Marshmallow reviews The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf

Today Marshmallow reviews The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf, a book that combines the joys of cooking and science experiments.

Marshmallow reviews The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf.
Marshmallow reviews The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about cooking and science, then this might be the book for you. In fact if you like to play with food, this might be a good book to check out!

Marshmallow’s Summary: The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids has twenty five “edible experiments” you can cook, from cheese fondue to chocolate chip cookies. Some other recipes include rainbow pasta, caramel candy, banana bread, smoothie and acidic fruit. Each of the recipes has a note from the author, Kate Biberdorf, a messiness level, and of course, ingredients and instructions. Some of the recipes also have experiments you can conduct with the food, and some have explanations for the chemistry in the foods.

Marshmallow is reading about banana bread in The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf.
Marshmallow is reading about banana bread in The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf.

For example in the chapter on banana bread, we are given a recipe and really delicious looking pictures of banana bread, but also we are provided with directions on a neat experiment on ripening bananas. The main question is: How do we speed up the ripening of bananas? There are three possible ways and you are supposed to try them all to see which works best. And in the end, with the ripened bananas, you make the banana bread and eat it! The chapter contains information about bananas and the chemical process of ripening fruit.

The author Kate Bibendorf is a chemist by training, and she is a professor of chemistry at the University of Texas Austin. She also has written a series of fiction books about a character named Kate the Chemist, but I have not read those books yet.

Marshmallow is reading about the acidity of different fruits in The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf.
Marshmallow is reading about the acidity of different fruits in The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that this a good book that can help young bunnies and their parents have fun in the kitchen. The recipes are simple and creative. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I think I will soon. In fact I could like to try the banana bread recipe, but our bananas are already ripe, so we could not do the experiments. Hmm…

There are a lot of pictures in this book. Most of them display how to make the foods, and others show the author with the finished product. They are all very colorful, and the book is all very cheerful overall. The author is always laughing or smiling, and the food looks delicious!

This book is appropriate for all ages because young bunnies can do all of the experiments with a parent. The experiments might be more fun for ages 6 and up. I am sure all ages will enjoy eating the final products though.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf 95%.
Marshmallow rates The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf 95%.

Caramel reviews A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher

Over the summer Caramel got into keeping a notebook where he doodles sketches and writes stories. Today he reviews the book that inspired it all: A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.
Caramel reviews A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us a bit about this book.

Caramel: This book is about keeping a writer’s notebook.

S: What is a writer’s notebook?

C: A notebook where writers put writing about their everyday lives. Things they see, think of, and read about. They use it to capture interesting points in the past, so that they can remember them.

S: So it is like a journal, in some ways. They write notes on what is going on and what they think about those things. So how is a writer’s notebook different from a journal? What makes a writer’s notebook a writer’s notebook?

C: Hmm, I am not sure.

S: Maybe it has something to do with the person being a writer?

C: Yes, because if you are a writer, you come back to what you wrote and think about it and maybe you can use it in your stories or poems and so on.

S: So a writer’s notebook is basically a journal, but the person keeping it uses it for their writing purposes.

C: Yes.

Caramel is reading A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.
Caramel is reading A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.

S: So what is in the book exactly?

C: There are chapters about how different people use their writer’s notebooks. For example, there is a chapter about writing down memories of events that were important to you. Then there is a chapter where you learn that you can also write about really small things, things that might be interesting but not really important. But then somehow those might be useful later if you are writing a story or something.

S: I see.

C: There is a chapter called Fierce Wonderings, which is about how you can also write in your notebook about things that you want to know more about. There is a chapter about listening in on other people’s conversations and taking notes if they sound interesting.

S: I guess that teaches you about interesting dialogue.

C: I guess so. You can also have seed ideas.

S: What are those?

C: A seed idea is an idea that you can build on, so for example the author writes about someone who kept collecting facts about spiders.

S: That reminds me of your notebook, where you keep drawing different robot models.

