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%.

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 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 The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook by Media Lab Books

Marshmallow began this blog with a review of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. So it was only natural that eventually she would come back to one of her favorite fictional worlds: the magical world of Harry Potter. This week she tells us about a fun book she has been carrying around with her for a while now: The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World by Media Lab Books.

Marshmallow reviews The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books.
Marshmallow reviews The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked the Harry Potter series, or more generally if you like books about magic, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary: This is not really a typical book. It is an amazing guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Every single spell that you heard in the movies or read about in the books, even the ones that are barely mentioned, are included in this book. It also lists where the spell or charm was used or mentioned, whether in the books, the movies, the video games, or somewhere else.  Each entry describes the gestures you need to perform the spell and how to pronounce the incantation. On top of that, it also has the different wand cores and woods. Also it tells you which wand types the main characters had. It also informs the reader about Enchanted Objects like the Goblet of Fire and Candy. 

The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook is great for bunnies who want to learn the spells that are used by the wizards and witches in the Harry Potter world. It also teaches the reader more about the World of Harry Potter. My favorite spell in the book is “Dragonifors”.

Dragonifors
Type: Transfiguration
Use: Turns small objects into dragons
Etymology: In Latin, draco means “dragon” and forma means “shape”
Magic Moment: Minerva McGonagall teaches this spell in third-year Transfiguration class
Note: This spell is only seen in the Prisoner of Azkaban video game.
Produces much smaller, less powerful creatures than true dragons.

Marshmallow is reading her favorite spells in The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books.
Marshmallow is reading her favorite spells in The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book that is meant for Harry Potter fans. The comments in the book like “Swish and Flick” remind you of the movies. It has every spell and is very interesting to read. The comments on the back are also very interesting.

Who needs The Standard Book of Spells when you have this?

Horace Belby,  former Hogwarts student

The book does not tell us a new story from the Harry Potter world, but it is a book you would expect to see at Hogwarts, similar to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (which was of course actually written by J.K. Rowling). This book also contains incantations from that story.

Readers of this blog might recall that my very first review was of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. So obviously I am a Harry Potter fan. Years ago, I began trying to write a notebook on the Wizarding World. I wrote down a lot of things, but I got stuck on the spells. This book was exactly what I needed!

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books, 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook: A Complete Guide to Every Spell in the Wizarding World, by Media Lab Books, 100%.