Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson

Marshmallow has been raiding the book bunnies home library because she is at home all day every day these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today she reviews an old favorite of Sprinkles that she discovered recently among the grownup comic books: The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.
Marshmallow reviews The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

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

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Calvin is a six-year-old child who has many adventures with his stuffed tiger Hobbes. Unfortunately, he does not enjoy school and he daydreams about how he is Spaceman Spiff who has been captured by evil aliens who represent his teacher, Mrs. Wormwood. He escapes from school and pretends that it is a matter of life and death. He likes playing these games and has all sorts of adventures.

In Calvin’s mind, Hobbes is alive and his best friend. They are inseparable and are together every moment that they can be.

He pretends that whenever he comes home, Hobbes jumps on him and attacks him. He pretends that he and Hobbes have all sorts of disagreements. He even fights his stuffed tiger. He and Hobbes make many gruesome snowmen when it snows. Some of them are being hung, and some are being buried alive.

Calvin is very entertaining, but he is also very rude and obnoxious. He is a very strange human child (bunnies are never this disagreeable). He is definitely not a good role model. He skips school and is unable to wash himself. He pretends that an evil alien is trying to force him to give it information.

Marshmallow is reading The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book but it is also an older book, and its age shows a bit. It is a little inappropriate for younger children and I do not suggest reading it to a child younger than 9. He says some rude things that are not very nice to some groups of people. It is probably best for ages 9 and up.

Calvin and Hobbes is known as “the last great newspaper comic”, according to Wikipedia. Bill Watterson has created in Calvin a great character that has entertained readers for many years.

The comics are very interesting and thought provoking. When Calvin is asked by Hobbes if he has any New Year resolutions, his response is “No way! I’m already a great person!”

Calvin is also a very strange child. He has a vivid imagination that can be unsettling. He enjoys pretending that he is an all-powerful being that destroys worlds. He builds very complex cities. Then he destroys them. And his parents think that he is being very creative. When he listens to a song about Santa Claus that goes like “He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake… He knows when you’ve bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!” Calvin stops listening and he says, “Santa Claus: kindly old elf, or CIA spook?” (You can see this comic from 1987 here.)

Marshmallow’s Rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson 90%.
Marshmallow rates The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson 90%.

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.

Caramel reviews My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown

Caramel is going to have a new teacher this school year, and so Sprinkles thought he might find it amusing to read about a little boy who thinks his teacher is a robot. Below Caramel talks about his thoughts on My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown.
Caramel reviews My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown.

Sprinkles: I thought you might find this book about a little boy and his teacher amusing Caramel.

Caramel: Yes. I did find it fun to read. It was funny.

S: What is it about?

C: A little boy named Fred and his teacher Mr. Bailey.

S: So what happens to Fred and Mr. Bailey?

C: Fred keeps thinking that Mr. Bailey is a robot.

S: Why?

C: I don’t know.

S: Does Mr. Bailey look like a robot?

C: No but they can make robots that look like humans.

S: Ok, so what about Mr. Bailey makes Fred concerned?

C: I don’t know really.

S: I guess Fred likes to live in an imaginary world, doesn’t he?

C: Yes. This imaginary world is super duper funny. For example, when Mr. Bailey tells them it’s time for history, Fred gets excited and imagines the class pet gold fish is a pre-historic sea creature.

S: Yes, that part is exceptionally funny, right? When Mr. Bailey says history, Fred thinks maybe they’ll talk about dinosaurs. Do they?

C: No. They do the history of Japan.

S: You know some things about the history of Japan, don’t you Caramel?

C: Yep. I even reviewed a book about samurai on this blog.

S: Yes, that was a neat book and a neat review. So when they are talking about Japan, what happens to the classroom?

C: The kids do all sorts of things about Japan. Two of them do a tea ceremony. Then there is a cherry blossom tree and a samurai, and a sumo wrestler. Or at least a kid named Scooter who says:

Who wants to sumo wrestle?

S: And the whole room transforms, right? Do you think there is an actual cherry tree in the classroom?

C: No, I think it’s all stuff Fred is imagining.

S: Or maybe Fred and his classmates all together, right? There is a little girl (I think her name is Charlotte) sitting in the middle of a sand meditation garden. Do you think that that meditation garden is really in the classroom?

C: No. Of course not.

S: Do you think Charlotte is really riding a unicorn at the very end and the mud monsters are really attacking the kids when they’re in the playground?

