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Welcome to Grantabrugge Hamstery

Book Reviews

Page, Gill, 2000, I Am Your Hamster (Getting to Know Your Pet), Brighter Child/Interpet Publishing

4 star - This is not the most detailed hamster guide ever but it is an age-appropriate presentation of all the important pet care information for a primary-school child getting their first hamster. The book was published simultaneously in the normal and hamster-shaped covers with exactly identical contents, presumably to attract both an older and younger child market.

Although this book cannot compete with some of the in-depth hamster guides written for adults in terms of the depth of content, it is not trying to do so. Instead, it uses a recurring Syrian hamster narrator, great layout and clear text to prepare interested children for the responsibility of having a pet of their own to take care of - and does this very successfully. This is also one of the very very few books aimed at the pet market which specifically discourages young owners from trying to mate their pet hamsters, telling children that 'your hamster does not want to have babies' and not going into any detail about the care or development of new-born hamsters as a result.

This book was reprinted in 2001, 2004 and 2006.

Hollmann, Peter, 2000, "Mein Hamster und ich" (in German) translated by Bohannon, Celia, 2001, as "My Hamster and me" (For the love of animals/Family Pet Series), Barrons Educational Series, New York

This book was reprinted in 2001

Hill, Lorraine, 2001, Owning the Perfect Small Pet- Hamsters A to Z

This book was reprinted in 2003

Appleton, Mary, 2001 (poss 1996), "How to Care for Your Hamster" (Your First... series), Kingdom books, a division of Interpret Publishing, Surrey, UK. ISBN13 978 1 85279 156 8 ISBN10 1 85279 156 x. 34 pages, full colour, paperback.

2 stars - a very shallow overview of hamster care, with extra points deducted for implying all dwarf hamsters to be homogenous "Russian" hamsters of the genus Phodopus.

This is a very short book for absolute beginners. It does contain sensible advice and information about all the major categories usually covered in such books (selection, breeding, diet, illness, colours, etc) but at a very basic level. Due to this it may actually be counter-productive if it makes the hamster owner feel that they are now fully informed. As entire sections have a remarkable sentence by sentence resemblance to "Your First Hamster" by Peter Smith, I'd suggest reading that book instead!

There is aso a book called "Hamster" by this author described from 2008.

Mays, Marianne, 2002 (poss 1997), "How to care for your Dwarf Hamster" (Your First.... series), Kingdom Books

Murray, Julie (2002) Hamsters (Animal Kingdom: Buddy Books)

Barnes, Julia (2001) 101 Facts about Hamsters (How & Why)

Reprinted in 2002, also associated with C Horton-Bussey

Nelson, Robin, 2002, "Pet Hamster" (First Step Nonfiction)

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

Helen Piers 2002, Looking After Your Hamster (Herries Chronicles)

Kawai, Ritsuko, 2002, "Hamtaro Hamster Care Guide"

Alderton, David, 2002, Looking After My Pet Hamster

Alderton, David, 2002, Hamster (Collins Family Pet Guide)

This book was reprinted in 2011

Gerry Bucsis, Barbara Somerville, 2002 Training Your Pet Hamster

Logsdail, Chris, Logsdail, Pete and Hovers, Kate, 2002, "Hamsterlopaedia"

5 stars - contains a lot of information on biology and disease not found in the usual books at all and has a lot of detailed factual information on all aspects of hamster care and showing, including attention paid to Chinese and the various dwarf hamsters.

This would be an excellent book even if it weren't written by two of the current leading lights of the National Hamster Council. :)

This book was reprinted in 2003.

2002, "Quick and Easy Hamster Care" TFH

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

Fox, Sue, 2003, "Quick and Easy Dwarf Hamster Care" TFH

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

Ganeri, Anita, 2003, Hamster (A Pet's Life)

This book was reprinted in 2004 and in 2009.

Jacobs, Liza and Lu, Liza (2003) Hamsters (Wild wild world)

About Pets, 2003, The Hamster: A Guide to Selection, Housing, Care, Nutrition, Behaviour, Health, Breeding, Species and Colours

Published by Kingdom Books.

About Pets, 2003, The Dwarf Hamster: A Guide to Selection, Housing, Care, Nutrition, Behaviour, Health, Breeding, Species and Colours

Published by Kingdom Books.

