Book Review: Hamster Magic

Hamster Magic by Lynne Jonell (Brandon Dorman, illus.). 2010.

Lynne Jonell is renowned for her Emmy series which has been a huge success with children and teachers.  Jonell, being no stranger to the world of rodents, has created a splendid furry fantasy, Hamster Magic.

This story starts out with the four Willow siblings and their difficulty with moving to a house in the country. While settling into their new home, the Willow children notice their hamster (Hammy the Third) is missing.  By luck Celia encounters Hammy and realizes that he is a talking, wish-granting hamster. Celia, being the youngest and smallest sibling, decides that she is entitled to a wish. She wishes Hammy was bigger and she could be “big,” too; however, Hammy interprets this as wanting to be a big hamster.  Oh no, Hammy has done it now and a visit to the Great Hamster is in order. Will Celia leave her Woofie dog biscuits and fur behind to become a girl again? What will happen to Hammy for granting a hamster wish to a child? Read Hamster Magic to find out all of your unanswered questions and more!

Hamster Magic was a delight to read not only for the fantastical story, but because I am an enthusiast of rodents. This magical story is perfect for children who have just learned to read with certainty and crave a real chapter book. The illustrations by Brandon Dorman are charming and subtle. I particularly enjoyed the page that depicted Celia as a hamster jumping off the couch! This story has inspired me to dream big, and possibly go to the local pet store to get my own wish-granting hamster.

Lynne Jonell’s Hamster Magic is nominated for a Minnesota Book Award in the Young People’s Literature category. Stay tuned to find out the winners! Admirers of Lynne Jonell will be interested to know that the latest installment of the Emmy series, Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry is coming out this July! Keep in mind that in Spring 2012, Lawn Mower Magic will be available for purchase!

               Blogger:  Kristin J