Texas Bluebonnet Award Winner
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, January 2011:
“Having just moved into an old house in the country, siblings Abner, Tate, Derek, and Celia Willow find a hamster in the basement, whom they stick in their former hamster’s cage and name Hammy. Hammy is no ordinary hamster: not only can he talk, he can grant wishes. Of course, magic’s always a dangerous thing in the hands of the unaccustomed, and little Celia’s wish to be big goes awry, turning her into a gigantic hamster and leaving Hammy all out of magic. The four kids (three kids and one giant hamster, actually), hoping to de-hamsterize Celia, venture out into the night to meet the Great Hamster. It’s an unusual premise, to be sure, but there is something both appealing and remarkably nostalgic in this furry tale of cooperation among siblings and magical animals interacting with the human world. At the core of the slim novel is the relationship of the four siblings; even the Great Hamster commends them on being such supportive “litter-mates.” Fans of animal fiction will revel in Celia’s nighttime antics, as she is unable to stop herself from acting like a hamster, running like mad, performing acrobatics, and gnawing everything in site. Dorman’s black-and-white illustrations, partnering sturdy lines with soft gray shading, provide abundant imagery for the nocturnal adventures, and his girl-turned-hamster has a remarkably endearing expression. This is a sweet, simple narrative that will appeal to fans of Marion Dane Bauer and those who like their animal tales with a touch of magic.” HM
From the Hardcover edition.