Head, Honor and Burton, Jane 2003, Hamsters and Gerbils (My Pet)

Petty, K, 2003, Hamsters (My Pet)

Bartlett, Patricia, 2003, "The Hamster Handbook", Barron's ISBN 0-7641-2294-0. 137 pages, full colour. American (Price also given in Canadian dollars on back), but gives info on UK hamster clubs etc.

4 stars - a very thorough, modern guide to pet hamster ownership.

This does what it sets out to do - it is a good practical handbook for somebody considering keeping a hamster as a pet in the US or UK. Being more recently written than many of the other pet guides around it offers relatively up to date information on the relative merits of different cage types and comprehensive lists of current colours of Syrian and Campbell's hamster. This book also deals with dwarf hamsters in more detail than most, though still being comprehensive on the needs and habits of the Syrian. The text is probably aimed at older children/adults and is mostly direct and factual, though with the occasional joke or brief personal anecdote giving it an informal tone overall

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

Meredith, Susan, 2003, "Usborne First Pets (Internet Linked) - Hamsters"

This book was reprinted in 2004.

Guidry, Virginia Parker, 2004, "Hamsters: The Ultimate Pocket Pet"

Zarbock, Marylou (2004) Hamsters

Gassner, Georg (2004) Hamsters

The Hamster (Face-To-Face (Charlesbridge)) by Paul Starosta (Jun 2004)

Hibbert, Clare, 2004, Hamster (Looking After Your Pet) Smart Apple Media

This book was reprinted in 2006.

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

O'Neill, Amanda, 2004, "Golden Tips For Caring For Your First Hamster" (Gold Medal Guides), Interpet Publishing

2 stars - This book is based on a disjointed "fascinating facts" format, which means that you'd need another book to actually provide a thorough overview of the hamster care topics that it covers in its "tips", but then you'd already have found out most of the things in this book from the other one...

Although I have given this book a low mark because it jumps around too much to be certain of covering any given topic really logically or comprehensively, it is actually a nice book to read and keeps the readers' attention well - an older child or teen with an interest in hamsters could probably spend a happy few hours looking through it as a supplement to another book covering the basics of everyday care. However, if you are trying to rely on the "Gold Medal" tips to work out how to deal with a new pet you may find that the bitty design makes it quite easy to miss vital information and that the presentation of the information overall is quite shallow - although each double page spread is 'about' a single topic the info has been made to fit a 50 paragraphs plus extra factoids format.

Adby, Sheila and O'Neill, Dan, 2004, Hamsters in Sickness and in Health

Sjonger, Rebecca, Kalman, Bobbie and Crabtree, Marc, 2004, Hamsters (Pet Care), Crabtree Publishing

Gillis, Jennifer Blizin, 2004, Hamsters (Pets at My House) Heinemann-Raintree

Whitehouse, Patricia, 2004, Pets in My House: Hamster, Raintree

Rayner, Matthew and Greenaway, Frank 2004, I am your pet: Hamster (Best Friends' Care Guides), Pangolin Books

This book was created after consultation with the PDSA and with help from Sue and Peter Charmley of Minx Hamstery.

Coppendale, Jean, 2004, You and Your Pet: Hamster and Gerbil

Ths book was reprinted in 2005 and 2006

Waters, Jo, 2005, The Wild Side of Pet Hamsters (Raintree Perspectives), Heinemann-Raintree

This book was reprinted in 2006

Wood, Selina, 2005, Hamster (Owning a Pet)

This book was also republished in 2008/9 in "Library Binding"

RSPCA, 2005, Care For Your Hamster (RSPCA Pet Guide)

Richardson, Adele, 2006, "Caring for Your Hamster"

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

McDowell, Anne, 2006, The Pets At Home Guide To Hamsters: Expert advice on caring for your pet

This may also be the book by the same author in the same year entitled "Quick-N-Easy Guide to Keeping a Hamster"

Lissenberg, D. J (2006) Dwarf Hamsters

Fox, Sue (2006/08) Hamsters (Animal Planet Pet Care Library)

Richardson, Adele (2006) Caring for Your Hamster (Greenlight First Facts: Positively Pets)

Bodden, Valerie, 2006, Hamster (My First Look At Pets)

Reprinted in 2011.

Spilsbury, Louise A. and Spilsbury, Richard (2006/07/08) Hamsters (Keeping Pets)

Sikora Siino, Betsy, 2006, "Hamster: Your Happy Healthy Pet"

This is the second edition of this book, which was also reprinted in 2007.

