Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle

Marshmallow reviewed A Wrinkle in Time, the first book in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, a few weeks ago. Today, for her first post after the book bunnies’ 2020 summer break, she reviews the second book in this collection: A Wind in the Door.

Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like science fiction, or if you have enjoyed reading books by Madeleine L’Engle, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): One day when Meg Murry comes home from school, her brother Charles Wallace tells her that there are dragons in their garden. (This is not the first time that something unusual happens to the Murrys. In A Wrinkle in Time, the children rescued their father from an evil entity.) When Meg goes outside she sees her old school principal Mr. Jenkins is there. Then the pet snake of her twin brothers hisses at him, and Mr. Jenkins turns into a winged monster and rips the sky.

The Murry family discusses the fact that there is a strange sound that scientists are hearing and things in space are disappearing. They are vanishing, becoming nothingness. When Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend, Calvin O’Keefe, see the “dragons” that Charles Wallace had mentioned, they see that it is a Cherubim, an extraterrestrial creature made up of wings and eyes. If not observed up closely, the Cherubim would look like a drive of dragons.

This also leads the three friends to learn that the Cherubim, Proginoskes, whom Meg nicknames Progo, is a Namer, a creature who names things, as opposed to an Echthroi, a creature that would unname things. Proginoskes apparently learned the names of all of the stars once.

Before all of this started, Meg and Charles Wallace’s mother started researching mitochondria and the mitochondria’s farandolae. (Mitochondria are real things: they are organelles in found in many cells. According to Wikipedia, the farandolae are “micro-organelles inside mitochondria that exist in the Time Quintet fantasy universe.”)

Meg eventually starts to notice that her brother has been tired and exhausted for a long time and that she had been ignoring his strange signs because she didn’t want to believe that he was sick. Meg gathers from her mother and from her brother, that their mother thinks that something is wrong with Charles Wallace’s mitochondria and his mitochondria’s farandolae. If his farandolae and mitochondria die, then Charles Wallace is in big danger.

Marshmallow is reading A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
Marshmallow is reading A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book that shows the bond between Meg and Charles Wallace. Meg is willing to risk her life for her little brother. To save him she even goes into one of his mitochondria and meets one of his mitochondria’s farandolae to save him. 

It is very interesting that Madeliene L’Engle’s fantasy universe has some real parts and some created parts. I didn’t know what mitochondria were before I read this book. It is so cool that there are mitochondria in everyone, even in bunnies like me! 

I think that this is a good book for all ages of bunnies, but it is on the longer side, and so younger bunnies might want to read it with older ones or have an older bunny read it to then. It might be scary for younger bunnies in some parts, so maybe older bunnies reading it with younger bunnies is a good idea. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 95%.
Marshmallow rates A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 95%.

Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Today Marshmallow reviews a classic: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, first published in 1962. This is the first book of L’Engle’s Time Quintet.

Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like classic science fiction or just like some of Madeleine L’Engle’s books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary: Meg Murry wakes up on a stormy night and finds a mysterious guest in the kitchen. Soon Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin O’Keefe set off to find Meg and Charles’s father who was sent on a dangerous and secret mission. The Murry family stopped receiving letters from him and they had not seen him since.

The children set out to find Mr. Murry and the mysterious guest, Mrs. Whatsit, helps them with her friends, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Meg and her companions learn that there is an evil entity, the Black Thing, that is taking over the universe and that their father is in danger. They travel to the world in which he is captive and try to rescue their father. They face a man with red eyes, who can control the people who look into his eyes. Charles Wallace looks in his eyes intentionally and they manage to rescue Meg’s father, but Charles Wallace gets stuck on the planet. They have saved Meg’s father, but now they have to save Charles Wallace. 

Marshmallow is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Marshmallow is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very intriguing book because there are very interesting characters and the plot is very well written. My favorite character is Charles Wallace. He is very logical. He is also different from everyone else but he is ok with that.

I think that A Wrinkle in Time makes a great read for bunnies of all ages, but if the bunny is very young then there probably should be an older bunny reading the book to them because it is on the longer side. (It has 232 pages.) I think that A Wrinkle in Time is probably best for bunnies ages 8 and up because it may not be an easy read for younger bunnies. 

A Wrinkle in Time starts with a very famous sentence, Snoopy‘s favorite:

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

The sentence even has its own Wikipedia page! Apparently L’Engle used the sentence intentionally, even though it is seen by many as a cliche.

Madeleine L’Engle’s book has been made into a movie, twice. The first one was made in 2003. The second one was made in 2018. Caramel, Sprinkles, and I saw the movie in the theatre and we enjoyed it. Here is the trailer:

This is the trailer to the second movie. It was made in 2018, and was directed by Ava DuVernay.  

Madeleine L’Engle’s book is a classic and a great read for all ages. It is an entertaining read for all bunnies but also gets scary or sad at some points (more scary than sad). I really enjoyed reading it.  

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 100%.
Marshmallow rates A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

This week Marshmallow reviews a recent book by Yoon Ha Lee: Dragon Pearl.

Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.
Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books about mythology and space, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): 13-year-old Min learns that her brother, Jun, is accused of deserting the Space Force in search of the Dragon Pearl. Min knows that her brother would never leave the Space Force, the organization that he always wanted to be a part of ever since he was a little boy. Even if he knew where the Dragon Pearl was. (The Dragon Pearl is a legendary object that can transform a whole planet in a day. In this story world, dragons exist and they have “Terraforming powers”, but they take year to terraform a planet.) So Min decides that something must have gone wrong. To prove that her brother did not desert the Space Force she leaves her home planet, Jinju, and goes in search of her brother.

