Marshmallow reviews Lion Down by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed several books from Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series: you can check out her review of the first book, Belly Up, here, while her review of the second book, Poached, is here, and her review of the fourth book, Panda-monium, is available here. Today she shares with us her thoughts on the fifth book on the adventures of Teddy Fitzroy: Lion Down.

Marshmallow reviews the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow reviews the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s overview: If you liked any of the other FunJungle books or if you like mysteries about animals, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy has gotten himself involved in a mystery, yet again. This time a mountain lion named Rocket is accused of “canicide”. The victim was King, the dog of Lincoln Stone, the famous host of a talk show.

Stone hosts a TV show on which he bad-mouths the government and how everything that they say is wrong and that he is right. He starts to accuse Rocket for killing and then says that he will pay anyone that kills Rocket five hundred thousand dollars. 

Teddy Fitzroy is approached by FunJungle’s vet’s daughter, who asks him to investigate the death of King. She and many other activists in the ALF (Animal Liberation Front) believe that someone has intentionally framed Rocket. As Teddy investigates it is discovered that King was not the breed that Lincoln Stone says he was on his show. And also on the night of the “murder” Stone left King outside when he knew that there were mountain lions around. It soon comes out that he wasn’t nice to King, either. As he learns from Stone’s neighbors that Stone was having a party with guns, Teddy now has even more suspects. One of the guests at the party might have accidentally shot King and then tried to make it look like Rocket ate him. Teddy is overwhelmed with mysteries while he also struggles with a mysterious vandal poisoning the giraffes every Sunday.  

Marshmallow is pointing to the back cover of the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, where the reader can get a quick summary of the plot of the book.
Marshmallow is pointing to the back cover of the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, where the reader can get a quick summary of the plot of the book.

Marshmallow’s review: This book is very suitable for those who want to learn about animals while reading a mystery book. The mystery is hard to figure out, and like the past books in the series, Lion Down has two mysteries that Teddy has to solve. The reader is provided with many suspects for the case about King’s death.

The reader also learns about habitat loss. The author combines mystery, suspense, and humor while informing the reader about habitat loss, a very big problem that hurts many animals.

Marshmallow is reading the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow is reading the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.

This is a very funny book and it will entertain many different audiences. (Actually the whole series is like that. Caramel recently started reading Belly Up and he is enjoying it a lot!)

You could probably read this book before reading the earlier books in the series, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Reading the first books will help you understand the book better. Just reading Panda-monium could be okay though, if you don’t want to read all the books. Still I think reading all of them in the right order is probably the best idea. (If you want to read a book from a series that does not require reading the earlier books, then Ivy + Bean One Big Happy Family might be the book for you.)

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, 100%.
Marshmallow rates the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Poached by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed two books from Stuart Gibbs’s FunJungle series: see her review of Belly Up, the first book of the series, and her review of Panda-monium, the fourth. Today she reviews the second book: Poached.

Marshmallow reviews Poached by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow reviews Poached by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about animals or if you like reading mystery books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy has once again landed in the middle of trouble. This time, the victim is Kazoo, the koala that the Australian government lent to the billionaire J.J. McCracken, who built FunJungle, the world’s newest and most thrilling zoo.

With both his parents working and living at FunJungle, Teddy is around the place most of the time, which allows him to investigate the crime. Unfortunately, one particular security guard, Marge O’Malley, who he calls Large Marge behind her back, is determined to prove that Teddy is involved with the stolen koala. (I know calling people names behind their backs is not nice, but this O’Malley is really not a nice person herself… at least in this book! For more on her you will need to read Panda-Monium!) While all this is happening, Teddy also has school issues. Vance Jessup, the school bully, enjoys bullying him on a daily basis. 

Since the security crew in FunJungle is so convinced that Teddy stole the koala, they are not even trying to find the real criminal. So it is once again all up to Teddy to solve the mystery and find Kazoo.

Marshmallow is reading Poached by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow is reading Poached by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s Review: Poached is a very good book for those who have enjoyed Stuart Gibbs’ past Spy SchoolMoon Base Alpha, and The Last Musketeer series. It is a great sequel to the first book in the FunJungle series, Belly Up. You can probably enjoy reading this even if you have not read Belly Up, but I would not recommend doing that. Reading the first book would help you know and understand the characters here much better.

On top of being a great read, Poached also has some interesting facts about animals. For example you can learn a lot about koalas while you read. You can also follow the great Teddy Fitzroy through his journey with bull sharks and bullies, and learn more about the bull sharks.

Just like the first book in the series, this one has some great characters. J.J. McCracken, for example, seems to be Teddy’s “biggest fan” sometimes, but then turns around and tries to have him arrested. Teddy is also a well-written character. He reacts to situations like a normal person would.

You might be thrilled or horrified, but with humor, action, and crisis, Stuart Gibbs has created a great read for all ages and all bunnies. I recommend this book highly!