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

Montague, Sarah, 2007 "Hamsters For Dummies"

Parts of this book can be read online for free here

Anon (2007) Hamster : A Complete Guide To Caring For Your Pet

TFH (2007) Hamsters (Practical Pet Care)

Culverwell, Elaine (2007) The Dwarf Hamster (Top Tips for a Happy Healthy Pet)

Head, Honor (2007) You & Your Pet Hamster & Gerbil

Fritzsche, Peter, Giel, Oliver and Touret, Mireille (2007/08) Hamster (My Pet)

Fritzsche, Peter, 2007 "Hamster" (in German), translated by Bye, Eric, 2008, "Hamsters: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual (Everything About Selection, Care, Nutrition, and Behaviour)", Barrons

Newcomb, Rain and McLarney, Rose, 2008, "Is My Hamster Wild?: The Secret Lives of Hamsters, Gerbils & Guinea Pigs"

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

Johnson, Jinny, 2008, Hamsters and Gerbils (Get To Know Your Pets)

Reprinted in 2009 and 2011.

Ellis, Carol (2008) Hamsters and Gerbils (Great Pets)

Rockwell, Anne F. and Lum, Bernice (2008) My Pet Hamster (Let's-Read-and-Find)

Holub, Joan and Divito, Anna (2008) Why Do Rabbits Hop?: And Other Questions About Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, and Gerbils (Puffin Easy-to-Read)

Sabates, B. G. and Segarra, M (2008) Our New Hamster (Let's Take Care of Books)

Foran, Jill (2008/09) Hamster (My Pet)

Fritzsche, Peter (2008/09) Golden Hamsters (Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)

Alderton, David (2008) How to Look After Your Small Pets: An Owner's Guide to Caring for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Gerbils etc.

Alderton, David (2008) The Illustrated Practical Guide to Small Pets and Pet Care: Expert Advice on Choosing the Right Breed, Housing, etc.

Bromley, Matthew (2008) Looking After A Hamster - Big Edition

This book is self-published via Lulu.

Thomas, Rachael (2008) All you need to know about hamsters

This book appears to have been self-published, but possibly now withdrawn from sale.

The Quick Easy Guides Series (2008)

There are four related titles: "How To Care for Hamsters", "How To Buy Hamster and Guinea Pig Cages", "How To Buy Supplies for Your Hamster, Guinea Pig or Gerbil" and "How To Tell If Your Hamster Is Hibernating"

Sullivant, Holly, 2009, "Hamsters"

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

Vanderlip, Sharon (2009) Dwarf Hamsters (Pet Owner's Manuals)

Stevens, Kathryn (2009) Hamsters (Pet Care for Kids)

Smalley, Carol Parenzan (2009) Care for a Pet Hamster (How to Convince Your Parents You Can...)

Vella, Nadia, 2009, "Hamster-Club Guide Book"

This is the first hamster care book from Malta, where hamsters have been slower to catch on than in many other countries. This book largely focuses on medical treatments which could be carried out for a sick hamster at home, overlapping to quite a large extent with "Hamsters in Sickness and Health" and sharing that book's interest in homeopathic treatments.

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

Anon, 2009 "The Hamster: Top tips for a happy healthy pet" (Good Pet Guide Series), Magnet and Steel Publishing

1 star - Unfortunately, this "Good Pet" book is not only full of factual errors about hamsters (some quite major) but even has lots of basic spelling mistakes, implying a total lack of attention when preparing this book for sale.

This book was reprinted in 2012. Sadly this book is sold by a major pet chain who should know better as clearly a cheaper alternative to buying the Pet Friendly guide which they also sell (and do suggest buying as well as this book, to be fair). This 23 page booklet seems to present quite a lot of information in the 36 sections of fairly dense text, illustrated with many attractive images (often product placement) and little factoids. Unfortunately it seems to have had no proof reading at all, nor has it been written or checked by someone who knows anything about hamsters. There are an awful lot of mistakes and incorrect assumptions in the text but some of the more glaring are the total lack of understanding of what a 'Self' or 'Tortoiseshell' hamster is, 'hilariously' listing 'potato' as both a 'good' and 'bad' food (in fairly short adjacent lists..) and saying that the eyes of baby hamsters open at 4 days old. Some of the others should have been caught in the proofreading stage, like giving the correct description of the teeth in each of the upper and lower jaws but then saying that this is per quadrant (eg: all of those teeth twice per jaw). Some sections are just strange and slightly sad in what they imply about the usual handling of pets by the writers, like the 'hamster behaviour' descriptions of the meaning of body language which says that sitting up (and almost all the other behaviours too) means that the hamster is about to bite.