C: Yes.

S: I think yours is not only a writer’s notebook, but rather, an artist’s notebook. Because you are drawing more than writing.

C: I guess so. But I think the idea is the same.

S: Yes, I can see that. You also keep drawing similar things and try to improve on the details. I think sometimes writers do that in their notebooks too.

C: Writers also put other people’s sentences and ideas in their notebooks too, if they like it.

S: And that is kind of similar to when you were trying to draw Eve in your notebook, inspired by the female robot in the movie Wall-E. You like how she is drawn and want to see if you can draw something similar.

C: Yes.

S: So do you also write stories or even shorter things in your notebook?

C: Yes. I have a few sentences here and there.

S: Do you like keeping a notebook?

C: Yes. Because then I can draw things whenever I want.

S: I can see how that is appealing. So let us get back to this book. What three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Many voices because the author shares writings of many other people, many of them are kids like me. Good ideas to get started with your own notebook… And … quick. It is a short book so I read it quickly.

S: That was definitely more than three words, but you did provide us with three distinct features of the book. Thank you. So let us wrap things up. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher, and will probably continue to doodle and write in his notebook in the coming months and years. .
Caramel enjoyed reading A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher, and will probably continue to doodle and write in his notebook in the coming months and years.

Caramel reviews Dinosaurs (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #1) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne

A while back, Caramel inherited Marshmallow’s collection of Magic Tree House books and he has been going through them. (For his reviews of books in the series, see Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5), Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6), Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7), Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8), Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House #9), Ghost Town at Sundown (Magic Tree House #10), and Lions at Lunchtime (Magic Tree House #11).) He has also been revisiting the accompanying Fact Tracker books. (For his reviews of some of the Fact Tracker books, see Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2) and Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17).) Today he decided to discuss the first ever Fact Tracker book in the series: Dinosaurs. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews Dinosaurs (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #1) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel reviews Dinosaurs (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #1) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne.

Sprinkles: Okay Caramel, tell me about this book.

Caramel: This is the first Fact Tracker book for the Magic Tree House books. It is supposed to be paired up with the first Magic Tree House book, Dinosaurs Before Dark.

S: Hmm, you did not review that book, but you did read it of course. Right?

C: Right. That was where we first met Jack and Annie, and learned about the magic tree house. In that book, Jack and Annie went back to the time of the dinosaurs.

S: And so this book is written to accompany that one for young bunnies like you who like to learn more facts about the topic of the book.

C: Yes, I always want to know more about dinosaurs and things.

S: I know. You already reviewed a book about dinosaurs for our blog, The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab.

C: Yes. And I reviewed a whole lot of How Do Dinosaurs … books by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague last week.

S: Of course those latter ones were not really about dinosaurs though they did have a lot of pretty precise drawings. But let us get back to this Fact Tracker book.

the biggest C: Yeah. This book tells us everything humans know about dinosaurs. There are pages for Tyrannosaurus rex, and other meat eaters, and then there are pages and pages of information on plant eating dinosaurs like sauropods, triceratops, and ankylosauruses. Then there is a Hall of Fame. There are lists of the fastest, the biggest, and the ones with the biggest heads, biggest eyes, and the longest necks, and the longest names, and so on.

S: Hmm, what is the one with the biggest eyes?

C: Dromiceiomimus! They had enormous eyes apparently.

S: I had not heard of those before!

Caramel is reading about Tyrannosaurus Rex in Dinosaurs (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #1) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne.
Caramel is reading about Tyrannosaurus Rex in Dinosaurs (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #1) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne.

S: So even though you are a little bunny who already knew a lot about dinosaurs, you found new things to learn in this book, right?

C: Yep. For example, I learned more about the ankylosauruses. And I learned that the stegosaurus has a brain the size of a hot dog, so small for a dinosaur of that size.

S: So I know you often reread books you have read before. Do you think you will come back to this one again?

