Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Bunnybean”

Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #20: Martha Speaks White House Dog by Jamie White

There’s a show we sometimes watch on PBS called Martha Speaks, about a dog named Martha who can talk.  One time, Martha’s owner Helen fed her a can of alphabet soup, and instead of traveling to her stomach, all 26 letters in the soup travelled to Martha’s brain.  Last Tuesday, we went to the Museum of American History, and in the gift shop, my mom got me this Martha Speaks book.

Martha sees on TV that the President is looking for a new dog. She wants to be the White House dog, but doesn’t want to live away from her family and move to Washington DC.  But, she knows the perfect dog to do it — Smudge, a little white dog with a dark black smudge on his face.  Martha calls the White House to tell them about Smudge.  Before long, all the dogs in Wagstaff City are asking Martha to help them get picked to move to the White House, and Martha makes lots of phone calls for them.  Soon, all the dogs realize that Washington is really far away, and that they probably will not get picked.

One day, Martha gets a phone call from the President, who wants Martha to come and meet with him.  The President was really glad that Martha was a talking dog.  Chessie, the White House Dog, didn’t want anything to eat or to do anything.  So Martha asked Chessie what was the matter, and Chessie explained that her squeaky toy was stuck under the floor vent.  Once the President got it out, Chessie wanted to eat and play and have fun again.  The President was impressed that Martha could tell him what animals need and asked her to go around the country and ask animals what they wanted and needed: All of them wanted more food (except for those pesky cats!).  Martha became famous and was on TV!

Chessie was really sad that Martha couldn’t stay, but Martha told the President about Smudge.  The next thing she knew, Martha was watching Smudge get adopted by the President on TV, and they lived happily ever after.  Oh, and Martha’s family was kind of mad about their HUGE phone bill.

You can read more of Bunnybean’s reviews on her mom’s blog.

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Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #19: Phineas and Ferb Daredevil Days by Molly McGuire

This summer, we (my brother Joemyjoe and I) discovered Phineas and Ferb on Netflix.  We watched all the episodes and the movie, I got a Ferb doll, and Joemyjoe even got some Perry the Platypus pajamas.  Its really funny. Then our grandma came to visit, and she brought us two Phineas and Ferb chapter books (one for me and one for him).  My book was Daredevil Days.

Phineas and Ferb are step-brothers who always build and invent things all summer long.  They live with their mom and dad and sister, Candace, as well as their pet platypus Perry, who is also a secret agent who always has to defeat the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

In part one of this book, Phineas’ grandparents come to visit.  Candace is out with her friend rollerskating in the park, and Phineas and Ferb bring the grandparents to go skating, too.  They find out that their grandma used to be a roller-derby queen a long time ago.  At the park, they run into Jeremy (Candace’s boyfriend) and his grandma, who used to be Phineas and Ferb’s grandma’s roller derby skating enemy.  When the two grandmas see each other, their old rivalry starts up again and they start yelling and fighting.

Phineas and Ferb build a huge roller derby rink in their yard, so that the two grandmas can have a race.  Both families get together on separate teams to race. Jeremy’s little sister Suzy(Candace’s mortal enemy!) switches Candace’s skates to try and make her lose, but it doesn’t work.  The two grandmas end up in a tie, and their rivalry keeps going.

Part two of the book is about Ferb’s grandfather, who used to be a motorcycle daredevil.  Phineas and Ferb build him a new motorcycle to jump over a gorge. They almost fall into the gorge, but luckily Phineas and Ferb designed the motorcycle to be able to fly.  Later, the motorcycle lands in the water, and Ferb takes off a wing (one wing already was off, because it got knocked off by a branch) so that it can surf.

I liked part one better, it was funnier and had more fun characters.

You can read more of Bunnybean’s reviews on her mom’s blog.

Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #18: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Hugo Cabret is a boy who dreams of fixing a broken automaton (sort of like a wind-up robot that almost looks like a person) that was his father’s before he died.  Hugo lives alone in a train station (where he takes care of the clock), and has to steal food from the cafe to survive.  He can also fix broken toys and make them work better than ever.  Hugo lives alone because he doesn’t have a mother or a father.  His father recently died in an explosion at the museum.

He steals toys from the toy booth at the train station, and the old man who runs the booth find out about Hugo.  He introduces Hugo to his god-daughter Isabelle, and they become friends.

Hugo is always on the run from the train station inspector, because all of the shop owners know that he is stealing from them.  In the end, the inspector finds Hugo, but he is rescued by the old man from the toy booth and his new friend Isabelle.

Later, Hugo goes to live with Isabelle and her godparents, and the old man helps him to fix the automaton.

I really liked the book, it had beautiful illustrations that told the story along with the words.
I also saw the movie, which I loved.  I liked the book and the movie equally.

