Friday, May 27, 2022

The Friday 56


* Grab a book, any book.

* Go to page 56.  Or 56% on your ereader. 

* Find a snippet, short and sweet.

* Post it and add the url to your post at Freda's Voice

My book this week is The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales.  It is all about sea life in the deep ocean.  Where all sorts of interesting creatures live.  

My Friday 56:

Even if the hunt is over, it can be easy to discern what a gelatinous animal has recently eaten because the prey is visible through its transparent body.  Like a set of glass Russian dolls, there could be a krill inside a ctenophore or a fish inside a scyphozoan.

What is a ctenophore or a scyphozoan?  Not sure.  I'm sure the book will tell me when I get there.  But life has been conspiring to stop me from reading lately.  So I haven't gotten there yet.  I am very interested to find out.  

The Aquanaut Review


The Aquanaut by Dan Santat

(from the book jacket)

Who is the aquanaut?  Ever since her father was lost at sea, Sophia has been moping around Aqualand, a marine theme park.  But Sophia's world is turned upside down when an 'aquanaut' breaks into the park research lab.

To her amazement, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is not what it seems: inside lives a band of goofy sea creatures!  And when they all realize that Aqualand is more sinister than advertised, Sophia is determined to help the aquanaut crew free the park's captive marine life before it's too late.

Sea creatures use an old diving suit to make motorized transport so they can get around on land.  They want to get to Aqualand, where they think they will be safe.  Sophia, who lost her father when his research vessel sank, feels alone and lost and wishes her uncle had more time for her.  Her uncle is dealing with the loss of his brother the best he knows how.  They all come together at Aqualand.  The illustrations are wonderful: bold, bright, exciting.  The story is fun and exciting too.  It deals with the themes of loss and handling grief,  of how you can lose sight of what is important, of family, and of the ethics of places like Aqualand that keep sea creatures in cages and make them perform for human entertainment.  But it is told with humor.  The sea creatures manning the diving suit are funny and have great personalities.  And you grow to care about Sophia as she learns to live in a world without her father where she never seems to quite fit in.  I liked this one a lot and am going to go find myself a copy of Santat graphic novel Sidekicks right away.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Do You Dream of Turtles? (Dreaming in Turtle Review)

Today (May 23rd) is World Turtle Day.  

I like turtles.  Who doesn't like turtles?  Of course, some people like them for pets, some for medicine, some for food and some as a source of income.  But everyone likes turtles.

Peter Laufer, Ph.D. decided to write a book about turtles and all the ways humans interact with them and think about them and feel about them.

Dreaming in Turtle by Peter Laufer, Ph.D.

(from the book jacket)
Everyone has a turtle story.  Turtles that disappeared, then reappeared years later.  Turtles used in attempts to cure cancer, impotence, and infertility.  Turtles sought for sage wisdom and to promote longevity.  Investigative journalist Peter Laufer explores the stories we tell about the slow-moving, shelled critters and the facts about their world we need to know - before we destroy these links to dinosaurs.

Laufer travels the world to find turtle stories and expose the plight of these slow moving creatures, but also to show the hope of those who work to save them.  There is a lot of things in here that are hard to read.  People do horrible things to turtles and Laufer tells you about lots of them here.  You hear stories about turtles being butchered alive, kept in boxes piled on top of each other, packed up and sent through the mail or hidden in all sorts of ways to transport them overseas.  Laufer talks to people who hunt turtles, both legally and illegally, sell them, both legally and illegally, eat them, try to save them, use them for medicine and everything else you can think of.  He tries to understand why so many people love turtles and why people are willing to break the law to have or to eat them.  And how people who claim to love or revere turtles can treat them so badly.  You get all sorts of turtle information.  I find it all very interesting from the turtle myths to the interviews with people who smuggle turtles to the conservation efforts.  I especially like the little Fred breaks.  Laufer takes care of a turtle for a while that he names Fred, and every once in a while, he gives the reader an update on what Fred is up to.  I would like to meet Fred.  He sounds like a very interesting guy.  If you have ever stared at the tortoises at the zoo, or sought out the turtles at the aquarium, or have fond memories of a pet turtle you will like this book.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Save the Bees!

