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Younger Reader's Hamster Fiction - Reviews

Hamid of Aleppo by Clive King (1958)

This book is a spin-off from the ‘Max’ cartoon series (see Misc. hamster fiction ), “telling the story of Max’ great-great grandfather” from Aleppo in Syria.

Lord Ham by Beth Hamilton Bell (1960)

Acrobat Hamster (Gazelle Books) by Mary Cockett (1965)

Hamish meets Bumpy MacKenzie by Frances Bowen (1967)

A story about a hamster and a red squirrel.

A Hamster for Harry (A Readingtime book) by Lillian H Schafer (1972)

This is now a scarce hamster book.

A Narrow Escape by June Oldham (1973)

The story of what happens when some children buy a pet hamster.

Tales of Mr. Pengachoosa by Caroline Rush (UK, 1977)

In the "Mr Pengachoosa" storybooks, a pet hamster quietly tells his human owner great tales of his extraordinary grandfather, Mr Pengachoosa.

As well as the Tales of Mr Pengachoosa there are two other titles - Further Tales of Mr Pengachoosa and 8 stories of Mr Pengachoosa. It is somewhat unclear if the second two are two books, or different versions of one.

The Haffertee Hamster Series by Janet and John Perkins (USA, 1977-1983)

There are six books in the Haffertee Hamster series: Hafferte Hamster Diamond, Haffertee Finds a Place of his Own, Haffertee's First Christmas, Haffertee's First Easter, Haffertee's New House, Haffertee Goes Exploring.

Haffertee Hamster is a soft toy sewn in the image of a previous much loved pet to bring comfort after its death. He belongs to the little girl Diamond Yo, along with other soft toys such as Howl Owl and the chimeric Rabbearmonklio. The Haffertee books are gentle chapter books in which each chapter is a short story combining into an overall whole, a format well suited to bedtime story reading. The Diamond family are actively Christian, which is reflected in the stories as Haffertee asks important questions about life (being newly-made) and takes part in the everyday life of the family as they worship and pass through various religious festivals. One unusual feature of the Haffertee books is that all the soft toys can talk directly to humans of every age, and so sometimes Haffertee converses directly with Ma Diamond one-to-one, for example. It is completely irrelevant to the stories that Haffertee is a hamster rather than a differently shaped toy.

"Haffertee Hamster Diamond" introduces Haffertee and the other characters and explores the many ways in which living things can be created (being born like Yo, being made like Haffertee, hatching from eggs, etc).

"Haffertee's First Easter" covers a big selection of secular and religious traditions leading up to Easter (pancakes, hot cross buns, easter egg hunts, etc) whilst explaining that the reason behind it all is "Mr Jesus King". Howl Owl suffers a traumatic accident but fortunately comes back to life when he is mended a few days later (this is no 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' however). The book is tied together with a song about Jesus at Easter which the family sing together, a new verse is introduced in each chapter and the song is printed in full in the back of the book.

My Little Animal Friends at Night-Time(1987)

This book contains three illustrated stories, on the subject of hamsters, racoons and owls - all creatures which prefer to come out at night.

Hammy: The Hamster Who Wanted to be an Angel by Linda Crust (1989)

Runaway Hamster (Sweet Valley kids) by Francine Pascal (1989)

There is also an online record of this book being published in 1990 but "by Molly Mia Stewart and Y-.H. Hu", which may be a mistake.

The Pongwiffy Series by Kate Umansky (1990-2010)

Pongwiffy the smelly witch stars in a popular series of books with her bad-tempered hamster familiar Hugo (the Bloomsbury series has its own website at Hugo only has a small supporting role in the Pongwiffy series except in the first book, where the character is introduced by answering Pongwiffy's advert for a Familiar as she moves into her new home.

The Pongwiffy books are: Pongwiffy, A Witch of Dirty Habits (featuring Hugo!), Pongwiffy and the Spell of the Year, Pongwiffy and the Goblin's Revenge, Pongwiffy and the Holiday of Doom, Pongwiffy and the Pantomime, Pongwiffy and Spellovision Song Contest and Pongwiffy Back on Track. There is also a story called Pongwiffy and the Important Announcement, published combined with Grubtown Tales: The Great Pasta Disaster for World Book Day 2010.

Hannah the Hamster Hunter (How Did That Happen Series) by Marcia Leonard and Maxie Chambliss (1990)

There are also records of "Hannah the Hamster Hunter by Teddy Slater (1991)", I haven't yet decided if these are the same book or not!

Harry's Hamster (Cartwheels) by Sheila Lavelle and Jo Davies (1990)

Hamster Weekend (Cartwheels) by Rowena Akinyemi and Junior Hall (1991)

Good-Bye, Horace Hamster (1991)

This is now a scarce hamster book.

There's a Hamster in My Lunchbox (Little Apple) by Susan Clymer and Paul Casale (1994)

Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt by Suzy Kline and Frank Remkiewicz (1994)

Reprinted in 1996 and 1999.

