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.

Caramel reviews Albert’s Quiet Quest by Isabelle Arsenault

Caramel has recently gotten his paws on a few books by Isabelle Arsenault. Below he reviews Albert’s Quiet Quest. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Albert's Quiet Quest by Isabelle Arsenault.
Caramel reviews Albert’s Quiet Quest by Isabelle Arsenault.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what is this book about?

Caramel: It’s about a boy named Albert who wants to read a book. And inside of his house is too noisy so he goes out to find a quiet place to read.

S: That sounds like our home sometimes, right? We do make a lot of noise.

C: Yeah. We are noisy bunnies.

S: So this Albert wants to find a quiet place to read. Have you ever felt like that yourself?

C: Yep. Sometimes when I am trying to calm myself down, I want it to be quiet.

S: But it is not always quiet, right? So you could totally appreciate how Albert must have felt.

C: Yep. So he goes out and looks for a place to read.

S: Does he find it?

C: Yes. He goes to an alley way and finds a painting of a beach.

S: Then he pulls a chair to sit across from the painting and dreams that he is on that beach, right?

C: Yep.

S: What happens then? Can he read in peace and quiet?

C: No not really. Many friends come by and ask him to help them. They ask him to play with them and so on.

Caramel is looking at the page when things get a little too noisy on Albert's "beach".
Caramel is looking at the page when things get a little too noisy on Albert’s “beach”.

S: So he gets kind of mad at them, right?

C: Yes. He screams: “That’s it! Quiet! For Pete’s sake, can’t someone read a book around here or what?!”

Caramel is looking at the page when Albert loses his cool.
Caramel is looking at the page when Albert loses his cool.

S: Hmm, that is not terribly nice, is it? He is understandably upset but he doesn’t need to scream at people.

C: Ah, Sprinkles. This sounds like somebody familiar. You too sometimes get pretty annoyed and scream!

S: Hmm. So I do. It is hard to keep one’s cool sometimes, right?

C: Yep. I get mad too sometimes.

S: Well, that’s kind of why we read all those books about training your angry dragon, right?

C: Yes.

S: What happens to Albert afterwards?

C: His friends get mad at him too. And then they all laugh together.

S: So this is a happy end, right?

C: Yes.

S: So did you like the book?

C: Yep. It’s a good book. It is kind of like a comic book, but the pictures are more like drawing than comics.

S: The color scheme is also very distinctive. All blues and oranges and grays and whites.

C: It’s mostly white. And orange is my favorite color. It’s awesome!

S: So you liked the pictures too, right?

C: Yes. I really liked the part where he is thinking of the beach.

S: Yes, he looks so calm and peaceful there.

C: Yes, he puts his hands behind his head and he is smiling. It’s like he is saying: “This is the life!”

S: Yes! You’re right.

C: And this is our life. And it is time to say: “Stay tuned for more book bunny adventures!”

Caramel really enjoyed reading Albert's Quiet Quest by Isabelle Arsenault.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Albert’s Quiet Quest by Isabelle Arsenault.