________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 19 . . . . May 23, 2003


My Pet Hamster.

Lyn Thomas. Illustrated by Jane Kurisu.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2002.
23 pp., pbk., $4.95.
ISBN 1-55337-099-6.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Catherine Hoyt.

***1/2 /4


If you're looking for a hamster to take home, make sure you get one as awesome as I am or almost.

  • Choose the liveliest, most alert hamster in the litter.
  • Do you want a male or female hamster? The person at the pet store can help you decide.
  • If you want more than one hamster, check with the pet store about what kind to get. Some of us don't like roommates and will fight!
  • Your hamster should have shiny eyes and be clean around the ears and near the tail. And make sure it has shiny, thick fur like mine!

The star and narrator of this book is "Tumbleweed," the hamster star host of tvokids, TVOntario's daily programming for kids. The good news is that you do not have be familiar with the TV program to appreciate this book. Lyn Thomas does a nice job of presenting young readers with a variety of information about hamsters including; habits, choosing a hamster, picking the best cage, supplies, tips for the hamster's homecoming, feeding, general care, and hamster health.


internal art

     My Pet Hamster is divided into logical sections, and most of the information is provided in easy to read bullet pointed lists. A terrific addition to this book are the "My Hamster Notebook" sections which encourages the reader to answer questions and do a bit of creative writing. The "Tumbleweed Tip" and "Tumbleweed Trivia" sections provide fast facts that will allow the reader to learn even more about hamsters. The "Try This" sections are fun activities which include: comparing rodents, making a burrowing hamsterquarium, and making a hamster play maze. This book is laid out almost like a workbook. Children will want to actively read My Pet Hamster and make it their own by writing in it and completing the suggested activities.

     Jane Kurisu's cover of My Pet Hamster is eye catching and should be attractive to young readers. The illustrations are a mixture of colourful drawings and photographs of "Tumbleweed". The depictions of the hamsters are quite amusing, particularly their facial expressions. The numbered pages are great balance between easy to read text and interesting illustrations.

     My Pet Hamster is a recommended purchase for classrooms with a pet hamster and a “must-have” for any family with young children who have a hamster or are considering getting one.

Highly Recommended.

As the result of another exciting Northern move, Catherine Hoyt is now living and working in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. She is a volunteer at one of the most northern public libraries in Canada.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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