You can read more of Bunnybean’s reviews on her mom’s blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #17: The Bobbsey Twins in Rainbow Valley by Laura Lee Hope

The Bobbsey Twins are Bert and Nan Bobbsey, and they are about 8years old.  They have younger twin brother and sister named Flossie and Freddie, and they are about 4.  In this book, the Bobbsey family goes to a hotel in Rainbow Valley, which is near the water, and where they can usually see a rainbow.  The family has little adventures, like:

On the way to Rainbow Valley, they take a boat.  A big turtle comes on their boat and breaks the motor, which stops the boat.  A local man in a boat gives them a paddle so they can get to the hotel.

Freddie runs away from the rest of the family, and they set off to find him.

While they are out looking for him, he goes back home.  They think they will never find him, but he is waiting for them at the hotel when they get back.  They are so glad he’s ok that they don’t punish him for running away.

The hotel has a library, where Nan likes to go and borrow books.  The book that she wants is missing and long overdue, so Nan and the librarian try to track it down. While they are looking, they fall off of a cliff! Then they go through the forest and finally find the man who has had the missing book for a long, long time, and they bring it back so Nan can read it.

The kids find a nice bear (named Kate) in the woods. There is a woodsman named Abraham who owns the bear, and the kids find him and give the bear back to him.

Lots of other things happen, which makes the story go by fast.  I liked it a lot.  The kids seemed like they had fun.

You can read more of Bunnybean’s reviews on her mom’s blog.

Scootsa1000′s #CBR4 Review #24: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Bunnybean took Coraline out of the library a few weeks ago and started to read it…we thought maybe we would read it at the same time and then present a Cannonball Point-Counterpoint type of review.  And then about two chapters in she started to get scared.  And she put the book down and happily took off with Laura Ingalls Wilder, leaving me alone to figure out another Neil Gaiman book.

As previously mentioned, Neil Gaiman and I have had a rough relationship.  I loved Neverwhere, and really liked Stardust.  I couldn’t finish American Gods, and was lukewarm about The Graveyard Book. But I feel like I’m supposed to love Gaiman’s books, and that if I keep trying, someday I will.

Coraline found me taking steps in the right direction.  I enjoyed the story of the bored little girl who finds a dark, alternate version of her world on the other side of a walled-off door in her family’s new apartment.  I haven’t seen the movie, but had an easy time picturing the differences between the real characters and the “others”, with their button eyes and pasty, clay-like flesh. The descriptions were simple, and yet incredibly detailed, and there was much to be appreciated. Simple little sections really stuck with me, in particular Coraline remembering her father’s bravery when they were attacked by a swarm of wasps. I loved the realism of that anecdote being remembered while Coraline was in a totally un-real situation in her “other” world.

I totally understand Bunnybean’s reluctance to continue with the story. Even though we found this in the Children’s section of the library, I’m thinking that the intended reader age is probably slightly older than 7. When I asked her what scared her, it wasn’t the dark hallways, the scary noises, or the unknown world that Coraline was facing, it was the button eyes.  She was petrified of the button eyes.

Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #16: Matilda by Roald Dahl

First of all, this was the best book I’ve ever read.

Matilda is a five year-old genius.  She has really mean parents and an even meaner headmistress at school, Miss Trunchbull.  They don’t care at all that she’s very smart.  But she does have one nice teacher, Miss Honey, who encourages Matilda to be as smart as she can be.  Matilda also seems to have special powers — she can move things with her mind.

Matilda loves to read, but her parents hate books.  They won’t let her read, and always say “No More Books!” and make her and her brother (who they are very nice to for some reason) watch tv all the time.  She has to go to the library when her parents are out to be able to read at all.

At school, everyone is afraid of Miss Trunchbull, even the teachers.  She hates kids.  She hates learning. She throws kids out the window, she picks them up by their hair, she makes them eat a whole cake (even if they don’t want to!) until they feel sick, and she says lots of mean and nasty things.  Using her magic, Matilda scares Miss Trunchbull so badly that she decides to leave the school, leaving the children free to be happy and learn.

Matilda’s only real friends are Ms. Phelps (the librarian) and the lovely Miss Honey.  When Matilda’s parents get in trouble with the police (her father sells cars that he knows are bad and then steals money from customers) they plan to move away to Spain, Miss Honey lets Matilda stay with her and then adopts her.  Then Matilda can read all she wants and get a terrific education.

I am really enjoying all of these books by Roald Dahl and I think I’ll read the BFG next!

You can read more of Bunnybean’s reviews on her mom’s blog.

Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #15: Liberty Porter, First Daughter by Julia DeVillers

Liberty Porter is a nine year old girl who has just moved to Washington, DC for her dad’s new job.  Her dad’s new job happens to be President of the United States!  And she is moving into the White House!

