An unseen pet owner narrates this “what if” story about a pet hamster, imagining his meteoric growth: He will get BIGGER and BIGGER. Then he will be … HUMONGOUS!” The following pages amusingly ponder what the now-humongous hamster might do: use a Ferris wheel as an exercise wheel, rescue folks who need help, or give kids rides on his furry back. The narrator is certain the enlarged rodent would “miss us playing together,” however, suggesting that he would “shrink back to normal hamster size again and be ready for another hamster sleep, in his usual hamster house … until the next time he gets HUMONGOUSLY HUNGRY!” There isn’t much substance to the story, but it is a kid-pleasing concept, and the images of the giant hamster, his beady black eyes shining against his reddish-brown fur, looming large against a city skyline like a benevolent Godzilla, will likely incite plenty of giggles. The digital alterations to the photographs are somewhat crude, though, with shadows sometimes missing or misplaced and a lack of depth in some images. This might still work in a fanciful storytime about oversized pets, particularly when paired with Pilkey’s Dogzilla or Kat Kong or even Syd Hoff’s classic, Danny and the Dinosaur (BCCB 9/58). A creative and tech-savvy teacher or parent could also use this as a springboard for a similar imaginative photo/story project.
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Freytag, Lorna. My Humongous Hamster; written and illus. by Lorna Freytag. Holt, 2014. [26p]. ISBN 978-0-8050-9918-8 $15.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad 4-7 yrs.
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