Today (May 20th) is World Bee Day.  We need bees.  Well, it's more that plants need bees and we need the plants.  But it amounts to the same thing.  So what can you do to save the bees?

If you want to donate money so other people can save the bees you can go here:

If you would like to be a little more hands on there are a few things you can do in your own backyard.

One is to stop using synthetic pesticides and herbicides.  Bees don't like them.

You can also give bees a place to live.  Most bees are solitary and don't live in hives.  Many live underground, so if you can leave a plot of undisturbed earth for them or put up special bee houses.

You can put up a bee bath.  Which is much like a bird bath, but for bees.  You can fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with water and put some stones in that break the surface so the bees have a place to land and get a drink.

And of course you can plant flowers (and trees) that bees like.

For some ideas on some plants for bees look here:

This is my brother's bee house for his Mason bees.  He takes good care of his Mason bees and makes sure when he mows the lawn that he leaves the clover for them.  (And besides, the clover is actually pretty, so why cut it down?) 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Will Humankind Survive?

When Earth Shall Be No More by Paul Awad and Kathryn O'Sullivan

(from the back of the book) 
Environmental scientist Constance Roy is one of forty-nine refugees rescued from Earth's destruction and transported to the ark spaceship Orb by an automaton race called the Curators.  Twelve months have passed since their rescue.  But now, with the ship's orbit decaying, the refugees seem doomed to crash into Jupiter's fiery belly.

In a parallel universe on present-day Earth. another version of Constance seeks answers to the questions that have haunted her since childhood: How and why did her mother die?  The head of a mysterious corporation housed at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility can give her the answers, but not without a price.

Two timestreams collide when the Constance on Earth discovers that Nicolas, her son, has the ability to save the Orb and its inhabitants.  Now she must battle treacherous Curators wishing to destroy Nicolas, while on the Orb, another Constance must fight to save the ship from Jupiter's fatal pull.

Only together can they save their son - and the future generations of humankind.

I think duel universes is always a solid starting point for a sci-fi story.   And I like the way you are given both stories simultaneously without ever losing track of which universe you are in at any given moment.  But some things in this story just didn't come together for me.  Especially with Nicolas saving all of humankind.  I was never really sure how what he did proved what it was supposed to prove.  And at the end there were a couple of things that were kind of resolved but still left me with questions. And there were times when situations were presented with more gravitas then they actually ended up having.  Probably to build tension and suspense, but what it led to was me being a little disappointed with the solution.  You have a spaceship and all souls on board about to be destroyed by Jupiter's gravity, creepy Curators running around and you don't know if they are friend or foe, experiments into traveling between universes, and a young boy who has to make some life and death decisions.  There should be tension and suspense enough without forcing it.  I did like the concept of the Curators, what they were and where they came from.  And they were suitably creepy.  I liked Nicolas and you did care what happened to him.  And towards the end there was a good amount of tension and suspense that kept you reading.  For me the good and not so good balanced out into an okay story.  It is neither great nor bad.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

What is your favorite dinosaur?

Today (May 17th) is National Dinosaur Day.  (Don't worry if you are not prepared.  You will have another chance on June 1st.  Which is also National Dinosaur Day.)

It is hard to pick a favorite dinosaur.  They are all cool in their own ways.  I have an affinity for sea creatures so I have always liked the Plesiosaur.  But I have recently found out that he is not actually a dinosaur.  So I guess I would have to go with the Ankylosaurus.  I like his armor plating and club tail. 

There were no Ankylosaurus or Plesiosaurs in The Good Dinosaur, but I watched it anyway.

The Good Dinosaur starring Raymond Ochoa

A young Apatosaurus ends up far from home and befriends a young human on his quest to find the way home.