Liberty becomes famous overnight, and now everyone, everywhere knows who she is.  She isn’t allowed to go anywhere by herself now, she has to go around with Sam, her Secret Service agent who watches over her.

Liberty disguises herself as a boy and Secret Service Sam lets her join a class taking a tour of the White House.  When the tour ends up in her bedroom, she gets mad and takes off her disguise, showing everyone who she really is.  She makes a few new friends, and the have cookies before they leave.

Its a pretty funny book, and is part of a series.  I’ll try and read a few more, I reeeeeeeeeeeallly enjoyed it.

You can read more of Bunnybean’s reviews on her mom’s blog.

Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #14: Superfudge by Judy Blume

Superfudge is book #3 in the series of books about Fudge and Peter Hatcher (I already reviewed Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great).

In this story, Fudge and Peter and their family move to New Jersey for a year.  Lots of stuff happens during the year:  Peter finds out that his mom is going to have another baby and gets worried that the baby will be like Fudge.  They have the baby, and it is a little girl that they call Tootsie (her real name is Tamara Roxanne).  Fudge starts kindergarten, even though he is a year too young (and Fudge calls his teacher Rat Face, because she insists on calling him Farley Drexel instead of Fudge).  They make new friends, and miss their old friends (but not Sheila).

One of the parts I liked best was when Fudge gets a new pet.  He gets a myna bird and he teaches it to talk a little bit.  He names it Uncle Feather and teaches it to say things like “Bonjour” and “Bonjour, stupid”.

Another good part is when Fudge and his fat, bossy friend ride their bikes across town to a deli and a bakery.  The problem is, they don’t tell anyone where they are going and everyone worries all day about where they are.

The next book is Fudge-A-Mania, which I’m sure I’ll write about soon.

You can read more of Bunnybean’s reviews on her mom’s blog.

Bunnybean’s #CBR4 Review #13: Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

I recently read The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, and really loved it.  So, I wanted to read more books by Roald Dahl.  I had already read Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr. Fox.  So, my mom gave me her old copy of Danny, the Champion of the World.

Danny is the story of a boy (named Danny) and his dad who live together in a caravan (like a gypsy wagon), with bunk beds and a small hotplate instead of a stove.  They don’t even have a bathroom, but they have an outhouse behind the caravan.  They keep their caravan parked behind the gas station and garage that Danny’s father owns.  Danny is 9 years old.

They are best friends and they do everything together.

One night, Danny wakes up and his father isn’t in his bed, or anywhere.  Danny wonders for hours where he could be.  He goes outside and waits, and finally his dad comes home, and he apologizes and then tells Danny where he had been.  Danny’s dad is a “poacher”.  He goes on other people’s land and tries to get their pheasants to take home for himself.  It is very dangerous, but his dad is good at it and finds it exciting.

His dad goes out pheasant poaching again a few weeks later but doesn’t come home by 10:30 (when he promised to be home).  At 2AM, Danny wakes up and is worried.  He decides to go find his father, but the woods are 6 miles away. So he drives (!) in a car that his father is fixing.  He drives really slow, but gets there safely, and finds his father stuck at the bottom of a huge pit, with a broken ankle.  Danny helps his dad get out and get home and call the doctor.  He goes to the hospital.

The man who owns the woods is very mean and rude to Danny and his dad, so they decide to trick him and try to poach as many of his pheasants as possible.  Danny comes up with a plan (to drug the pheasants with sleeping pills and raisins) and take hundreds them home the night before a big shooting party.

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it is pretty funny.  Not everything works out the way Danny and his dad plan, but they still have a great time and a fun adventure.

I really liked this book, because it was just a regular story about a boy and his dad, and not crazy like some Roald Dahl stories.

You can read more of Bunnybean’s reviews (and her little brother Joemyjoe’s) on her mom’s blog.

Joemyjoe’s #CBR4 Review #1: Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Flat Stanley is the story of a boy named Stanley, who is flat.  He used to be a regular boy, but one night a bulletin board fell on top of him, and it flattened him!

He went to see a doctor, who told Stanley he had never seen such a thing!

Stanley could slide under a closed door, fit inside an envelope, and fly like a kite. He helps the museum solve a mystery, when a painting is stolen.  He has lots of flat adventures.

His brother Arthur has an idea.  He blows air into Stanley from a bicycle pump, and then Stanley is round again!

Joemyjoe is a new member of the Junior Cannonball team.  He is Bunnybean’s 5 year-old brother, and he wanted in on the action, too.  I’m sure you’ll be seeing many more Flat Stanley reviews from him. You can read more of Joemyjoe’s reviews on his mom’s (and Bunnybean’s) blog.

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