C: No! They are all pretend. But they could actually have made the mud monsters themselves, right?

S: Yeah, that’s true.

Caramel is looking at one of the fun pages in My Teacher is a Robot where the kids are all in the school playground and are being attacked by the mud monsters.
Caramel is looking at one of the fun pages in My Teacher is a Robot where the kids are all in the school playground and are being attacked by the mud monsters.

S: So do you think Mr. Bailey is really a robot?

C: No. I don’t think so.

S: Well maybe that’s just another way Fred makes his life more interesting. If your teacher is a robot, then school becomes a bit more ….

C: Interesting! But I’m not sure I want my teacher to be a robot.

S: I’m quite sure you do not have to worry about that. You’re meeting your new teacher very soon, right?

C: Yes. I already know her name, but I don’t know much else about her.

S: Well, I think you at least know she’s not a robot.

C: Actually I don’t. Eek!

S: Ok, Caramel. How about we wrap up this review here and then you report back when you figure it all out and tell us if your new teacher is a robot or not?

C: Ok. Stay tuned for more book bunny adventures!

P.S. added August 29 2019: Caramel is happy to report that no, his new teacher is not a robot, and is in fact a really nice person.

Caramel enjoyed reading My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown.
Caramel enjoyed reading My Teacher is a Robot by Jeffrey Brown.

Caramel reviews Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault

Caramel reviewed Isabelle Arsenault’s Albert’s Quiet Quest last week. This week he wanted to review the first book in the Mile End Kids series: Colette’s Lost Pet. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Colette's Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault.
Caramel reviews Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault.

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

Caramel: If you like birds this might be a good book for you.

S: Now you’re channeling Marshmallow! What do you mean?

C: Colette’s supposedly lost pet is a giant parakeet.

S: Wait, wait! Who is Colette? And does she have a giant parakeet?

C: Nope she doesn’t. She’s lying. To get friends.

S: Hmm, so you think she is lying to get friends? But that doesn’t sound like such a great idea…

C: I know. But she says something and then it grows into this big story about a giant parakeet. An elaborate lie.

S: That’s a big word for a little bunny Caramel! Yes, the story does get more and more elaborate as Colette meets more and more kids on the Mile End neighborhood. Right?

C: Yup. I think she just wants a pet, just like Marshmallow. And in the beginning her mom says:

“No Colette! For the last time NO PET!”

S: So Colette goes out and tries to meet the kids in her new neighborhood. And do you think the kids believe she has a giant parakeet?

C: I don’t know. The story does get a little bit too elaborate in some parts.

Caramel is pointing at a particularly spectacular page where Colette is telling her elaborate story about her non-existent parakeet.
Caramel is pointing at a particularly spectacular page where Colette is telling her elaborate story about her non-existent parakeet.

S: So a bit too unbelievable, right?

C: Yup. At some point she says her parakeet can surf!

S: Well, she doesn’t quite say that, but the picture she draws leads the kids to decide the bird can surf, and she doesn’t deny it. Right?

C: Yes. But the kids are having a lot of fun. I think they actually think that she has a ginormous parakeet. Or at least they want to believe that.

S: Kind of like in Albert’s Quiet Quest where Albert wants to believe he is on a beach, right?

C: Yes. These kids have big imaginations.

S: Like you, Caramel! You too dream of big strange things.

C: Yeah. Like ginormous dragons, and other mythical creatures that I dream up.

S: Yes. So how else is this book connected to the one we read last week?

C: Well, this book is not as orange and blue as the other one, but it is yellow and gray. Though there are some tiny specs of blue here and there too.

S: Yes, the pages display only a few simple colors again, right? What else?

C: Colette appears in that other book too. And Albert shows up in this one!

S: Yes, these are both stories about the kids living in a neighborhood named Mile End. Wikipedia tells us that there is a Mile End neighborhood in London and another in Montreal. The one these books are about should be the one in Montreal, because according to the back cover notes about her, the author / illustrator Isabelle Arsenault lives there.

C: But it does not really matter. These are good books anyways, no matter where they’re supposed to be. And they are about kids everywhere, playing.

S: And being imaginative and just being kids themselves.

C: Yes. And this is a good place to wrap up our review.

S: I agree. And what do you want to say now?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny adventures!

Caramel enjoyed reading Colette's Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault.
Caramel enjoyed reading Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault.