Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

A few weeks ago Caramel reviewed the first book in the Babymouse series written by Jennifer Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm: Babymouse: Queen of the World. Today he reviews the second book in the series: Babymouse: Our Hero. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
Caramel reviews Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

Sprinkles: So Caramel this is the second Babymouse book you are reviewing for the blog.

Caramel: Yes. I reviewed the first book a few weeks ago.

S: So this has the same characters, like Babymouse and her best friend …

C: Wilson!

S: And then there is …

C: Squeak!

S: Who is that?

C: Her brother.

S: We did not hear about Squeak much before, did we?

C: Yes, he was already in the first book, I think…

S: But he hasn’t played a big role in either book just yet. But there is someone who is playing a big role… Someone who is a big meanie…

C: Oh, yes! Felicia Furrypaws! She is pretty mean.

S: So what happens in this book?

C: They play dodgeball. Babymouse is super bad at dodgeball. In the book you learn about all these things she is good at. But the one thing she is not good at is dodgeball!

Caramel is reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. On these pages we learn about things Babymouse is good at.
Caramel is reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. On these pages we learn about things Babymouse is good at.

S: So ok, she is not good at dodgeball. What is she good at?

C: She’s good at avoiding chores, defying gravity, and skating a perfect figure 4.

S: What does that mean?

C: Skaters like to skate a figure 8 usually. I learned that from Schoolhouse Rock. Let’s insert the video here.

S: Sure. All the book bunnies love Schoolhouse Rock!

Figure Eight, by Schoolhouse Rock!

C: I like this video! And I like the Babymouse books!

S: Seems like it! So was this as fun as the first one?

C: They’re both good.

S: Can someone start reading Babymouse from this second book?

C: I think you can follow the story from this one but if you want to know the whole story of Babymouse, start from the first book.

S: I agree. The stories are quite independent, but the first book seems to be written with the assumption that you don’t know anything about Babymouse and this one seems to think you might know at least a little.

C: I want to read the next books now. I think Babymouse is funny!

S: Yes, she is very imaginative, right? Tell me some of the things she daydreams about in math class?

C: She pretends that she is in prison, and makes a daring escape plan. Then there is the part where she is a superhero. Then there is the part where she gets an award, but that is a dream I think, she gets an award for taking out the trash without being asked!

S: Yes, just before she wakes up in the morning, right? She seems to have a lot of difficulty waking up in the morning.

C: Yes.

S: Do you?

C: No. Because I’m such a good little bunny.

S: That is (mostly) true. So maybe this is a good time for this good little bunny to wrap up this review. What do you think?

C: Okay. Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm and recommends it to all little bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Our Hero (Babymouse #2) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm and recommends it to all little bunnies.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World (Babymouse #1) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Caramel just recently got introduced to the Babymouse series written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm. He really enjoyed the adventures of this feisty little mouse and today he shares with us his thoughts on the first book of the series: Babymouse: Queen of the World. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.
Caramel reviews Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm.

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

Caramel: This is a good book if you like stories about mice.

S: Well, do you like stories about mice?

C: Yes.

S: Tell me more.

C: There is this mouse named Babymouse and she is going to school and her teacher is a hippo, and her best friend is a weasel named Wilson. He always reads comic books in class.

S: Hmm. So the characters are all different kinds of animals then. Right?

C: Yes, there is also a popular cat. Her name is Felicia Furrypaws. She is mean.

S: Oh, yes according to the trailer of the book series, Felicia is one of Babymouse’s enemies. And another one of her enemies is her locker! Here is that trailer.

Trailer for the Babymouse series.

C: This is a funny trailer, but it is true. Babymouse has big dreams and wild imagination.

S: So what does that mean? In this book what kinds of dreams does she have? Tell me about one of her imaginary adventures.

C: There is this part where Babymouse is a queen and she gives the order to behead the mean cat Felicia. “Off with her head!”

