A scary foray into the wide (indoor) world cures a hamster of any yen for adventure in this variation on the creators’ Memoirs of a Goldfish (2010).
Seymour the hamster is quite comfy in his pen, thank you—until lured into engineering an ingenious escape by Pearl the cat’s teasing promises of a staircase made of sunflower seeds and a sunroom filled with yogurt drops. But Pearl turns out to be a “big, fat liar,” and Seymour’s adventure turns into a frantic flight not only from her, but also from Buck the dog and, most frightening of all, a roaring monster called a “Hoover.” The arrangement of Seymour’s chatty exposition into 14 “Nights” is a clear contrivance—he supposedly spends Nights 11, 12 and part of 13 cowering under the sofa before the watchful Pearl falls asleep and he can make a break—but the pacing is suitably breathless. His hamster-ish outlook is effectively conveyed in his narrative and in Bowers’ low-angle cartoon views of a chubby-cheeked, bright-eyed pet who, though once susceptible to temptation, clearly enjoys the familiar comforts of wheel and water bottle—to which he is returned following a last-second rescue by his human yogurt-drop supplier, Little Girl.
“Question: Who’s the luckiest hamster in the world? Answer: ME!” Readers will probably agree. (Picture book. 6-8)