Marshmallow reviews Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia

Marshmallow has been thinking a lot about bunnies lately. So she borrowed a For Dummies book from the home library: Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia. Below she writes about her thoughts on this book, her first review of a non-fiction book.

Marshmallow reviews Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia.
Marshmallow reviews Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about taking care of pets, or if you love rabbits (like I do!), then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary: This is a non-fiction book. It contains many facts about rabbits. It tells the reader how to litter box train a rabbit, how to clip the nails of a pet rabbit, and many more tidbits of information. It has a wide variety of facts. 

The book contains nineteen chapters. My favorites are Chapters 10 (Reading Your Rabbit) and 11 (Putting Boxing Gloves on Your Rabbit: Training). These chapters are about how to understand a rabbit’s behavior (Reading Your Rabbit) and how to train your rabbit (Putting Boxing Gloves on Your Rabbit

The nineteen chapters of the book are organized into five parts. My favorite part is Part 1 Bringing on the Bunny Basics. I like this part because it teaches you about the many different breeds of rabbits. 

In the introduction the author lists the people who could like this book:

This book is for you if you:

* Want a rabbit.

* Think rabbits are cool and want to know more about them.

* Have a rabbit and are considering getting another.

* Own a rabbit and are considering breeding or showing it.

* Have a rabbit (or two) and want to expand your knowledge on how to care for these pets.

Marshmallow’s Review: The book Rabbits for Dummies is about how to take care of rabbits. It is a very good book for rabbits (like me!) and rabbit lovers. Reading it can really help a person learn about rabbits. 

The book has pictures that help describe the book contents. Many are distributed in the text, but there is a small section in the middle of the book made up entirely of color photos, printed on higher quality paper.  

Marshmallow is pointing at a Holland lop rabbit, one of her favorites.
Marshmallow is pointing at a Holland lop rabbit, one of her favorites.

At the beginning of each part, there is a comic that is about the contents of that part. These are all pretty hilarious. I laughed out loud while reading some of them. 

At the beginning of each part is a single comic. Marshmallow's favorite is the one starting Part IV.
At the beginning of each part is a single comic. Marshmallow’s favorite is the one starting Part IV.

Overall this is a very good book that is educational, funny, well-written, and very entertaining. It is sure to help everyone that wants to have a pet bunny. However, be warned: it will certainly make you want a bunny even more than you did before. When she lent me the book, Sprinkles had thought that it would make me realize how much work taking care of a bunny would be, but it seems like this has backfired. I now want a bunny even more!

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%

Marshmallow rates Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia 100%.
Marshmallow rates Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Encyclopedia Brown Books 1-4 by Donald Sobol

Marshmallow loves to read detective stories with young protagonists. Below she shares some of her thoughts on the first four books of a classic series, Encyclopedia Brown, by Donald J. Sobol.

Marshmallow reviews the first four books of Donald Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown series.
Marshmallow reviews the first four books of Donald J. Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown series.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books that have very smart people in them, or if you simply like detective stories where the main character is a kid who solves crime mysteries, then this might be the book series for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): The name Encyclopedia Brown gives you the hint that he or she is very smart since an encyclopedia is a book that contains facts, A to Z. (Encyclopedia Brown’s real name is Leroy Brown. Encyclopedia is his nickname.) The truth is, yes, Encyclopedia Brown is VERY smart and has a vast amount of knowledge. Encyclopedia is also a great detective. He can solve any mystery, even if it is an eighty-five-year-old case that has been a story for a long time. 

According to Wikipedia, there are at least twenty-nine Encyclopedia Brown books, but I have read only four of them so far. Each book is less than a hundred pages and is easy to read in one day or less. In each book there are about ten stories. Sometimes the stories in one book are related to one another and have common characters. For example Sally Kimball is one of Encyclopedia Brown’s best friends and serves as his body guard. Another character who appears several times is Bugs Meany, often the criminal in the cases brought to Encyclopedia by other kids. 

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch is Marshmallow's favorite among the four.
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch is Marshmallow’s favorite among the four.

The book I like the most is book number two, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch. In that book, one of my favorite stories is The Case of the Glass of Ginger Ale. This story is about a famous blind violinist who got tricked by Hans Braun, “concert master of the Glendon Symphony”. Encyclopedia solves this mystery quickly and gets an autograph from the violinist as well.

Marshmallow is reading her favorite Encyclopedia Brown story: The Case of the Glass of Ginger Ale.
Marshmallow is reading one of her favorite Encyclopedia Brown stories: The Case of the Glass of Ginger Ale.

Another one of my favorites is The Case of the Balloon Man. In this story, a man named Izzy is suspected of kidnapping a little child named Bobby Tyler. Encyclopedia solves this mystery quickly while eating dinner. 

The Case of the Hungry Hitchhiker is a great example of how good Encyclopedia’s mystery solving skills are. In this story, a “hitchhiker” turns out to be a part of a holdup gang. Encyclopedia figures this out by a not-melted chocolate bar that should have been melted. (Especially if you have been standing outside on a ninety-three-degree day for an hour as the hitchhiker claimed.) 

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a book series that everyone will enjoy. The author puts the clues in plain sight, but it is very easy to not notice them because they are not things that will attract a lot of attention. Encyclopedia Brown is clever and always has the right answers. The answers to the mysteries are in the backs of the books. The reader will probably need to go to the end often to find out the answers to the cases that Encyclopedia Brown easily solves.

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%

Marshmallow rates Encyclopedia Brown books 1-4 95%.
Marshmallow rates Encyclopedia Brown books 1-4 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Half Magic by Edward Eager

This week Marshmallow reviews a 1954 classic, Half Magic by Edward Eager, the first book in his Tales of Magic series.