C: Yes. I love this book because it is about dinosaurs and I love dinosaurs. And I like the pictures! And sometimes, I forget some facts and then I can remember them when I read the book again.

S: So tell me more about the pictures?

C: They are black and white but very realistic. They are almost 3D, and there are some photographs. I love looking at them. My favorite is the ankylosaurus!

S: That is great Caramel. Tell me your three word summary of this book. Which three words would you use to describe it?

C: Informative, helpful, neat facts, and cool drawings.

S: Hmm, again that is a little bit more than three words, but it’s alright. So let us wrap up our review then. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading Dinosaurs (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #1) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne, and expects he will be coming back to it for tidbits on dinosaurs many more times in the future.
Caramel enjoyed reading Dinosaurs (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #1) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne, and expects he will be coming back to it for tidbits on dinosaurs many more times in the future.

Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done for Teens by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace

Marshmallow has always been a curious little bunny. She has always been eager to learn about the world as well as about how our minds work. Recently she got her paws on a book for teens, written by David Allen, the David Allen, of GTD fame, together with Mike Williams and Mark Wallace, about the way our minds work and about how to build a fulfilling life in a world full of distractions: Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World. Though she is not yet a teen, Marshmallow found this book extremely interesting and eye-opening. Below is her review of this neat little book, perfect for teens and tweens as well as the adults in their lives.

Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace.
Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like how-to books or books about time management, organization, and self-improvement, or if you want to understand how your mind works and how to take control of your life, then this might just be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Overview: Getting Things Done for Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World is non-fiction, and it aims to teach the reader literally how to take control of their work and/or life. There are two main characters in the book: Cortland, an owl who represents the prefrontal cortex, and Myggy, a monkey who represents the amygdala. Like the prefrontal cortex, Cortland is slower and more thoughtful than Myggy. Myggy, on the other hand, is quick and makes decisions without a lot of thought. The book starts with an overview of how these two parts of the brain help us make decisions, and then introduces the basic features of the Getting Things Done perspective on living a life.

Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about "open loops", the things your mind feels like it needs to keep track of unless you resolve the issue about them or at least record them somewhere so you know you will get back to them later.
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about what you need to do about “open loops”, the things your mind feels like it needs to keep track of unless you resolve the issue about them or at least record them somewhere so you know you will get back to them later.

The quick summary is that the book helps teenager bunnies organize their work and how to get their lives in order. It does this by teaching the reader how to deal with “stuff” in their minds. Some examples of “stuff” that one might need to deal with are classes, homework, bullying, college applications, and parent pressure.  

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book for bunnies that want to be better at organizing their life or work. There is a lot of information and useful advice packed into the book. But it does not get boring because the tone is light and humorous. Scenarios used to explain things are all realistic. There are helpful graphs, for example about stress and about things teens worry about. Also there are pictures on basically every other page. The illustrations of Cortland and Myggy, especially, are everywhere and keep reminding you of how your mind works in different ways.

There are also inspiring quotes sprinkled throughout. One of the quotes I really liked is:

“I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”

Emma Watson
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about the "someday / maybe" list, a list that you can put things that you want to do some day but maybe it is not yet time to work towards them.
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about the “someday / maybe” list, a list that you can put things that you want to do some day but maybe it is not yet time to work towards them.

Though Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World has ideas that can be useful for everyone, I think it might be best for 9 and up. One of the reasons is because Myggy sometimes uses informal (and for some, inappropriate) words, but also because the methods might confuse younger bunnies. And younger bunnies might have fewer things that they can control in their lives and fewer things to have to worry about. In the other direction, Sprinkles told me that she thinks the book could help grownup bunnies, too. She thinks that this book does a great job explaining how the mind works and how this knowledge can help us organize our work so that our lives become much more manageable and enjoyable.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rated Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace 100%, and recommends it highly.
Marshmallow rated Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace 100%, and recommends it highly.