Marshmallow is pointing towards an adorable baby harp seal, the protagonist of only one of the many sweet stories in Animal Friendship! Collection: Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids.

Marshmallow’s Review: The book cover says that this book is about “Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them”. This description is accurate as these are really heartwarming and amazing stories.  

This is a great read for people and rabbits who like nonfiction books about animals and people. It contains stories that have characters that are all loyal and kind to their friends or companions. 

My favorite book in the collection is Book 1: Best Friends Forever! I like this book because it has my favorite stories. The stories in this book are about animal friendships. The animals are very loyal to their companions who are from a different species, which makes it even more impressive that they are friends. The very first story is about Roscoe the dog and Suryia the orangutan. The second one is about a gorilla named Koko who loves cats. The third story is about a greyhound named Jasmine and the many different animals she becomes friends with. The last story of Book 1 is about Owen the hippo and his friend Mzee the tortoise.

The fact that this book is nonfiction is almost unbelievable since the stories are so unlikely but very cute and adorable. In my opinion this is a very good and well written book.

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%

Marshmallow rates Animal Friendship! Collection, Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids 100%.
Marshmallow rates Animal Friendship! Collection: Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Blubber by Judy Blume

Marshmallow reviews Blubber (1974) by Judy Blume, about school, bullying, and friendship.

Marshmallow likes reading books about school-age kids, even if there are no dragons or wizards, though she quite likes it when those kinds of things do appear. Below she reviews a classic, Blubber by Judy Blume, first published in 1974.

Marhsmallow reviews Blubber by Judy Blume.
Marhsmallow reviews Blubber by Judy Blume.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about things that happen at school, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Fifth grader Jill Brenner is a part of a group of girls that bully a girl named Linda. Linda is bigger than the other kids in the class and so is bullied and mistreated. Since she gave a report on the whale and talked about a whale’s blubber, the bullies call her Blubber. Jill’s group, along with the rest of the class, tease, bully, and mistreat Linda.

The gang of bullies is made up of girls named Wendy, Caroline, and Jill. In this group they all have roles. Wendy is the leader, while Caroline is the muscle that holds the victims’ hands together while Jill does whatever Wendy says. Wendy is very manipulative. All the teachers like her and so if one of her victims tells on her, she just comes up with a lie, and then the teachers believe her, and so she does not get in to trouble. In this terrible way Wendy not only makes herself seem innocent but also makes the victim look like a liar.

On Halloween, Jill and her friend, Tracy Wu, try to get revenge on a man named Mr. Machinist (apparently he is a mean person) by putting rotten eggs in his mailbox. They put the rotten eggs in his mailbox. Then they meet Wendy and Caroline, who don’t believe that they put the eggs in his mailbox. When they show the eggs to Wendy and Caroline, Mr. Machinist catches them. They manage to get away, but Mr. Machinist takes a picture of Jill and Tracy before they can get away.

Marshmallow is pointing toward the letter Mr. Machinist sent to Jill's parents.
Marshmallow is pointing toward the letter Mr. Machinist sent to Jill’s parents.

Later Mr. Machinist sends a letter to Jill’s and Tracy’s families telling them that they put rotten eggs in his mailbox and that they need to pay. Mr. Machinist assigns them the job of raking up leaves in his backyard.

At school the girls decide that someone must have told Mr. Machinist the names of the girls in the picture. They think that it must have been Linda. Jill convinces her friends that they should hold a trial to determine if Linda is innocent or not. The trial brings an unexpected twist which changes the course of the story. 

Marshmallow’s Review: This book is written in the first person, from the perspective of Jill Brenner, who is part of the gang that bullies Linda, or as the group of bullies call her, Blubber. This fact (that the book is written in the first person) is not the only difference from most of the other books that I have reviewed though. (Ella Enchanted was also in first person.) The narrator, Jill, is just not a nice person. It is strange reading the story from her perspective. She does call Linda Blubber, which is not nice at all.

This book is about events that can occur in real life, and life doesn’t always end like “and they lived happily ever after“. This book does not end happily, but the main message (“treat others how you want to be treated“) does come through very clearly. It will make a good read for readers who appreciate books that don’t end “happily ever after” but instead leave you with things to think about.

There are some curse words in the book, which is one of the reasons why it might not be appropriate for all young readers.

Marshmallow’s rating: 90%

Marshmallow rates Blubber by Judy Blume 90%.
Marshmallow rates Blubber by Judy Blume 90%.

Caramel reviews Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld

Both Caramel and Marshmallow love rereading their favorites over and over again. Caramel is rereading a long-time favorite these days: Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld. Below he shares some thoughts on this book. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions as needed.

Caramel reviews Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld.
Caramel reviews Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld.

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

Caramel: This is a friendship story. There is Stone, and there is Stick. Stone is a stone and Stick is a stick, of course.

S: Of course!