Markie, the Magical Hamster by Ken Jackson (1996)

Self-Published through Arthur Stockwell but is no longer recorded on their website inventory (in 2013). This is now a scarce hamster book.

Atul's Christmas Hamster (Cambridge Reading) by Richard Brown (1996)

Jazz, Pizzazz, and the Silver Threads by Mary Quattlebaum and Robin Oz (1997)

Hamper's Great Escape (Treetops) by Pippa Goodhart and Caroline Holden (1997)

How's Harry? (Mammoth reads) by Steve May and Philip Hopman (1997)

The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster (Jigsaw Jones Mysteries) by James Preller and R. W. Alley (1998/99)

Hammy (Pet Pals) (Orchard Super Crunchies) by Elizabeth Dale and Harmen van Straaten (1999)

Published by Orchard.

Hamster Chase (Viking/Puffin Easy-To-Read - Level 2) by Anastasia Suen, Ezra Jack Keats and Allan Eitzen (2001/02)

Bumble by Alison Prince and Doffy Weir (2001)

Published by Young Corgi.

Beetle and the hamster (Beetle and friends) by Hilary McKay and Lesley Harker (2002)

Published by Hippo.

Help! Something's Eaten My Hamster! (Internet Vet) by Tony De Saulles (2002)

Hamster/Room 24/Mssng (Harcourt School Publishers Trophies 03) by HSP (2003)

Katie Morag Of Course (Fox Tales) by Dr Mairi Hedderwick (2003)

One of the stories in this three-story book features a pet hamster. Katie Morag is an ongoing character who stars in a series of books about her island life.

Class Pets: Battle in a Bottle (Ready-for-chapters) by Frank Asch and John Kanzler (2004)

Hamlet Goes To School by Ashcraft Carolyn and Carolyn Ashcraft (2004)

Hamish the Hamster: Star of the Show (RSPCA Perfect Pets) by Gordon Volke (2005)

This book is also available with a similar overall cover design but a picture of Hamish running in his wheel rather than asleep in a trophy.

The Best Seat in Second Grade (Quality I Can Read - Level 2) by Katharine Kenah and Abby Carter (2006)

Hot Dog and Bob and the Dangerously Dizzy Attack of the Hypno Hamsters by Dave Whamond (2007)

Stop That Hamster! (Ready, Freddy!) by Abby Klein and John McKinley (2007)

Hamsters Don't Glow in the Dark (Abby and Tess Pet-Sitters) by Trina Wiebe (2007)

The Happy Hamster (Little Animal Ark) by Lucy Daniels (2007)

This book is part of the "Little Animal Ark" spin-off series from the popular "Animal Ark" collection for older readers.

My Two Best Friends are Hamsters by Mignon L. Pinson (2010)

This book was self-published through AuthorHouse

Henry the Hamster by Jennifer Muth and Megan Steckler (2010)

This book was self-published through American Book Publishing

Andy the Spider: Hide and Seek by Samantha Rindfuss (2010)

This book was self-published through Createspace

Jaliyah And The Case Of The Lost Hamster by Shauna Walker (2011)

This book was self-published through Lulu

The Humphrey's Tiny Tales Series (2011-ongoing)

This series is a spin-off from the popular "According to Humphrey" series for older readers.

The current titles are: 1)My Pet Show Panic! (2011), 2)My Summer Fair Surprise! (2011), 3)My Creepy-Crawly Camping Adventure!(2011), 4)My Great Big Birthday Bash! (2012), 5)My Treasure Hunt Trouble! (2012) 7) My Really Wheely Racing Day! (2013)

Hamster Magic (Magical Mix-Ups (Quality)) by Lynne Jonell and Brandon Dorman (2012)

Royal Rodent Rescue (DC Super-Pets) by John Sazaklis (2012)

Cartoon Kid Strikes Back! by Jeremy Strong (2012)

This book contains three stories, "Go, Dad, Go!", "The Talking Cake" and "Hamster Trouble". Geronimo the class hamster stars in the minor storyline of the second story, which involves him being sucked up in a vacumn cleaner (unharmed by this) and meeting a pet hamster named Betty. The third story is set shortly afterwards and based around the class putting on a hamster-themed assembly at school (this story features fewer actual hamsters).

Published by Puffin books and illustrated by Steve May. There is a Jeremy Strong website called Krazy Klub for fans of his work.

The Stinkyjinks Series by David Lowe (2012 – ongoing)

The Adventures of Stinky and Jinks contain several books about hamsters: My Hamster is a Genius (2012), My Hamster is an Astronaut (2013) and My Hamster is a Spy (2013). "My Hamster's Got Talent" is due out in 2014.

Einstein the Class Hamster by Janet and Jake Tashjian (2013)

Published by Henry Holt & Company

September Sneakers (Calendar Mysteries) by Ron Roy (2013)

Illustrated by John Steven Gurney, published by Random House.

The Missing Hamster Who Didn't Escape: 2 (The Mya Dove Case Files) by Zuni Blue (2013)

Self-published via Create Space