Caramel reviews Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

Caramel has reviewed several Magic Tree House books already: Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5), Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6), Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2), Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7), Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8), and  Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House #9). This week he wanted to talk about another fact tracker book: Sea Monsters. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.
Caramel reviews Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you found another book about real things, I see.

Caramel: Yes. This is a book about ocean “monsters”.

S: So who are these monsters? Can you tell me a few of them?

C: There is the angler fish, the giant squid, the goblin shark, the cookie cutter shark, the hairy angler fish, the vampire squid, the dragon fish, oar fish, …

S: Okay, I get the point.

C: … giant tube worms. There is also this dunkleosteus–

S: Hmm, I have never heard of most of these. But this last one does not sound familiar at all. What is a dunkleosteus?

C: It is a giant armored fish, I think it is about forty feet long. Its teeth are actually bone.

S: And it is extinct, right?

C: Yes. And there are other extinct species too. There is the liopleurodon, and the megalodon–

S: So I understand. The book talks about large sea creatures, then. Right?

C: Yes. And my favorite is the liopleurodon.

S: Why?

C: Because it is not armored but it has a giant head. I think it looks really interesting!

S: I’m not sure I’d like to face one under water any time soon!

C: You don’t have to worry about that. They are already extinct!

S: That’s good.

C: Not for them.

S: That is right Caramel. This does seem like an interesting book, with many different types of facts in it. So tell me how it is organized.

C: Chapter titles! Here you go: The first chapter is called Sea Monsters. Then the second is Exploring the Oceans. The third is Squids, Octopuses and Other Creatures. Then there is a chapter called Creatures of the Deep.

S: That’s where we learn about the angler fish!

C: Yes. then there is Prehistoric Seas. And there we learn about the liopleurodon, the megalodon and similar creatures. And then the last chapter is called Sea Monster Tales.

S: Which chapter was most interesting for you?

C: I think I liked the Prehistoric Seas chapter most.

S: I know you like prehistoric animals. You have reviewed a Magic Tree House book about the saber tooth before. And another book on dinosaurs. No wonder you chose the liopleurodon as your favorite sea monster.

Caramel is reading about the liopleurodon in Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.
Caramel is reading about the liopleurodon in Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.

S: So what else do you want to tell us about this book?

C: It has a lot of pictures and tons of facts! Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House books tell us all sorts of things. There is also some facts about Steve Irwin and about Jacques Cousteau.

S: We watched a lot of episodes of Steve Irwin’s show together, right? It is sad he died of a sting ray sting. And Cousteau was a famous explorer who was one of the first to go deep into the oceans and to explore. That is great that you read a bit about both. So tell me the most interesting fact you learned from this book.

C: It’s about the largest jellyfish. So let me find it… Okay, here I will read it to you: “The longest animal in the world is not a whale. It is a special jellyfish called a siphonophore. Its tentacles can reach 131 feet long!”

S: Wow, that is long! Wikipedia tells us that “a siphonophore may appear to be an individual organism, each specimen is in fact a colonial organism composed of medusoid and polypoid zooids that are morphologically and functionally specialized.” That is really interesting! I had never heard of them before.

C: Me neither!

S: Okay Caramel, it is probably a good time to wrap up this review. Would you like to tell our readers your three words on this book?

C: Factful, curious because these are really curious animals, and black-and-white because all the illustrations are black and white.

S: Maybe instead of factful we can say “informative”?

C: Yes, that works too!

S: Great! I think then it is finally time for you to say your closing words!

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel recommends Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, to all curious little bunnies who want to know more about ocean life.
Caramel recommends Sea Monsters (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #17) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, to all curious little bunnies who want to know more about ocean life.

Caramel reviews Only One You by Linda Kranz

Caramel read Only One You by Linda Kranz at school a year ago. When the school principal came to their class meeting this week to read it to the whole class, Caramel decided he would like to review it for the blog. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Only One You by Linda Kranz.
Caramel reviews Only One You by Linda Kranz.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book.

Caramel: It’s about these fishies. The parent fishies are talking about being independent.

S: Yes, I think it is these parent fishies that are giving some life advice to the young fish before he sets off for the wide world.

C: Yes, the young fish is named Adri.

S: So what kinds of advice does Adri get?

C: “Always be on the lookout for a new friend”, “Look for beauty wherever you are and keep the memory of it with you.”

S: Those sound like good advice.

C: There is more! “Blend in when you need to. Stand out when you have a chance.”

S: Hmm, that is also good advice.

C: There is still more!

S: Well, we can’t just write the whole list of advice here and finish the whole book!

C: Yes we can!

S: That would not be so nice Caramel. Bunnies and their parents should be able to discover what is in the book on their own.

C: But we did give away only a few.

S: Well, here is one that I liked a lot: “Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect every day.”

Caramel is reading Only One You by Linda Kranz: "Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect every day."
Caramel is reading Only One You by Linda Kranz: “Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect every day.”