I was entertained.  And that's what it all comes down to in the end.  But this isn't going to be one of my all time favorites.  Arlo, the young, lost Apatosaurus is trying to prove himself to his family but he is afraid of everything.  When he finds himself alone and lost he doesn't even know how to feed himself.  It seems a little unlikely to me that Arlo can live in such a time period and still be so afraid all the time.  I know that in this world dinosaurs live in houses and plant crops and are highly civilized and all that but still.  And I think they missed a chance here with the concept that the asteroid missed the Earth and the dinosaurs did not go extinct.  It could have been a cool concept but it was established in the beginning and then was not really a part of the story after that.  And the story is very predictable.  You know where this is going right from the beginning.  There are really no surprises here.  Another issue I had was that the human, named Spot, acted too much like a dog.  I understand the point that dinosaurs are more advanced than humans at this point but it made Spot look like more of a pet to Arlo than a friend.  I know that is a lot of negative things to say about a movie that I found entertaining.  But it was still a cute, if not too original, story.  Arlo has to overcome his fear while learning that doesn't mean he won't be afraid.  And the importance of family and friendship is stressed here as well.  There are a few slow moments and a couple of scenes that might be scary for young children but as an adult I was entertained and would watch this with my nieces and nephews.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Friday 56


* Grab a book, any book.

* Go to page 56.  Or 56% on your ereader. 

* Find a snippet, short and sweet.

* Post it and add the url to your post at Freda's Voice

My book this week is Dreaming in Turtle by Peter Laufer Ph.D.  It is an exploration of all things turtle.  From the turtle lore, to turtle soup, to the plight of the endangered turtles, to the people trying to save them.  I haven't gotten very far into it yet.  I just hope it is as interesting as it sounds.

The Friday 56:

The English made turtle broth and used the turtle meat only for the flavoring, tossing it out before the meal.  The French added roux, the Spanish added spices, and some hungry soul added turtle meat and yelled out, "Oh my God, taste this!"  Turtle meat soup was born.

I have never had turtle meat in any form.  They do not look like they would be tasty.  Maybe when it is prepared well it is delicious.  Maybe.  But it is unlikely I will ever find out. 

Need a Little Luck?

Today (May 13th) is National Leprechaun Day!  (Am I the only one who thought this would be in March?)  It seems odd that we are celebrating what could be the luckiest beings in the world on Friday the 13th.  Maybe the good luck and bad luck will cancel each other out.

I did not want to dress up like a leprechaun to celebrate today so I decided to find a nice leprechaun friendly movie to watch instead.

Luck of the Irish starring Ryan Merriman and Henry Gibson

When Kyle Johnson loses his lucky coin odd things start to happen and he learns that he is part leprechaun.

Kyle has been lucky all his life.  He is great at basketball.  He never loses anything.  He finds money wherever he goes.  But when someone switches his lucky coin with a fake all that changes.  And when his mother starts to act differently and speak with an Irish accent he knows something is going on.  It's a Disney made for TV movie, so it is kid safe in the extreme.  Nothing really bad happens to anyone, there is no swearing or violence.  I can see how children would have fun with this and as an adult it is something I didn't mind watching either.  There were some moments when you just had to remind yourself you are watching a children's movie and let it go.  Kyle wants to know about his heritage but when he asks his parents they say they are from Cleveland and act all suspicious instead of just saying he's Irish or telling him where the completely human side of his family is from.  But that sort of thing is for comic effect and you just have to go with it.  You know, for the children.  It's silly at times but fun too.  I enjoyed watching as Kyle's leprechaun side started coming out and he staring using phases like 'Oh, saints preserve us!' all of a sudden.  And Merriman did a good job with the role.  It isn't something I would choose to watch again myself, but if my niece is over it is a family friendly movie that won't have me tearing out my hair.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Moonshine for My Birthday

I didn't actually drink any moonshine on my birthday.  Although, I wouldn't be opposed to that.  But I did have a couple of drinks at Moonshine 152.

I don't even know how to describe the cuisine at Moonshine 152.  They have jalapeno crab rangoon, short rib grilled cheese, lamb meatballs, braised rabbit pasta, tapas style patatas bravas, Hawaiian poke bowls, Thai fried rice among other things.  They seem to have a little of everything.  

The restaurant isn't huge but the whole front of the building is windows so it
feels open and roomy inside without losing the warm inviting feeling.  Make sure you check out the chef's artwork that you can find hanging on the walls.  

We were early and had our choice of seats and sat at the bar.  The bartenders were friendly and helpful.  They had a nice selection of bourbons and we didn't feel rushed to order while we sat and enjoyed a drink before dinner.  But the bartender was right there when we were ready.  

