Marshmallow reviews The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Marshmallow reviewed Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo before. Today she shares with us her thoughts on another book by DiCamillo: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. (The book bunnies were looking forward to seeing the theatre adaptation of Edward Tulane before the pandemic started. Maybe some other time…)

Marshmallow reviews The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.
Marshmallow reviews The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like Kate DiCamillo’s books or you enjoy books about friendship, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Edward Tulane is Abilene’s china rabbit and he thinks that he is very civilized. He has multiple suits that have holes for his tail, hats that have holes for his ears, and he even has a pocket watch that can be wound which Abilene, the little girl who owns him, does for him every day. When she goes to school, she wounds his pocket watch and tells him when she will come back.

When Abilene tells Edward that she loves him, he doesn’t give it a second thought, and instead thinks about the stars. He is very full of himself, and Abilene’s grandmother Pellegrina notices. One night, she tells Abilene a story about a beautiful princess who did not love anyone. At the end of the story, the princess is turned into a warthog and then eaten. When Pellegrina finishes her story, she comes over to Edward and says, “You disappoint me.”

Soon the Tulane family boards a ship that will take them to England, but Pellegrina stays behind. On the ship, two mean boys grab Edward from Abilene and toss him around. Abilene pushes on one of the boys and he misses the other, and so with that “Edward Tulane fell overboard.”

Marshmallow is reading the part of Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane where Edward finally has "the proper outlaw look"--now he finally looks "like a rabbit on the run".
Marshmallow is reading the part of Kate DiCamillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane where Edward finally has “the proper outlaw look”–now he finally looks “like a rabbit on the run”.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is my favorite among Kate DiCamillo’s books that I have read so far. It is not part of a series so you can read it by itself.

In The Miraculous Journey, many years and months pass, and DiCamillo is able to make the reader believe that time actually passes.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane can be read by all ages of bunnies. Caramel and Sprinkles also really liked (listening to) it, but is probably best for young bunnies.

It is really neat to see how Edward’s character changes over the course of his journey. There are also many interesting characters. One of these is Pellegrina, Abilene’s grandmother, who Edward suspects had something to do with his journey. While Edward is in the ocean, he thinks about Pellegrina’s story and realizes that she is like the witch, in the sense that she is punishing him for not loving Abilene back while she loves him so much.

I think the best part is the end of the book, but I can’t tell you the end because it would spoil the book. So if you want to know the end you will need to read the book yourself.

Here is a trailer for the book I really enjoyed watching:

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow already reviewed the first book of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief. Today she reviews the second book: The Sea of Monsters. It might be helpful to have read that first book (or at least Marshmallow’s review of it) to understand the following.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about mythology and the Greek gods, and especially if you liked reading the first book (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Percy’s second summer at Camp Half-Blood is not going to be fun and games. But to understand the reason why, we need to go back in time to when Annabeth, a friend of Percy’s, first came to camp. During this time, Thalia, a half-blood daughter of Zeus, sacrificed herself in order to save her three friends, Annabeth, Luke, and Grover. She fought the approaching monsters. As she was dying, her father Zeus turned her into a pine tree with a powerful enchantment. Thalia’s tree put a magical barrier around the gates of Camp Half-Blood that protects the rest of the half-bloods that are trying to enter the camp.

Back in the present, when someone poisons Thalia’s tree, the camp’s magical borders are broken, and all of the half-bloods are in danger. They have no borders to protect them, and monsters are all attracted to the half-bloods, and when they find them, they usually kill them. So, the only way to protect the only safe haven for half-bloods is to find the Golden Fleece. (According to Wikipedia, the story of the Golden Fleece involves many other powers and interpretations. In this story, it is said to have the power to cure anything.)

Unfortunately, a Cyclops who does not want to give it away guards the golden fleece. This Cyclops lives in the Sea of Monsters (which just happens to be the Bermuda Triangle), where Percy’s father does not have much power. (We learn in the first book that Percy’s father is Poseidon, the god of the sea. We also learn there that all half-bloods have one human parent, and the other is an Olympian god or goddess.) So the camp sends out Clarisse, a daughter of Ares who Percy has many disagreements with, to find the Golden Fleece. Percy thinks that Clarisse will not be able to find it, so he decides that he and his friends will do it.

Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book for people who like to read Rick Riordan books or like mythology. You do have to have read the first book or watched the first movie (though the movie does introduce many new events and skips out on some others from the book) to know the backstory of the main characters. The main plot is intriguing and I did not suspect the reason why Thalia’s tree was poisoned.

The Sea of Monsters is a very good book for all ages. Caramel and Sprinkles also enjoyed the second book.