S: Do you know what that means?

C: Reflect? I know what reflect means. And this means find time to think about your day a bit.

S: I think you got the gist of it!

C: And I like this one: “If something gets in your way, move around it.” The fishies are moving in a straight line and someone puts in a fishing line breaking their path. The fishies just move around it and continue their way.

Caramel is reading Only One You by Linda Kranz: "If something gets in your way, move around it."
Caramel is reading Only One You by Linda Kranz: “If something gets in your way, move around it.”

S: Yes, I love how the fishies are so cute and colorful!

C: They look like they’re made of stone. Like rock art. Actually I think that the background in the pictures, when you see the ocean, is not hand-drawn. I think the backgrounds are real photos, and then someone drew colorful rock-art fishies in the front.

S: Hmm, that is very interesting! Linda Kranz, the person who created the book is a rock art expert. And by rock art, I do not mean the ancient version where people made art on rock walls or created art by putting various rocks together, but the newer one where people paint individual rocks. And it does really look like each of the fishies is an individually colored pebble.

C: There is one that looks like The Starry Night by Van Gogh! Another fish looks like it has multiple suns on it!

S: They are very colorful and distinct all of them. And the advice is really good too. I think we can read and reread this book several times and zero in on a different piece of advice every time.

C: Yes.

S: So let us just read it again. But before that, give me three words that describe this book!

C: “Colorful”. Hmm, and there is wisdom in it…

S: So maybe “wise”?

C: Yes. And … “mixed”. There are a lot of ideas and a lot of different types of art in it. And fishies!

S: Yes, those are all true Caramel. Let us wrap this up then.

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel loved reading Only One You by Linda Kranz, and recommends it to all little bunnies!
Caramel loved reading Only One You by Linda Kranz, and recommends it to all little bunnies!

Caramel reviews Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton

Caramel loved reading and reviewing the quirky adventures of Narwhal and Jelly in Narwhal: The Unicorn of the Sea!Super Narwhal and Jelly JoltPeanut Butter and Jelly, and Narwhal’s Otter Friend. Here he shares his thoughts on the fifth and most recent book in Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly series: Happy Narwhalidays. Sprinkles is taking notes and occasionally asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton.
Caramel reviews Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton.

Sprinkles: I saw that you got your paws on another Narwhal and Jelly book Caramel!

Caramel: Yes! Its name is Happy Narwhalidays!

S: I guess it just came out right about in time for the holiday season. Do you think it would make a good book present for bunnies like you who love reading?

C: Yes. Especially if the bunny loves the other Narwhal and Jelly books.

S: They are fun to read, aren’t they? So what happens in this one?

C: They are fun to read, and I am rereading it again, right now.

Caramel is reading Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton. He is looking at the pages where Narwhal is imagining all the different gifts his friend Jelly could be giving him in the gift box.
Caramel is reading Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton. He is looking at the pages where Narwhal is imagining all the different gifts his friend Jelly could be giving him in the gift box.

S: Hmm, I see you are looking at the pages where Narwhal is dreaming up all the things Jelly could be gifting him.

C: Yes. The ideas he has are not really possible. He thinks that the gift might be a giant waffle or a big bouncy blow-up bubble castle! Or it could be a rocket ship to take him to the unicorn planet!

S: Narwhal sure has a big imagination!

C: He sure does!

S: So the book is about giving friends gifts then, right?

C: Yes, mostly.

S: I know these books always have a whole lot of facts about ocean life, and I know you love facts. So tell me the most interesting fact you learned reading this book.

C: Let me read it to you: “Tardigrades, commonly known as water bears, are water-dwelling micro-animals that can survive in temperatures as hot as 304F (151C) and as cold as absolute zero.”

S: That is one weird fact Caramel. Do you know what absolute zero is?

C: No. Is it like -100?

S: No, actually it is even colder than that. It is -273C, and it is -459F. Absolute zero is when it is so cold that nothing moves. Heat and temperature are about molecules moving about, and at absolute zero, nothing moves anymore. It is really fascinating that these water-bears can survive that temperature.

C: I didn’t know that.

S: I do like how these books bring up all sorts of interesting facts! Okay, so what else do you want to say about this book?

C: I love Jelly. He is the best character.

S: Why do you say that?

C: He is super funny.

S: I think Narwhal is also super funny.

C: Yes. He is a little goofier.

S: I know. Theyt are good friends though, right?

C: Yes.

S: So tell me three words that would describe this book Caramel.

C: Awesome, colorful, factful.

S: I am not sure factful is a word, but let us go with it. Shall we then wrap up this review so you can read the book one more time?

C: Okay! Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel loved reading Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton and reconnecting with old friends Narwhal and Jelly.
Caramel loved reading Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton and reconnecting with old friends Narwhal and Jelly.

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.