We got the 'Moonshine's Boston's Best Fried Chicken' to start.  It is buttermilk fried chicken wings with a poblano ranch dressing.  It was awesome.  The chicken was cooked perfectly.  The batter was light and crispy.  And the sauce was the perfect compliment.

There were a lot of things on the menu I was interested in trying but when I first go to a restaurant and am unsure if I will be going back I usually go with something familiar.  Something I have a large basis for comparison for.  Like a burger.  Which is what both my husband and I got.  

Once again it was cooked perfectly.  It was juicy and flavorful.  The shoe string fries that came with it were good as well.  

Picking dessert was a challenge.  It was between the butterscotch pudding and the Oreo layered fudge brownie.  The couple sitting next to us at the bar said we had to try the butterscotch pudding.  And that tipped the scale.  I like butterscotch, so I might be bias, but it was delightful.  Rich and creamy, and the Chantilly cream on top was perfect.  It was sweet but not too sweet.  We ordered one to share and it would have been plenty for both of us but the chef actually came out and gave us a complimentary Oreo layered fudge brownie!  I didn't even mention it was my birthday.  So I got to try them both anyway.  The brownie doesn't look like much on the plate but, trust me, it is plenty big.  It is very sweet so we were not able to finish it but it was tasty.  If you like Oreos that is.  It is a good fudgy brownie with Oreos in it.  How can you go wrong?  

I also had a couple of cocktails.  The Old Fashioned was great but my advice is stay away from La Diabla.  She lives up to her name.

It was a wonderful evening and I plan to go back.  I will pretend I am going to try all new things from the menu but will probably get the fried chicken again.  I was still thinking about it days after I ate it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Calling all Shrimp Lovers

Today (May 10th) is National Shrimp Day.  How do you celebrate National Shrimp Day?  You eat shrimp of course.

There are a million shrimp dishes out there to try so you have a lot of choices.  Maybe you can even try several dishes.  I mean, you are probably going to eat three meals today.  Why not make them all shrimpy?

The one I chose was Shrimp and Grits from the Food Network.  Why this particular Shrimp and Grits recipe?  Because of all the cheese obviously.  

I didn't try grits until later in life.  And the first time I tried them I was not impressed.  But I decided to give them a second chance.  I thought maybe what my first taste of grits was missing was 2 cups of cheese.  Turns out I like grits.  (I have tried them without the cheese.  I still liked them.)

It turns out that Shrimp and Grits is pretty easy to make.  The hardest part is deveining the shrimp.  I hate doing that.  It isn't so much that it's messy but that it takes me forever.  I keep hoping I will get faster with practice.  Problem is I don't practice very often.  So I'm still slow.  Now, the recipe says prep time is 15 minutes.  Those estimates are always wrong.  I always thought it was the time it took to prepare.  But now I think it does not take into account any chopping or, say, deveining that has to take place.  So if you have all your ingredients in the state they are asked for (i.e.. sliced, chopped, minced, deveined) then it will be 15 minutes of prep.  If not, you will need to add some time.  

All that being said, there are some things to chop and mince and juice.  But it is all simple cooking prep.  By the way, you will be surprised how hard it is to cut raw bacon.  Well, I was anyway.  

Now, the recipe calls for stone-ground grits.  I couldn't find any.  I just bought a can of store brand grits.  Which took about 5 seconds to cook as opposed to the 20 to 25 minutes the recipe says the grits will take.  You can make up some of that deveining time here.  But you need to watch them.  Because I'm not joking.  It's quick.  (Be careful when you are adding the salt.  Remember that you will be adding a lot of cheese to the grits and then bacon to the shrimp.)  Then you add 2 cups of cheddar cheese.  That is a lot of cheese.  I like cheese.  But that was a lot of cheese even for me.  But they were delicious so...

The shrimp are cooked in the grease left in the pan after you cook the bacon.  (You use 6 slices of bacon.  Which leaves you with left over bacon.  I mean, you can't let it go to waste.)  Then you add the other ingredients, like garlic and scallions and such and you are done.  All you have to do is spoon out the grits and put the shrimp mixture on top.

