Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson

A few weeks ago Caramel reviewed a beautiful nonfiction book titled The Magnificent Book of Animals, illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. Today he decided to talk about a similar book: The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures, once again illustrated by Val Walerczuk and written by Tom Jackson. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.
Caramel reviews The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.

Sprinkles: I have been seeing you read and reread this book for the last few weeks. What is it about?

Caramel: It’s about ocean animals. Well, there is also corals…

S: Are corals animals?

C: They’re made of polyps which are little animals. Tiny, probably microscopic.

S: Hmm, let’s see. Wikipedia tells us that corals are made up of polyps as you said. And polyps are tiny invertebrates but nowhere do I see how big they are. So I guess I will take your word for it for now…

C: Oh, wait, I want to tell you this fact: Polyps are relatives of jellyfish! Did you know that?

S: No!

C: And they have “tentacles for sifting food from water”.

S: That is interesting Caramel! I can see why you find this book fascinating! It is full of interesting facts.

C: Yep. Let me tell you a few facts about my favorite ocean creature in this book.

S: Oh, I am curious. What is it about?

C: Here, I found it: Flying fish!

Flying fish do not actually fly. They leap out of the water at high speeds and then glide on their winglike fins. The fish glide to escape larger predators that are attacking them underwater.

Caramel is reading his favorite pages (about flying fish) in The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.
Caramel is reading his favorite pages (about flying fish) in The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson.

S: This is all very interesting!

C: There’s more!

S: But we should talk more about the book more generally. So tell me more about the book. What creatures are described in it?

C: I’ll tell you all of the animals in this book.

S: So you’ll read me the table of contents basically?

C: Yes.

S: That’s alright. Go ahead.

C: Sea otter, walrus, hooded seal, blue whale, humpback whale, narwhal, orca (killer whale), bottlenose dolphin, manatee, yellowfin tuna, marine iguana, whale shark, great white shark, ocean sunfish, manta ray, oarfish, humpback anglerfish, sea horse, queen parrotfish, clownfish, green sea turtle, lionfish, sailfish, flying fish, tufted puffin, emperor penguin, pelican, giant clam, lobster, giant Pacific octopus, giant squid, insulamon freshwater crab, sea slug, sea star, lion’s mane jellyfish, and coral.

S: Wow! That is a lot of creatures. And just like in the other Magnificient Book you reviewed, each of these animals gets two pages to itself, right?

C: Yes. And they also have amazing drawings! They are actually hand-drawn! It’s amazing!

S: I know! Some people are really good at drawing and illustrating, right?

C: They’re so good! They’re out of this world! At first I actually thought they were photos, but no, they are hand-drawn.

S: Yes, I am sure the illustrator worked really hard on them. And she must have worked really hard to get this good!

C: This reminds me of a quote, I do not know who it is from: “We do not do it because it is easy. We do it because it is hard.”

S: Oh, that is President John F. Kennedy’s speech about going to the moon. Here is the full transcript. The part you are remembering is:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. 

Isn’t it an inspiring speech? And you are right in remembering it just now. Good illustrators work hard at their craft, and even if they probably find drawing easier than you and me, drawing that well needs a lot of hard work.

C: I guess all that hard work be tiring.

S: Probably. But in the end they have a truly magnificent book!

C: Yes!

S: Okay, Caramel. Let us wrap this up. Do you want to rate it again, by finding three words to describe this book?

C: Yes. Here they are: Awesome, amazing, beautiful.

S: Well, these basically say the same thing, but I know what you mean. The book is beautiful. Alright, here are my three words: “colorful”, “big”, because it is a pretty big book, and “interesting”, because there are a lot of interesting facts in this book that I did not know about.

C: I agree!

S: Ok, and now you tell everyone:

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson, and is looking forward to many more reads where he will study once again the many amazing creatures of the world's oceans.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson, and is looking forward to many more reads where he will study once again the many amazing creatures of the world’s oceans.