After reading this second book of the series, the book bunnies household watched the second movie. Here is a trailer:

We thought this movie was much better. Annabeth became blonder (like in the book), and Clarisse, who is my favorite character, finally appeared. It did include a lot of events that do not happen in the books at all. Still it was a fun movie to watch.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (Book 2 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Today Marshmallow reviews another classic, Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell, first published in 1960. She has been reading a school copy of this book with her class and she was fascinated to learn that the story was based on a real young Native American girl who lived alone for many years on San Nicolas Island during the 19th century.

Marshmallow reviews Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.
Marshmallow reviews Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about finding friends in unexpected places, or young people surviving very difficult situations, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers):  Twelve-year-old Karana has lived on the Island of the Blue Dolphins for all her life with her family. So when her father, the chief, is killed, her tribe’s new chief decides that he will leave the island. He does not return and then white missionaries come and tell them that they need to pack up and get on their ships. When the boats are leaving, Karana realizes that her brother Ramo is not on any of the boats. When she runs to find him, she learns that he had left to find his fishing spear. Then they realize that the ships have left without them. 

Later while they are on the island alone, Karana leaves to collect needed items and comes back to find Ramo dead. Wild dogs had killed him and so she decided that she would take revenge on the wild dogs. So she builds weapons, which is against her tribe’s laws because women are not allowed to make weapons. So as she continues to try to get revenge she eventually makes friends with one of the wild dogs, whom she names Rontu.

Eventually she makes a hut (my favorite part) and a fence around it to make something sort of like a yard. And so she gets used to living on the island. But still she wonders if the ships will return.

Marshmallow is reading Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.
Marshmallow is reading Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a sad and well-written book. It is so sad how Karana’s father and brother die and she is left alone on the island without any one else. I felt really sad that Karana was left alone and she had to survive all by herself.

Island of the Blue Dolphins is a very moving book that every bunny should read at some point. It is a very good book for (probably older) readers. It might be sad for younger ones.

Reading Island of the Blue Dolphins can make the reader wonder what they would do if they were in Karana’s situation. I think that it would be very difficult for me to do all she has done, especially to build a house all by myself because I’m a bunny.

The book shows that humans can be very cruel to each other because people who had come to hunt otters on Karana’s island killed Karana’s father. But it also shows that humans can be very resourceful because Karana is very young but manages to survive on the island all by herself.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell 95%.
Marshmallow rates Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

The book bunny household has enjoyed almost every book they read of Kate DiCamillo. Today Marshmallow reviews one of her favorites: Flora and Ulysses.

Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.
Marshmallow reviews Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked reading any other book by Kate DiCamillo, such as Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and  Mercy Watson, or if you like books about unexpected friendships, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): “Cynic” Flora Belle Buckman’s knowledge is put to the test when her neighbor runs over a squirrel with a vacuum. She knows a lot of things about tumors and other things that can go wrong in life. But one thing that she has yet to learn is how to perform CPR on a squirrel. Which is exactly what she does.

While the vacuum is about to suck up the squirrel, his only thought is, “FOOD!” Not, “I don’t want to die!” or “This is the end.” As the squirrel is waking up, he hears a voice, Flora’s, saying, “Breathe!” And so he does.

When he wakes up he is a different squirrel. And he is very, VERY hungry. So Flora sneaks him into her house. And she names him Ulysses after the vacuum that sucked him up (the Ulysses 2000X).

When Flora and her mother go to sleep, Ulysses goes and raids the pantry and then starts to type on Flora’s mother’s typewriter. He writes: 

“Squirtel! I am. Ulysses. Born anew.”          

Flora’s mother gets upset because she doesn’t know about Ulysses, and so she thinks that Flora typed it. When she eventually finds out about Ulysses, she tells Flora’s dad (they are divorced), to put Ulysses in a sack, then hit Ulysses on the head with a shovel (which will “put him out of his misery”), and then bury him with the shovel.

When Flora hears about this plan, she gets very upset. She is not only upset that her mother could be so cruel to a squirrel but also because she is upset about Mary Ann, her mother’s lamp. Flora’s mother says that she loves Mary Ann with all her heart even though she never says that about Flora. Flora is understandably upset, but she tries to ignore it by saying that she is a cynic and she doesn’t care, but she actually really does. 

Marshmallow is reading Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.
Marshmallow is reading Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.

Marshmallow’s Review: This book is both heartwarming and funny. Kate DiCamillo did a very good job of writing a funny book that can also make the reader happier.

Flora and Ulysses has a lot of interesting characters. For example, Ulysses the squirrel is a very interesting character and it is very funny how his only thought before he got sucked up by the vacuum and became smarter was, “FOOD!” Flora is also a very interesting character. She likes reading Incandesto, a comic book about a janitor who fell into a large pool of a cleaning liquid and became a superhero. And Flora really likes reading the comic strip that is at the end of every Incandesto book, called Terrible Things Can Happen to You! which is how she determines that she is a cynic. 

 Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo 100%.
Marshmallow rates Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo 100%.