Caramel is reading the part of Babymouse; Queen of the World by Jenifer Holm and Matthew Holm, where Babymouse imagines she is a queen.

S: Just like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland? Of course that is not very nice and it is probably not really happening.

C: No of course not. Babymouse is imagining things.

S: So this is the first book of a series which has twenty books so far.

C: We have to read all of them!

S: So you liked Babymouse that much?

C: Yep! She is funny! I read it in one day and then reread it again and again already.

S: You reviewed graphic novels before. Which ones do you think this is similar to?

C: It’s kind of similar to the Bad Guys books. It is about the same length and size. Same thickness. But there might be more small pictures on each page of this one.

S: Yes, I think there are more frames per page in this book. But it also reminded me a bit of the Narwhal and Jelly books you like so much .

C: Yes, the characters are different types of animals but they are behaving like little kids (or little bunnies I should have said).

S: Kind of like a fable then, right?

C: Yes, kind of.

S: They are about animals, but then again they are not aiming to give us a moral lesson necessarily.

C: No, but you still get something out of them.

S: Like what?

C: Like in this book Babymouse learns that popularity is not important, but having good friends is.

S: Well, that is a good message!

C: And I think I will remember it. But now time to wrap up! Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm, and is looking forward to reading more Babymouse books.
Caramel enjoyed reading Babymouse: Queen of the World , the first book in the Babymouse series, written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm, and is looking forward to reading more Babymouse books.

Marshmallow reviews Meanwhile: Pick Any Path by Jason Shiga

About a year ago, Marshmallow reviewed a “choose your own adventure” (CYOA) book: The Sorcerer’s Maze Collection by Blair Polly and DM Potter. Today she shares her thoughts on a 2010 graphic novel, written in a similar manner: Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities, by Jason Shiga.

Marshmallow reviews Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities, by Jason Shiga.
Marshmallow reviews Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities, by Jason Shiga.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take:  If you like Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary:  Jimmy’s adventures start with a simple ice cream flavor choice: vanilla or chocolate. One of the two options leads to a short story, and the other leads to an exciting one. Depending on your choices, you end up in different places.

It all begins with a simple decision: Chocolate or Vanilla! Marshmallow reads Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities, by Jason Shiga.
It all begins with a simple decision: Chocolate or Vanilla! Marshmallow reads Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities, by Jason Shiga.

In one path, you come to a place called Kepler Labs, in which your character, Jimmy, asks to go to the bathroom. Then Professor K. asks you (Jimmy) which of his inventions you want to play with. It is your choice and the decision you make can change the story.  

Any choice that you make leads you to a different possibility. One possibility is that you make it home safe and sound. Another is that you end up destroying the world unwillingly. How the story unfolds depends on what path you choose. In the beginning of the book, there is a warning:

“Instead of one story, Meanwhile splits off into thousands of different adventures. Most will lead to DOOM and DISASTER. Only one path will lead to happiness and success.” 

Marshmallow’s Review: This an interesting, different type of Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) book because it is written like a graphic novel. Instead of being labeled by page numbers at the bottom of each page, you are led by a line that takes you from the frame that you are looking at. If the line splits into two, then you are being given the chance to choose. If it leads on the page and onto a flap, then you flip to the flap and continue. 

Because of how it functions differently from other books of its kind, reading Meanwhile can be a little bit confusing at the beginning, but once you get used to things, moving around in the book gets easier. 

Meanwhile is like a game because there are many different solutions (on the title page it says there are 3,856 possibilities–I didn’t count them all). It is fun and gives the reader a chance to change the story unlike other books, especially when the character is making a bad choice and you want to tell them to stop. This is very interesting because when the character makes a bad choice (or you do), then you can go back and fix it. I think that doing that is very fun.

Once you have tried a lot of the possibilities, you can decide to choose only the ones that you liked or try to find the one happy and successful path.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%. 

Marshmallow rates Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities, by Jason Shiga 95%.
Marshmallow rates Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities, by Jason Shiga 95%.

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%.