Grits do not reheat all that well.  If you do not eat them immediately they will not be the creamy, spoonable texture, they will be a solid, sliceable mass.  They will still taste good though.  I brought this for lunch, having made it the night before.  I put it all in the microwave.  The grits, as I said, were solid (but not hard) and the microwave didn't do the shrimp any favors either.  But it was what I had to work with and the food still tasted great.  Fresh, this is a delight.  With the creamy grits with the meltly cheese, and the firm but not rubbery (hopefully) texture of the shrimp and the bacon to add a nice savory, salty touch.  I think Shrimp and Grits would be a perfect way to celebrate this wonderful holiday.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Have a Coke and a Smile

Today (May 8th) is National Have a Coke Day.  (Yes, it is also Mother's Day.  I know.  I didn't forget.  I got my mother something, so don't judge me.) 

I like Coke.  Regular original Coke.  Not diet coke.  That sucks.  But Coke can get even better if you add some alcohol.

There are several cocktails that use Coke.  Most of them are pretty tasty.

There is, of course, the Rum and Coke.  You can use either white or dark rum.  Both are yummy but the
lounge lizard

molasses flavor of the dark rum really compliments the coke well.

If you add some lime to a rum and Coke you get a Cuba Libre.  Also yummy and the lime adds a bright note and something to offset the sweet of the other two ingredients.

Or you can have a simple Coke and Vodka.  Just as easy as it sounds.  It is basically a glass of Coke with a kick.

time bomb

If you use tequila instead of vodka you get a Batanga.  I liked this one but not as much as some of the others.  Tequila doesn't mix as well with Coke as some other alcohols.  But if you are a tequila lover you might disagree with me.  

If you are a fan of Kahlua you might like the Time Bomb.  It is not as scary as it sounds.  This one also uses rum which we already know is great with Coke but adds Kahlua.  Which, as it turns out, is also great with Coke.

Another Kahlua Coke combination is the Cherry Coffee Cola.  Not the most inventive name but it is very accurate.  You need Luxardo liquor for this one.  But it might be worth picking up a bottle.  The cherry flavor is a nice compliment to the rich, darker flavors of the other two ingredients.

I was a little unsure when I tried a Colorado Bulldog.  The idea of cream and Coke together?  But it

works.  It tastes like a White Russian with a fizz.  

If you like root beer try the Root Beer.  This one also has Kahlua.  But with some Galliano it all comes together to taste very much like root beer.

I love amaretto.  So I love the Lounge Lizard.  Rum, amaretto, and cola.  It is sweet and delicious.

There are more obviously.  You should go out there and explore them all.  But please drink responsibly.

Friday, May 6, 2022

The Friday 56


* Grab a book, any book.

* Go to page 56.  Or 56% on your ereader. 

* Find a snippet, short and sweet.

* Post it and add the url to your post at Freda's Voice

My Friday 56 this week comes from When Earth Shall Be No More by Paul Awad and Kathryn O'Sullivan.  In one universe the last 49 of Earth's human population are in a decaying orbit around Jupiter.  In an alternate universe a woman (whose counterpart is on the ship orbiting Jupiter) learns that her son may be able to save the 49 doomed humans.

The Friday 56:

"Hmm," Nicolas said.  He inspected each book's cover and description.  "This might take a while."  He retrieved a book from the top shelf, sat on a nearby stool, and turned to page one.

Nicolas is at a book store and has just been told he can only pick out one book.  He is taking the decision very seriously.  I have had that same feeling.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Prepare to Blast Off!

Today (May 5th) is National Astronaut Day and tomorrow (May 6th)  is National Space Day.  It does seem fitting that they are right next to each other on the calendar like that.  But it did make it hard for me to get a book read for each of them.  So I am using the same book to honor them both.  

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

(from the book jacket) 

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission - and if he fails, humanity and Earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn't know that.  He can't even remember his own name, let alone the mature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very long time.  And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an important task now confronts him.  Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it's up tp him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery - and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he's got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