C: First they are alone and alone is not fun.

S: Then what happens?

C: Then they become friends. And then Stick helps Stone. Let me read to you. This is one of my two favorite parts:

Stone whispers: “Gee, you stuck up for me!”

“That’s just what sticks do. Friends do it too.”

S: That’s sweet! So the book is written like a poem; sentences seem to rhyme, right?

C: Yes. good point! “Gee” and “me” rhyme! And “do” and “too” rhyme too!

S: That makes the book more fun to read out loud I think. What do you think?

C: Yes, the next page says for example: “Stick, Stone. No longer alone.” “Stone” and “alone” rhyme too!

S: You said the above quote was one of your two favorites. What is your second favorite passage from the book?

C: Do you want me to read that too?

S: Yes, please do!

C: Ok, let me find it first. Here you go:

“You rock, Stone,” says Stick.

“That’s just what stones do. Best friendship rocks too.”

S: Yes, that is sweet, too! This is when Stone helps Stick in a tough situation, right?

C: Yes, that’s right. But I have a third section I want to read now.

“COWABUNGA!! KER-SPLOOSH!”

Caramel is pointing to the pages where Stone is rescuing Stick. "COWABUNGA!! KER-SPLOOSH!"
Caramel is pointing to the pages where Stone is rescuing Stick. “COWABUNGA!! KER-SPLOOSH!”

S: What do these mean Caramel?

C: These are sounds. The first is a bouncing sound and the second is a splash!

S: Hmm, I think I get it…

C: This is the best book ever! If I were Marshmallow, I would give it a 91%.

S: Well, Marshmallow never rates things 91% though.

C: Actually I think this is a 99%.

S: Really? Why not 100%?

C: Ok, how about 101%? Just kidding. It is a good book and I like it. I don’t care about the numbers. But if you want numbers, it should be twenty four thousand!

S: 24,000% is a big big number Caramel.

C: How about ninety nine trillion?

S: You must really like this book! Why do you like it so much?

C: I like stories about friendship. Remember I reviewed Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon before?

S: Yes, and you also reviewed The Missing Piece Meets The Big O by Shel Silverstein, which was also about friendship. And these are all sweet stories about being true friends.

C: Yes. Can we read it together one more time?

S: Sure Caramel. And we can also wrap up this review. Do you want to say the last word?

C: Yes! COWABUNGA!! KER-SPLOOSH!! Ok, now I’m done. Let’s read.

Caramel has been enjoying reading and rereading Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld.
Caramel has been enjoying reading and rereading Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld.

Caramel reviews Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon

Caramel is already reading some chapter books, but he still loves picture books (even though last week he just reviewed a book that has no pictures!) This week he reviews one of his favorites: Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions as usual.

Caramel reviews Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon.
Caramel reviews Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon.

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

Caramel: It’s a friendship story and I really like it.

S: What is it about exactly?

C: There is a penguin who finds a pinecone, and asks his grandpa what is wrong with him. His grandpa says it’s too cold for the pinecone.

“It’s too cold here,” said Grandpa. “Pinecone belongs in the forest far, far away. He can’t grow big and strong on the ice.”

So then Penguin takes the pinecone to the forest. He sets off on a journey.

S: That sounds sophisticated Caramel! And very funny. You like to use such phrases! Ok, then what happens?

C: He leaves the pinecone in a special place in the forest, on a bed he makes.

Penguin made a cozy nest out of the softest pine needles he could find.

S: So where is the friendship?

C: At the beginning of the story where Penguin finds Pinecone, they become friends. They play together, so much!

S: He even knits a scarf for the pinecone, doesn’t he?

C: Yes. I’m going to look at that page again. Hmm, that’s cool! Penguin knits an orange scarf for Pinecone. He has an orange scarf himself.

S: So now both friends have matching scarves, that’s cool! Do you ever wear matching things with friends?

C: Let me think. Sometimes I wear matching things with Marshmallow!

S: That’s right! Ok, let’s get back to the book. So Penguin takes Pinecone to the forest but then the forest is too hot for him. So he has to go back home, right?

C: Yeah. But then he misses Pinecone. And then he goes back to find him.

S: Does he find him?

C: Yup, but I won’t tell you the big awesome surprise! At least a surprise for Penguin!

S: Yes, that part is really neat. I wonder if our readers can guess what happens in the end… But we can probably give away the main moral of the story, right? It’s all the way at the end…

C: Yes!

S: So what is the moral Caramel?

C: Ok, I will read it:

When you give love … it grows.

S: That is a sweet idea, isn’t it?

C: It is a sweet story! Actually it’s an awesome story!

S: I know. You have read it several times already, no?

C: I have no idea how many times I have read it really.

S: So you recommend this book?

C: If I were Marshmallow I’d give it 100%!

Caramel loves reading and rereading Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon.
Caramel loves reading and rereading Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon.