Happy Birthday, Hamster

Happy Birthday, Hamster Reviews

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From Children's Literature
Hamster's friends develop a plan to give him a surprise birthday party. Bull Dog will distract Hamster while his mice and dog friends prepare the festivities. Hamster is so excited because the day is his special one, but Bull Dog pretends not to remember and invites Hamster to go along on a shopping trip to the bakery, toy store, and party store. All the while, Hamster is picking out what he would like and the friends trail along behind getting exactly what is desired. However, Hamster is completely unaware of the real happenings. In the end, the furry little creature gets everything he wants and his friends are successful with their surprise. Young readers will enjoy knowing what Hamster does not as well as answering the question "Which would you choose?" Full page illustrations wash every sheet with bright, party colors matching the mood of the text perfectly. Rhyming sentences set the tone for easy reading or a lesson on sounds. Highly recommended for libraries and classrooms, this volume encourages friendship with diverse populations and showing thoughtfulness to others. This title is a sequel to Hot Rod Hamster. Reviewer: Janice DeLong


From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—The small creature featured in Hot Rod Hamster (Scholastic, 2010) is back, and it's his birthday. He hopes for a new riding toy but what he really wants is simply for his friends to remember his special day. Tagging along with Dog on his errands, Hamster begins to lose hope. But in the background, readers see all of his friends rallying around the birthday effort as the text chants: "Games, check. Hats, check. Piñata and some bats, check. Plates, check. Spoons, check. Streamers and balloons, check. Which would you choose?" Loud, exaggerated acrylics burst off the pages, and the plump, cuddly characters look like stuffed animals come to life. Children will enjoy the opportunity to participate and make choices throughout the book leading up to Hamster's surprise party.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA


From Booklist
In this companion to Hot Rod Hamster (2010), Hamster's friends are planning a surprise party for the lovable rodent. On the morning of his birthday, his best friend, Dog, comes over and invites Hamster to join him on his errands. Hamster grows more despondent with each stop, confident his friend has forgotten his special day. What he doesn't notice in each two-page spread is that his mouse friends are secretly buying things for his party at each stop. This sweet, rhyming story is accompanied by vibrant, cartoon-style illustrations and has all the elements of a good, diverting read. And the birthday theme? Well, that's icing on the cake. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.


From Publishers Weekly
It's Hamster's birthday, but his best friend Dog seems to have forgotten. Hamster accompanies him on errands, including stopping at a bakery, as well as toy and party stores. At each stop, the hefty bulldog pretends to shop for himself, but is actually in cahoots with three mice keeping tabs on what Hamster wants. Lord uses a rhyme scheme similar to that in Hot Rod Hamster to describe the items in each store: "Spin toys, glow toys, wind it up and go toys./ Soft toys, hard toys, ride it through the yard toys. Which would you choose?" Just as Hamster becomes despondent, his friends greet him with a lively celebration. Those who miss the clues the first time, should enjoy being privy to them upon rereading. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)