by Susan Meredith
This book about hamsters is very cute and informative. It has a lot more information in it than the last one we read, but my four year old was so intrigued by the pictures and charm of hamsters she wanted to read it all in one sitting. So we did. Like the other books on pet care we've been recently perusing, Hamsters discusses the pets' origins, needs and care. It also tells about the differences between syrian (or golden) hamsters and dwarf hamsters, how to understand your hamster's natural behavior, and how to tame it. I learned some interesting things about these small creatures- like they will eat their own droppings (yuck!) and like treats of yogurt (yum!) My daughter and I were both intrigued by the idea of building hamster runs or mazes out of empty tissue boxes, cardboard toilet paper rolls and paper towel tubes. It looks like fun, and a two-page spread explains how. It appears that a hamster would be a better choice of pet for us than mice, as they can adjust to waking up in the early evening for play, and you can let them roam the house in an exercise ball. One of the great things about this book is the illustrations- a mixture of photos and cute cartoon-like drawings- very engaging. A negative aspect was the inclusion of "internet links" as stated on the cover. This proved to consist of nothing more than a certain website mentioned repeatedly at the top of numerous pages. It was always the same link, and not to a site about hamsters, but a search engine where you'd have to do more navigating to find what you want. I found that quite irritating and pointless.
Rating: 3/5 ........ 32 pages, 2004