Marc, Andreea, 2010, How to treat your hamster - Everything you need to know about your hamster

This 'book' was self-published to Kindle only.

van der Paauw, Mathijs, 2010, Happy Hamster

This book is a collection of play-food recipes for making human-like meals for hamsters to eat.

Zobel, Derek, 2010, "Caring for Your Hamster" (Blastoff! Readers: Pet Care Library: Level 4)

A preview of this book can be read online for free here

McBride, Anne Dr, 2010, Pet Friendly: Understanding and Caring for Your Pet Hamster

This book was reprinted in 2011 and 2012

McBride, Dr Anne, 2011, Pet Friendly: Understanding and Caring for Your Pet Dwarf Hamsters

Tracy, Kathleen, 2011, The Hamster in our Class (Randy's Corner: Class Pet)

Kawa, Katie, 2011, Furry Hamsters (Pet Corner)

Also published in 2011 was a bilingual version called Furry Hamsters/Hamsteres Peludos (Pet Corner/Rincon de Las Mascotas) translated by Eduaro Alaman.

Carr, Aaron, 2011, I Love My Pet Hamster (with web access) (I Love My Pet)

Warren, Dexter, 2011, The Beginner's Guide to Dwarf Hamster Care: A Simple, Practical Guide To Raising A Happy Dwarf Hamster

This book was self-published on CreateSpace.

Tebeau, Frank and Griecci, Paticia, 2011, Caring For Your New Pet Hamster

This 'book' was self-published to Kindle only.

Rose, W. B., 2011, Serious About Hamsters - Ultimate Guide for Hamster care and Training

This 'book' was self-published to Kindle only.

Hutmacher, Kimberley, M., 2012, I Want a Hamster (Pebble Plus: I Want a Pet)

Heneghan, Judith, 2012, Love Your Hamster (Your Perfect Pet)

This book was reprinted in 2013.

Murphy, Connor, 2012, Hamster Care: A Comprehensive Hamster Care Guide On Habitat, Training And How To Care For Your Pet (How I Cared For My Hamster That Lived Seven Years)

This book was self-published on CreateSpace.

It should be noted that seven years is a truly exceptional lifespan for a Syrian hamster - the average modern hamster is rather elderly if it reaches 2 years old, although lifespans of 4 years have sometimes been reported for the species (much more so in the past than now). In the majority of cases where people remember their childhood pet living for a much longer time, this is sadly usually because of deception and the replacement of dead pets with new similar-looking ones.

Bartley, Craig, 2012, Hamsters: The Complete Hamster Care Guide: How To Make Your Hamster Live For 7 Years Or More

This book was self published on CreateSpace.

This book was first published as an e-book in 2012, then followed by a paperback. It came out at nearly the same time as the Connor Murphy volume of similar name, and the caveats about seven-year Syrian hamster lifespans being extremely odd and unlikely from the review of that book apply here too.

Overall, the booklet strikes me as "a nice try". It is fairly thin and sadly the cover, whilst glossy, is slightly pixellated, off-centre and out-of-focus in person due to being uploaded from a computer to self-publish. The contents are a fairly solid overview of the hamster information available for free all over the internet in 2012 and do not contain any glaringly obvious faults. The presentation is neat, although there are a couple of basic typos that really shouldn't get into a published book, and the author has a slightly jolting turn-of-phrase in places and varies a little too much between informal and formal tone - possibly English is not his first language? The cover mentions extended lifespan, but there is no mention whatsoever of this or how to produce this inside the book (although a note does say that the author once had a hamster which lived 8.5 years, a massively unfeasible lifespan in reality), the advice is all very ordinary and generally does not produce hamsters living for more than 2-3 years!

Whilst someone relying on this book would probably treat their hamster perfectly adequately as a result, it all looks a bit home-made and there are more reputable sources on the market which are cheaper and just as easy to get hold of! With more basic editing it would have been a lot better.

Meredith, Susan, 2013, Looking After Hamsters (Usborne Pet Guides)

Morgan, Sally, 2013, Gerbils and Hamsters (Pets Plus)

Jeffrey, Laura, S., 2013, Choosing a Hamster, Gerbil, Guinea Pig, Rabbit, Ferret, Mouse, or Rat (American Humane Association Pet Care)

"Little Fella" (a Syrian hamster), Brecht, Karola and Medvedoff, Mich, 2013, Syrian Hamsters or Golden Hamsters as Pets