Caramel reviews Narwhal’s Otter Friend by Ben Clanton

Caramel enjoyed reading the quirky adventures of Narwhal and Jelly in Narwhal: The Unicorn of the Sea!, Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. Here he shares his thoughts on the fourth book in Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly series: Narwhal’s Otter Friend. Sprinkles is taking notes and occasionally asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Narwhal's Otter Friend by Ben Clanton.
Caramel reviews Narwhal’s Otter Friend by Ben Clanton.

Sprinkles: Caramel, you are reading another Narwhal and Jelly story! Tell me about this one!

Caramel: Narwhal finds a new friend, an otter. And Jelly gets jealous. Even the title of the second chapter is Jealous Jelly.

S: So Jelly is worried about losing his best friend, right?

C: Yes, but he’s ok at the end. They all of them become good friends. And they go to outer space together for new adventures!

S: Did this story feel familiar to you Caramel? Did you ever find yourself in Jelly’s position? Or how about Narwhal? Or the otter in fact?

C: I feel more like the otter actually. I meet many new people every day. I like making new friends. And I like to pretend to be a river otter sometimes.

S: You do love to swim, don’t you?

C: Yep! Very very much! Can I tell you my favorite facts now?

S: Ok Caramel. But this time the facts are about otter, right?

C: Yes there are some otter facts in the book, but I want to tell you about jellyfish! Did you know that people fed jellyfish peanut butter?

“Aquarists (people who keep or maintain aquariums) at the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, tried feeding peanut butter to moon jellyfish and found out that the jellyfish cold thrive on it!”

And here is another fact about jellyfish I like:

“A jellyfish’s body is made up of about 95% water!”

And next to it there is a jellyfish saying “What-er?” Get it? It’s “what” and “water” at the same time!

S: That is funny Caramel. And that is a lot of water in the jellyfish. Do you know how much water we have in our bodies?

C: I thought 75% or something, right?

S: Apparently an adult human is 60% water, but since we are bunnies, we would need to look elsewhere. This reference guide says we are about two thirds water!

C: That’s still a lot of water. But jellyfish have still more water!

S: That is really interesting Caramel… Jellyfish do kind of feel watery don’t they? Remember you touched some moon jellyfish in that touch tank at the aquarium?

C: Yep. I remember. They were very smooth! One of them had a scar on its top…

S: Oh that’s sad Caramel… I wonder how it got the scar.

C: Maybe it got scratched by one of the kids touching it?

S: Yes, we have to be gentle with the creatures in the touch tank, right?

C: Right.

S: OK Caramel, tell me about how the book is organized. Does it have its usual three chapters and a fact chapter and a superhero chapter again?

C: I don’t remember. Let me look again. Yep! The superhero story is called Strawberry Sidekick vs The Deviled Egg this time.

S: The Sidekick is Jelly and the Egg is the otter? And Sidekick feels “egg-nored”, right?

C: Yes! Jelly is still mad at the otter at this point of the book. But then in the last chapter things all get better.

S: That sounds really neat Caramel. What did you like most about this book?

C: The pictures! I keep reading and reading the book over and over again.

S: Yes, there is not yet a fifth Narwhal and Jelly book. I’m sure you will be reading the fifth one as soon as it gets out, right?

C: Yup! I’m looking forward to it!

S: Till then, what are you going to do?

C: I guess I’ll read the four books I have again and again.

S: That’s commitment! We will still need to find another book to review next week.

C: Perhaps. I’m trying to sound mysterious here.

S: Yes, indeed you do sound mysterious Caramel! A great way to end your review!

C: Yay! Let me say it again: Stay tuned for more reviews from the Book Bunnies!

Caramel really enjoyed Narwhal's Otter Friend!
Caramel really enjoyed Narwhal’s Otter Friend!

Caramel reviews Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clanton

Caramel enjoyed reading the hilarious adventures of Narwhal and Jelly in Narwhal: The Unicorn of the Sea! and Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt. Below he shares his thoughts on the third book in Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly series: Peanut Butter and Jelly. Sprinkles is taking notes and occasionally asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Peanut Butter and Jelly, by Ben Clanton.
Caramel reviews Peanut Butter and Jelly, by Ben Clanton.

Sprinkles: Caramel, you can’t seem to have enough of these Narwhal and Jelly books!

Caramel: Because I love them! I can’t wait till the next book comes out.

