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DAYDREAMS OF A SOLITARY HAMSTER by Astrid Desbordes

DAYDREAMS OF A SOLITARY HAMSTER

By Astrid Desbordes (Author) , Pauline Martin (Illustrator) , Claudia Bedrick (Translator)

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: July 20th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59270-093-6
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

A hamster with an irritating lack of social skills fails to alienate a cast of small woodland creatures in this strange import. Looking more like an undersized koala in Martin’s simply drawn scenes, Hamster opens with a wish that “in the heavens and on earth [a]ll will praise an extraordinary hamster,” then goes on to explain in his diary how much everyone adores him, to disinvite Rabbit to his birthday party, to blow off a shy confession from Mole and so on—until at the culminating party he takes a bow after belittling everyone’s gifts. Meanwhile, the animals gather to mull such Big Questions as whether worms can shed tears of joy. Within each of her large sequential panels, the illustrator surrounds small figures with generous quantities of flat, uniformly colored green ground and blue sky, punctuated by the occasional tree or shrub. All that wide-open space focuses attention on the dialogue, which sometimes offers insights into the character of each member of the cast but too often falls flat: “Squirrel…a nut. Just one? Hmmm, not so great, so let’s just forget about it.” Yes, let’s. (Graphic picture book. 6-8)