This was fun to read.  It was one of those books where every time you put it down you want to get back to it to see what happens next.  Grace wakes up with no memory of who he is or what he is supposed to be doing.  I like that we are inside his head as he tries to figure it out.  It's fun to see him surprised by his own figures of speech and knowledge.  The story flips back and forth between Grace in space trying to figure out what he is supposed to do and Grace back on Earth as he slowly remembers how he got there.  As his memories come back Grace starts to remember who he is, not only his name and where he is from, but his character too.  Some of the things he remembers about himself he isn't happy about.  And he has to deal with those feelings all alone on a spaceship while he also has to save the world.  It is a fun, exciting, interesting story.  There are some very interesting characters but some of the members of the international team did seem rather cliché sometimes.  Grace's relationship with Rocky (he is an important part of the book but I don't want to give too much away) makes them both seem like children at times even though they are doing very complicated math and science things.  Like a kid who has finally found another kid who loves Dungeons and Dragons as much as he does.  But these are barely even complaints.  The story is told with lots of humor.  The menace to the planet feels real and believable.  There is a lot of science.  At first it was light lifting but it got heavier as the book went along.  It does not interfere with the enjoyment of the book or your understanding of what is going on.  But if you don't like science you might get slightly bored at times.  (But if you don't like science what are you doing reading this book?)  There were enough twists that you are never really sure you know what is going to happen next.  And I liked the ending very much.  It was a nice, satisfying finish to Grace's adventure.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

It's Getting Freaky In Here

 Today (May 3rd) is National Paranormal Day.  How do you celebrate National Paranormal Day?  You can go hunting for ghosts.  You can go to visit a physic.  You can send signals into space looking for aliens.  You can post a YouTube video of poltergeist activity (real or staged) in your home.  But if you are like me you are going to choose something you can do from your sofa.  Like watch all the Ghostbuster movies.  Or perhaps read a book.  Maybe something like No Hero by Jonathan Wood.

No Hero by Jonathan Wood

(from the back of the book)

What would Kurt Russell do?  British police detective Arthur Wallace asks himself that question a lot.  While he's a good cop, he prefers his action on the big screen.  But when he sees tentacles sprouting from the neck if a fresh corpse, the secret government agency MI37 comes to recruit Arthur in its struggle against a threat from another dimension known as the Progeny.  But Arthur is NO HERO!  Can an everyman stand against sanity-ripping cosmic horrors?

Poor Arthur Wallace, no amount of detective training could have prepared him for work with the MI37.  But maybe by following Kurt Russell's example he can make it through.  Creepy, mind eating parasitic, aliens from another dimension?  Cool.  A (no) hero who loves Kurt Russell?  Cool.  Arthur is relatable for someone who is fighting interdimensional aliens.  He is someone who has been thrown into a situation he is incapable of understanding and is just trying to do the best he can.  The story is filled with humor, scary aliens, interesting characters, and some cool fights.  I like Arthur's attitude in his crazy situation.  I like the interesting concept of the magic/science way the aliens are invading and are being fought off.  I didn't like the way MI37 was unbelievably unreasonable when they sent him into the field without telling him anything and then blamed him for not knowing anything.  And Arthur was more indecisive than even this unusual situation warranted sometimes.  But the plot was interesting, and the alien threat was menacing, and I liked the characters (well, most of them).  I was amused and entertained and will probably get the next book in the series to see what happens to Arthur next.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Everyone Loves the Bad Guys

The Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey

I work at a library and was seeing these books everywhere.  They seemed to be very popular, and they looked like fun, so I decided to see what they were all about.  I have now read the first six in the series and have ordered the next four from my local library.  I plan to read all 16 of them.  The concept is that a wolf is tired of being the bad guy, so he gets some other animals with bad reputations to join his team and become good guys.  You have the founder of the team (team name is still be determined), the overly optimistic wolf, the shark who is a master of disguise, the snake who has trouble remembering he is one of the good guys now, and the piranha who is always angry because everyone thinks he is a sardine.  Six books in and they have already saved dogs from the pound, chickens from the chicken farm, run into zombie kittens, an evil mad scientist hamster, aliens and gone on a trip to the moon.  So far all of the books have been fun, exciting and silly in all the best ways.  They are written for children, so you will get fart jokes and the like.  They do get goofy, but I love it.  The drawings are wonderful.  The snake has some of the best expressions.  I like that they make the fact that the shark and piranha are walking around out of water and that all the animals are wearing clothes a joke in the books.  Blabey makes a point of mentioning both but never explaining so the reader feels like that are part of an inside joke.  Children will love going on adventures with these unlikely heroes as they learn to work together and find out that helping others is a wonderful feeling.