S: You are planning a review of the next one too, right?

C: Yes, but let me first tell you about this one. In this book Narwhal finds out that he loves peanut butter. He eats so much peanut butter that he turns yellow. He eats all the peanut butter in the whole wide world, and then gets very small. He is as small as a peanut! And he’s still yellow!

S: So what happens when there’s no more peanut butter to eat?

C: He goes back to waffles. And peanut butter when he can find it.

S: That sounds so funny! Ok, let us look at the book together. Is the book organized in a similar way to the previous ones?

C: Yes, there are again three chapters, and a fact section (Delicious Facts) and another superhero story (Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick vs PB&J). Can I tell you my favorite fact from this one? Or two?

S: Ok, let us hear it Caramel.

C: Here I go:

“Scientists believe narwhals suck up their food whole and eat mainly fish.”

and

“Sea cucumbers eat all sorts of things, including poop.”

And right next to this fact is a slimy sea cucumber saying “Yummy!” These books are so funny!

S: You especially appreciated the yummy poop joke, I’m sure!

C: Yes!

S: I could guess! Ok, what else do you want to tell us about this book?

C: Can I just read one chapter out loud?

S: Yes, but only to me. Others have to read the book themselves!

C: Fine. (Caramel reads out loud the chapter titled “Ahoy! Peanut Butter?”, giggling all the way through.)

S: So we learn a lot about Narwhal in this book, right?

C: He gets funnier and funnier in every book. And Jelly looks very confused all the time. And did you know that the author Ben Clanton ate 41 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while writing this book?

S: Wow! That’s a lot of PB&J sandwiches! So Caramel, which character feels closer to you? Do you think you are more like Narwhal or more like Jelly?

C: Jelly! No Narwhal. I love peanut butter, too! I kind of even feel like a peanut sometimes.

S: You are kind of small for now, that’s true. Ok, so let us wrap this up. How would you complete this sentence:

What I liked most about this book is …

C: Peanut Butter! That is Narwhal’s new name in this book. Because he is funny.

S: Thanks Caramel. I’m looking forward to your next review.

C: So am I!

Caramel loved Peanut Butter and Jelly!
Caramel loved Peanut Butter and Jelly!

Caramel’s second review: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt, by Ben Clanton

Caramel enjoyed reading the hilarious adventures of Narwhal and Jelly in Narwhal: The Unicorn of the Sea! Below he shares his thoughts on the second book of the series: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt, by Ben Clanton. Sprinkles is taking notes.

Caramel reviews Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton.
Caramel reviews Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton.

Sprinkles: What do you want to tell us about this book Caramel?

Caramel: This is the second book about the adventures of Narwhal and Jellyfish. In this one, Narwhal is a superhero. And Jellyfish is his super side kick. Can I just read out loud to you a bit?

S: Sure!

C: Here I go!

“Ahoy Jelly! I was just about to go for a swim. After that I’ll have something for lunch. Probably a waffle! And then … I’m going to become a superhero!”

C: It’s very tempting to read! I want to continue to read it to you!

S: Why do you like it so much Caramel?

C: The pictures are so funny! The characters are so funny! Everything is funny! And there are facts again, and I love to read them. Can I read you one of my favorite facts in this book?

S: Sure.

C. “The mimic octopus can change its color, shape, and movements to look like other sea life such as snakes, lionfish, stingrays, and jellyfish.”

This book has three chapters, or no, wait. It has five chapters. Three of them are about Narwhal and Jelly. And one is about facts and the other is a story Narwhal and Jelly write, called Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick. This book is really hilarious!

S: That is a big word Caramel!

C: But the book is really really funny!

S: So how would you complete this sentence:

What I like most about this book is …

C: It’s funny! And Narwhal and Jelly are silly but fun to read about!

S: This time the author Ben Clanton describes himself on the back cover as “more powerful than a toy locomotive”. What do you think that means?

C: I have no idea! He seems to be a goofy and funny guy! I like his books so much!

S: And we will review more of his books soon!

C: Stay tuned for more reviews from Book Bunnies!

Caramel recommends Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton highly! May the Force be with you!
Caramel recommends Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton with much enthusiasm!