The best age is 8 and up though. Younger bunnies might not understand the plot thoroughly. Gibbs manages to write very complex plots! On the other hand, if their parents can read it to them, this might not be an issue.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Poached by Stuart Gibbs 100%.
Marshmallow rates Poached by Stuart Gibbs 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed a book in Stuart Gibbs’ Teddy Fitzroy / FunJungle series: see her review of Belly Up, the first book of the series. Today she reviews the fourth book: Panda-monium.

Marshmallow reviews Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs, the fourth book in the FunJungle series.
Marshmallow reviews Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs, the fourth book in the FunJungle series.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked Belly Up or any of the other books by Stuart Gibbs (or if you just enjoy a good mystery), then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy lives in FunJungle, the world’s most elaborate zoo, owned by the billionaire J.J. McCracken. Living in FunJungle is not boring but it is dangerous. First Henry Hippo is murdered (see my review of the first book of the series where this happens), then Kazoo the Koala is koala-napped (in the second book), and then someone tries to kill the park’s rhinos (in the third book). Now, the most expensive animal that the zoo features, the giant panda Li Ping, gets kidnapped.

This is a big deal and the FBI steps in. Since the Chinese government lent Li Ping to J.J. McCracken, when he loses the panda he not only has to deal with the angry Chinese government but also the many people who wanted to see Li Ping. The guard who accompanied Li Ping, Marge O’Malley (who Teddy calls Large Marge because she is determined to send him to juvenile hall), is blamed. To make matters worse her sister who works in the FBI works on the case. Large Marge is determined to solve this case first, and since Teddy has a record of solving crimes (see FunJungle books), she blackmails him into solving the case. As he learns more and more, it becomes clear that not everyone is as innocent as they look.

Marshmallow is reading Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs, the fourth book in the FunJungle series.
Marshmallow is reading Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs, the fourth book in the FunJungle series.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is not your standard mystery book. It is a book that makes you want to find out who committed the crime so much that you will want to skip to the end.

This one is like the other books in the FunJungle series in the way that it is very suspenseful. There are many suspects but you don’t know who the real culprit is.

Though the book has no pictures, Stuart Gibbs puts an image in your mind. When you read his books, it seems like you know the characters. You admire Teddy Fitzroy and Summer McCracken, J.J. McCracken’s daughter, for their incredible detective skills and have a natural suspicion of Large Marge.

Gibbs does a great job of writing these stories that only Fitzroy could solve. In the end, you realize that all of the clues were in front of you the whole time but you never thought of it that way. J.J. McCracken’s character is interesting because he is very sly and sometimes seems to be nice but then sometimes he is not. The plot is very well written.

Panda-monium is as good as the previous books in terms of the suspense and the plot. And it is one of the funniest books in the series.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs, the fourth book in the FunJungle series, 100%.
Marshmallow rates Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs, the fourth book in the FunJungle series, 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

After a one-month break, the book bunnies have a lot of books to write about! Marshmallow starts 2020 off with her thoughts on Belly Up, the first novel in Stuart Gibbs’ Teddy Fitzroy / FunJungle series.

Marshmallow reviews Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow reviews Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like mysteries, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy lives in the largest zoo in the world, FunJungle, where you could watch sharks in Shark Odyssey, experience what being on a Safari is like, or see what most of the visitors come for: Henry Hippo, the most celebrated hippo in the world. That is, until he dies.

The vet of FunJungle figures out that Henry was actually murdered. Teddy sneaks into the autopsy and learns that Henry might have died from peritonitis, a disease that makes holes in the stomach, but the vet, Doc, says that there were too many holes for it to be natural. The people who run FunJungle cover it up and say that Henry Hippo died of natural causes. Teddy realizes that no one is doing anything and that he has to solve the mystery himself. 

“As Teddy searches through all the clues and asks too many questions, it becomes clear that he too might end up belly up.”

Marshmallow is reading Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow is reading Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s Review: This book is a great book! You will not be able to put it down once you start reading.

The story is so mysterious that you cannot figure out who killed Henry even if you are Sherlock Holmes. The book supplies you with so many suspects that you cannot guess who did it. Unlike many mystery books, Belly Up supplies you with many suspicious characters. The real murderer turns out to be someone who you would never suspect even though the clues were all there under your nose (but they were all just things that seemed unimportant).

This is one of the best mystery books that I have read and I expect that I will reread it over and over again.

I have to admit that Belly Up is slightly confusing and requires holding onto clues that add up to the solution, so it is probably great for ages 8-15. it might confuse readers under 7. There are some curse words but not any very serious ones and there are only a few in a 286-page book.

Marshmallow thinks that Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs is one of the best mystery books that she has ever read.
Marshmallow thinks that Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs is one of the best mystery books that she has ever read.

Stuart Gibbs creates great characters, and his characters show us what other peoples’ lives are like. For example, Summer McCracken, the daughter of the billionaire J.J. McCracken, lives a luxurious but caged existence.

I think that this is a book that can also be enjoyed by adults, too, (and I am trying to get Sprinkles to read it soon!) but I believe it is better for children. Belly Up has humor, animal facts that Teddy uses to solve the mystery, adventure, and mystery.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs 100%.
Marshmallow rates Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs 100%.