Marshmallow reviews Half Magic by Edward Eager.
Marshmallow reviews Half Magic by Edward Eager.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about magical charms, and adventure stories about a handful of siblings, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): The four siblings Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha are expecting to have a very boring summer. That is until they find the charm. The charm that works by halves. If you made a wish while touching the charm, then half of your wish would come true. So in order to get your whole wish you would have to say it in this fashion. Let’s say you wish is to have a dog appear then you would say that you wanted two dogs to appear because if you wished that one dog would appear then one half of a dog would appear. (You probably wouldn’t want to have half of a dog.)

Wishing for two times some things is a cinch, but other doubled wishes only cause twice as much trouble. What is half of twice a talking cat? Or to be half-again twice not-here? And how do you double your most heartfelt wish, the one you care about so much that it has to be perfect?

The children decide that they will take turns to use the charm. It turns out that other people have knowledge of the charm that grants wishes and they happen to want the charm. In a desert, which they travel to on Mark’s wish — he wants a desert island but the charmed coin takes them to a desert –. a man tries to abduct Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha. When he realizes that they have the charm, he says that they stole it from his people. 

On Katharine’s turn to make a wish, they travel into the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. They help stop Morgan Le Fay, an evil sorceress in this retelling of the myth, from kidnapping and killing the Knights of the Round Table.

Marshmallow is pointing toward one of her favorite parts of the book, where Jane makes a foolish decision. Here Jane is wishing that she belonged to a different family.
Marshmallow is pointing toward one of her favorite parts of the book, where Jane makes a foolish decision. Here Jane is wishing that she belonged to a different family.

They have some problems though, before they figure out how to use the charm. For instance, Martha wishes that she was not at the place she was and since she didn’t say it the way you need to, she became half there and half not there. The children eventually learn how to use it, and in the end, they have a very exciting summer, not at all the one they thought lay ahead.

Marshmallow’s Review: Half Magic is a classic and I think a great read for all ages. Written in 1954, it successfully entertained children for many years and probably will do the same for many to come. I enjoyed Half Magic very much and look forward to reading more about these characters in Edward Eager’s other novels.

Marshmallow’s rating: 100% 

Marshmallow rates Half Magic by Edward Eager 100%. And she adds: "May the Fourth Be With You!"
Marshmallow rates Half Magic by Edward Eager 100%. And she adds: “May the Fourth Be With You!”

Marshmallow reviews How to Steal A Dragon’s Sword (Book #9 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell

Marshmallow and Caramel are both into the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell these days. This week Marshmallow reviews one of her favorites in the series: How to Steal A Dragon’s Sword (Book 9).

Marshmallow reviews How To Steal A Dragon's Sword (Book 9 of the How to Train Your Dragon series) by Cressida Cowell.
Marshmallow reviews How To Steal A Dragon’s Sword (Book 9 of the How to Train Your Dragon series) by Cressida Cowell.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about dragons and Vikings then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, heir to the Throne of the Hairy Hooligans is not what you would expect a Hero to be like. He is very bad at almost everything and even worse, his cousin, Snotlout, a big bully whose main victim is Hiccup, is good at everything. Hiccup’s only talent is sword fighting and he is a complete catastrophe in everything else. Hiccup’s best friend, Fishlegs, is not any better than Hiccup is, he is worse. Hiccup and Fishlegs are both basically an embarrassment to the Hairy Hooligan tribe. But Hiccup does have a talent for coming up with “fiendishly clever plans”. 

In the second book of the series, How to Be A Pirate, Hiccup makes an enemy named Alvin the Treacherous who will try to kill Hiccup and become king of the Wilderwest. Even though the reader can tell that the obvious king of the Wilderwest is Hiccup, the Vikings are not sure that he is the king of the Wilderwest. Alvin the Treacherous and his mother, a witch named Excellinor, have been trying to kill Hiccup for the past few years. If Alvin became king, he would try to kill all the dragons instead of trying to negotiate with them. 

It just so happens that in the eighth book of the series, How to Break A Dragon’s Heart, Hiccup releases a dragon named Furious who hates all humans (because he had a bad relationship with a human) and so is now out to find and kill all humans and for once and for all exterminate all humans. So now in this ninth book of the series, not only Alvin the Treacherous is out to kill Hiccup but there is also Furious’ rebellion, called the Red Rage, to deal with. The only person who can save the human race is the king of the Wilderwest.

To determine who is the king of the Wilderwest, the witch Excellinor challenges everyone to have a sword fighting competition. The king of the Wilderwest will save them from the terrible rebellion of dragons who are trying to kill all people, children and adults alike. 

Marshmallow's favorite page of How To Steal A Dragon's Sword.
Marshmallow’s favorite page of How To Steal A Dragon’s Sword.

Hiccup wins the sword fighting competition. He gets first place, his father gets the second, and Alvin the Treacherous gets the third place. Hiccup then is crowned king but then the witch Excellinor reveals the Slavemark that the Wanderers stamped him with. The Slavemark is the ultimate mark of shame and so he is eliminated and the witch says that Hiccup’s father should be eliminated too because he is Hiccup’s father and so Alvin the Treacherous is crowned King of the Wilderwest. How will Hiccup stop Alvin from trying to kill all dragons?      

Marshmallow’s Review: The book How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword(#9) is a very good book that makes you want to read the tenth book of the series. Of course you might want to read the previous eight books of the series first. But you might still enjoy this one even if it is the first How To Train Your Dragon book you ever read. The cliffhanger at the end is infuriating and makes you need to know what happens next. The author wrote a book which is a very funny read that everyone will enjoy. 

Marshmallow’s rating: 95% 

Marshmallow rates How To Steal A Dragon's Sword 95%.
Marshmallow rates How To Steal A Dragon’s Sword 95%.