Caramel reviews The Aquanaut by Dan Santat

Caramel loves graphic novels and he loves all books by Dan Santat. So when he heard about The Aquanaut, the new (2022) graphic novel by Dan Santat, he knew he had to read and review it as soon as possible for the book bunnies blog. This is that review. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Aquanaut by Dan Santat.
Caramel reviews The Aquanaut by Dan Santat.

Sprinkles: Please tell us about this book Caramel.

Caramel: The book starts with a ship sinking, and someone’s brother dies. And then four sea animals convert the man’s diving suit into a walking suit so they can move on land. They go on land with this suit to find Aqualand, the dead man’s marine reserve.

S: That is an interesting premise for a story. What are the four animals?

C: There is a dumbo octopus, who is the engineer, a hermit crab, a blanket octopus, and a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.

S: I had never heard of these animals before, except hermit crabs, who I know take over shells abandoned by other animals. So in some sense taking over a diving suit is perfectly appropriate for a hermit crab. But I had never heard of a blanket octopus.

C: Apparently the males are as big as a walnut but the females can get as large as six feet!

S: That is very interesting!

C: But I had heard of the dumbo octopus before, too.

S: That is neat. You do know a lot about ocean animals! You have read all the Narwhal and Jelly books, and reviewed The Magnificent Book of Ocean Creatures by Val Walerczuk and Tom Jackson for the blog too.

C: Yes. But I learned from this book that Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles are the rarest and most endangered sea turtles in the world. And the others think the ocean is getting a little too dangerous so they think Aqualand should be safer.

S: How do they learn about Aqualand?

C: They find the notebook of the man who died. His name is Michael and he wrote about Aqualand in his notebook.

Caramel is reading The Aquanaut by Dan Santat.
Caramel is reading The Aquanaut by Dan Santat.

S: So Aqualand is a marine life reserve, right?

C: Michael and his brother Paul founded it to be a reserve, and Michael’s daughter Sophia still thinks it is one, but when the aquanaut crew, that is the four animals using the diving suit, come to Aqualand, they find out that it is now just an amusement park. And the animals there are not happy. So they set free an orca and …

S: Hmm, that reminded me a lot of the FunJungle books Marshmallow reviewed. In particular, Belly Up.

C: I can see that! Belly Up was also in an amusement park, but it was supposed to be a zoo where the animals would live their lives as naturally as possible.

S: So in The Aquanaut, the animals that steer the diving suit meet Michael’s daughter Sophia, right?

C: Yes. And both Sophia and Paul help the four animals escape and get back to the ocean.

S: That sounds like a sweet story Caramel.

C: Yes definitely. Can we put here the video that Dan Santat recorded for the book?

S: Yes, sure. Here it is.

The Aquanaut by Dan Santat – YouTube video by Scholastic, the publisher.

S: So what would your three words be to describe this book?

C: Colorful, exciting, and sweet. You said that word and I think it works for the book, too.

S: Sounds good to me. So do you think Marshmallow would like this book?

C: Yes, I think so. She loved the FunJungle books and she likes graphic novels too. I think actually that any bunny who likes the ocean and who likes the environment would like this book.

S: That is a solid endorsement Caramel. So what do you want to tell our readers as we wrap up this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading The Aquanaut by Dan Santat and recommends it to any bunny who loves graphic novels, the ocean, and other living creatures.
Caramel loved reading The Aquanaut by Dan Santat and recommends it to any bunny who loves graphic novels, the ocean, and other living creatures.

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.