The Hamster Book by Silvia Borando

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The Hamster Book by Silvia Borando

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A delightful book that may help to postpone the ‘please can we get a pet’ begging just a little bit longer...
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781406367720

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Look! You finally have your very own pet, a sweet little hamster. You can give her a name, smooth down her fur, watch her do tricks and give her some food. It’s not all fun and games with your new hamster however! Of course, every responsible pet owner knows that they need to clean up after their pet, if there are any little accidents...

This delightful book was a firm favourite as soon as it arrived. Our whole family has read it - there’s something very attractive about the very simple cover, and the sweet, smiling hamster that makes you want to pick it up and read it straight away. I read it first, of course, and I have to say, even without my little four year old next to me, I did find myself tempted to reach out and stroke the hamster! The book is written as a sort of instruction manual, so after naming your new pet you’re then introduced to her, discovering what she’s like and you’re encouraged to tap her awake, give her a stroke and feed her sunflower seeds. When I finally decided to share the book with my little boy he thoroughly enjoyed it too, cheerfully talking to his little hamster and really joining in with everything, including the fetching of a tissue in order to clean up the poo! My husband also sat and read it quietly to himself, and I later saw my ten year old daughter sneaking a peak (and she also reached out to touch the hamster, as instructed!)

The format is very simple, and utterly charming. My first pet was a hamster called Charlie, and I then had a succession of other hamsters, a gerbil, and a guinea pig who I tried (and failed) to teach to jump over small guinea pig sized fences in the garden since what I really wanted by then was a horse! So I suppose I was predisposed to like this hamster book. But even if you’re a bit wary of rodents, there’s nothing to fear here! It certainly gives a general and funny introduction as to what hamsters are like. My only disappointment (and hence the removal of half a star), was that when the hamster stuffs her cheeks with all of the sunflower seeds that you, as the reader, feed her, there was no explanation of her cheeks being a sort of temporary storage cupboard. Instead we are told that her mouth is full and we need to wait for her to chew everything. These magical cheek pouches are of course a wonderful feature of having a hamster, so I felt it was a shame to have missed out any kind of explanation of what they are, or a picture of when the hamster regurgitates the food back out again! The pictures of the hamster with her fat cheeks, however, are very good!

Predictably my son’s favourite part was the hamster poo! They do tend to do a lot of poo, and we also really liked that the end papers are yet more poo which, when he saw it, he dutifully cleaned up with his tissue! I do love the simplicity throughout, the clear and funny pictures, and the bright colours. This book has made me start to wonder if we ought to have a hamster (don’t tell my children…) and I think that it will have broad appeal to all those who have had hamsters, or wish for a hamster, or would just like any kind of pet at all will enjoy a little pretending with this story.


Further reading suggestion: For another active story you might enjoy this lovely pop-up book What's In The Witch's Kitchen? by Nick Sharratt and of course, don’t forget the ultimate pet request book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell


Buy The Hamster Book by Silvia Borando at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Hamster Book by Silvia Borando at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Hamster Book by Silvia Borando at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Hamster Book by Silvia Borando at Amazon.com.


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