Min is eventually able to find the ship that her brother was on when he “deserted”. She also finds her brother, but it is not how she wanted or expected to find him.

Marshmallow is reading Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.
Marshmallow is reading Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book that is a mix of Korean mythology, science fiction, and fantasy. There are fox spirits, dragons, and interesting theories about how machines run in the story universe. (Apparently, they run on an energy that is called “gi” that is like the blood of their machines and ships.) 

In the first page, we learn that Min is a “fox spirit”. In Korean mythology, a fox spirit is a magical being that has the ability to transform into anything they want to transform into. They are also able to “Charm” others which is to make others trust them or feel angry, sad, or happy and other feelings. So, basically they can “Charm” others to feel certain feelings. 

The School Library Journal praised the book with the following words, which summarize the book well:

Lee skillfully weaves Korean folklore into this space opera narrative, creating dynamics and relatable characters. VERDICT: With ghosts, pirates, and a rollicking space adventure, there’s a little something for everyone here.

The School Library Journal, https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=dragon-pearl

Reading Dragon Pearl may encourage you to learn more about Korean Mythology because we read about many interesting creatures. Min’s friends who are helping her find the Dragon Pearl so it does not fall into the wrong hands are, like her, magical creatures. (Hanuel is a dragon who can transform into a human but she is in human form most of the time. Sujin is a goblin.)

This book might be better for readers that are 10 and older because there are gamblers and guns. There are also ghosts in the story, which might scare some readers, too. It also might be a little confusing for younger readers but overall this is a very interesting and entertaining book.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 90%.
Marshmallow rates Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 90%.

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.

Caramel is a little Star Wars fan even though he has only watched four of the movies (Episodes I and IV-VI) so far. He is very curious about the upcoming ninth installment of the franchise and so he was excited to get his paws on this book of stories from the movies. Below he shares his enthusiasm about this book as well as his excitement about the whole series. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.
Caramel reviews 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about this book?

Caramel: This book has a lot of stories from the Star Wars movies.

S: How many stories are there?

C: There are eleven stories.

S: Are they related to the Star Wars movies?

C: Yes. Each of the eleven stories is from one of the movies. So for example the first story is “Race to the Finish Line” and it is from The Phantom Menace.

S: And then the rest of it goes from there, right? The stories seem to be following the movies in chronological order. That means the stories follow the timeline of the movies. Is that correct?

C: No. Not quite. The book starts from Episode I and the movies started started with Episode IV.

S: Yes in that sense the book is not following the order of the movies, but if you ordered the movies in terms of the timeline of the events happening, then you would have Episode I first.

C: I guess that is true.

Caramel is reading The Last Adventure" from The Revenge of the Sith (Episode III).
Caramel is reading The Last Adventure” from The Revenge of the Sith (Episode III).

S: Ok, so tell me about one of the stories you like.

C: The first story is about Anakin Skywalker. He is trying to win a pod race.

S: What is a pod race?

C: It’s hard to explain, it’s kind of like a car race, except they are flying in the air. They are in pods connected to two jet engines. And they go really fast.

S: Anakin is a kid in this story, right? So are all the other racers kids like Anakin?

C: Nope. But he is a good pilot and he wins!

S: Oh, that is what happens in the movie The Phantom Menace, too. So it seems like the stories are from the movies. Is that correct?

C: Yes. But actually I don’t know. I haven’t watched all the movies yet.

S: That is true! We have so far only watched Episodes I, IV, V, and VI. And I bet you don’t remember Episodes IV, V, and VI too well, either. You were a very much younger bunny then.

C: Yes that is true. But maybe we will watch them all in order now that we have watched Episode I.

S: Yes, I think that will be neat. And then if we can finish all eight by December, then we might even catch the ninth episode in the theaters. Would you like that?

C: Yeah! That sounds awesome!

S: So till then we get to read the stories here. Can you tell me a bit more about the stories? Which movies are the stories from?

C: The first story is called “Race to the Finish Line” and is from The Phantom Menace. The second one is from Attack of the Clones and is called “Yoda and the Count”. The third story is “The Last Adventure” and is from Revenge of the Sith. The next story is “Escape From Darth Vader” and is from A New Hope.

S: That’s the fourth movie, the very first Star Wars movie ever made.

C: And the first one we watched. Ok, let me continue. The next story is “Destroy the Death Star!” and it is also from Episode IV. The next story is “The Battle of Hoth” and is from The Empire Strikes Back. The next two are from Return of the Jedi. And the last two are from The Force Awakens.

S: That is Episode VII. And we have not watched it yet. But there are no stories from Episode VIII then, right?

C: That’s correct.

S: So I guess the book was published before then and so we will just have to watch The Last Jedi ourselves… But tell me, do you like this book?

C: Yep. The stories are cool, they also have really good illustrations.

S: So they are not screenshots from the movies, are they?

C: No, they are drawn by some really good artists.

S: That’s neat Caramel. So I think this is a good place to end our review so you can continue flipping through the pages and reading these stories for the umpteenth time. Right?

C: This is only my fifth time I think, but yes, it is time to finish the review. And I can now say: Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures! Oh and I will add: May the Force be with you!

Caramel loved 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press and wants to say: May the Force be with you!
Caramel loved 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press and wants to say: May the Force be with you!