Memoirs of a Hamster

 
Cover: Memoirs of a Hamster
 
 

Night 1 / My life is perfect. / I have a bowl full of seeds, a cozy pile of wood shavings, and room to run. / I'm never leaving here. / Question: Who's the luckiest hamster in the world? / Answer: ME! Seymour the hamster has the perfect life. He has a spacious cage, a constant food supply, and a FuzzyBoy 360 exercise wheel that lets him run to his heart's content. Life could not be better. Or could it? When Pearl the cat tells Seymour of the goodies beyond the safe confines of his cage, he starts to think he's missing out. And out is the new in! It's only after Seymour is out of his cage that he begins to fully appreciate his safe and cozy home.

Details

Specifications

  • Dewey: E
  • Graphics: Full-color illustrations
  • Hardcover (9781585368310): 32 pages, 11 (w) x 9 (h), © 2013, 05/01/2013
  • PDF (9781627530088): 32 pages, © 2013, 04/15/2013
  • Hosted ebook (9781627535656): 32 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013

Leveling

  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 0-4 - Age 7
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 3
  • ATOS Reading Level: 2.9
  • ATOS Interest Level: LG
  • Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 158655
  • Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5

BISAC Subjects

Awards

  • Great Lakes Great Books Award (Grades 2 – 3), Short-listed, 2014
  • 2014 IRA/CBC Children's Choices List, Winner, 2014
  • Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, Commended, 2014
  • 2014-2015 Washington Children's Choice Book Award, Long-listed, 2014
  • Creative Child Award Seal of Excellence Award, Winner, 2013
  • 2015-2016 Morning Clam Award Medal, Winner

Reviews

Bluff Country Reader Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

So, how’s it going?

How’s life treating you? You’ve got things to do, plenty of toys, food and treats, and it’s all good? Bet you’re a happy kid.

Or maybe you’d like it better if you lived in Paris, Mars or another house.

If you’re thinking that’s true, then read Memoirs of a Hamster by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers, and be careful what you ask for.

Seymour Q. Hamster had a pretty good life.

He had a brand-new home filled with wood shavings and room to run. His bowl was full of seeds and he had a new fast-as-lightning exercise wheel that really zoomed. Seymour was the luckiest hamster in the world!

It took awhile for him to learn how to use his water bottle without getting splashed, but he even liked that. And he loved that his Little Girl gave him yogurt drops, although he hated that she liked to kiss him on the nose. That was just nasty.

Then one night, after about a week of living the good life, Seymour had a visitor. Pearl the Cat came around, and told him that she was going to the sunroom.

Sunroom? That was something Seymour had never heard of.

He thought about the sunroom all night. When Little Girl cleaned his cage, he tried to look for a sunroom but the house was much bigger than he thought. Then, two nights later, Pearl told him something he could hardly believe: the house’s staircase was made of sunflower seeds and the sunroom was packed with yogurt drops. Even Buck the Dog said he loved the sunroom.

So Seymour plotted.

And he thought.

And he plotted some more, until he figured a way to get out of his cage. Operation Tasty Treat was set. He jammed his wheel with his bowl, climbed on top of it, popped the lid of his cage, and he was free! It wouldn’t be long before he’d be eating his fill of yummy yogurt drops!

But Seymour learned some important things on his adventure: cats are “big, fat liars.” There were no yogurt drops in the sunroom. And sometimes, being happy with what you’ve got is a very, very smart thing.

Have you ever discovered a book for your child that you eagerly anticipated as a bedtime story? Yep, because it’s funny and unbelievably cute, “Memoirs of a Hamster” is going to be that kind of book.

Seymour Hamster is one of the sassiest characters you’ll ever meet in a picture book. Even when Seymour is in big trouble, author Devin Scillian gives him plenty of cheek (sometimes literally) and enough spunkiness to further the tale and create laughs. Add the adorable, wide-eyed illustrations by Tim Bowers, and this is a story you and your 3-to-7-year-old will both want.

No, this book won’t help you squash the “I Want a Hamster” blues. Yes, it’s going to be a quick favorite around your house. For you and your child, in fact, “Memoirs of a Hamster” will be a real treat.

Green Bay Press Gazette Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

So, how’s it going?

How’s life treating you? You’ve got things to do, plenty of toys, food and treats, and it’s all good? Bet you’re a happy kid.

Or maybe you’d like it better if you lived in Paris, Mars, or another house. If you’re thinking that’s true, then read “Memoirs of a Hamster” by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers, and be careful what you ask for…

Seymour Q. Hamster had a pretty good life.

He had a brand-new home filled with wood shavings, and room to run. His bowl was full of seeds and he had a new fast-as-lightning exercise wheel that really zoomed. Seymour was the luckiest hamster in the world!

It took awhile for him to learn how to use his water bottle without getting splashed, but he even liked that. And he loved that his Little Girl gave him yogurt drops, although he hated that she liked to kiss him on the nose. That was just nasty.

Then one night, after about a week of living the good life, Seymour had a visitor. Pearl the Cat came around, and told him that she was going to the sun room.

Sun room? That was something Seymour had never heard of.

He thought about the sun room all night. When Little Girl cleaned his cage, he tried to look for a sun room but the house was much bigger than he thought. Then, two nights later, Pearl told him something he could hardly believe: the house’s staircase was made of sunflower seeds and the sun room was packed with yogurt drops. Even Buck the Dog said he loved the sun room.

So Seymour plotted.

And he thought.

And he plotted some more, until he figured a way to get out of his cage. Operation Tasty Treat was set. He jammed his wheel with his bowl, climbed on top of it, popped the lid of his cage, and he was free! It wouldn’t be long before he’d be eating his fill of yummy yogurt drops.

But Seymour learned some important things on his adventure: cats are “big, fat liars.” There were no yogurt drops in the sun room. And sometimes, being happy with what you’ve got is a very, very smart thing.

Have you ever discovered a book for your child that you eagerly anticipated as a bedtime story? Yep, because it’s funny and unbelievably cute, “Memoirs of a Hamster” is going to be that kind of book.

Seymour Hamster is one of the sassiest characters you’ll ever meet in a picture book. Even when Seymour is in big trouble, Scillian gives him plenty of cheek (sometimes literally) and enough spunkiness to further the tale and create laughs. Add the adorable, wide-eyed illustrations by Tim Bowers, and this is a story you and your 3-to-7-year-old will both want.

No, this book won’t help you squash the “I Want a Hamster” blues. Yes, it’s going to be a quick favorite around your house. For you and your child, in fact, “Memoirs of a Hamster” will be a real treat.

School Library Journal Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

Seymour, a hamster, has the ideal life, according to his day-by-day memoir. He’s got a bowl of seeds, a full water bottle, and a cozy bed of wood shavings. And it gets even better when the FuzzyBoy 360 exercise wheel arrives. Now Seymour’s day is filled with activity and the delicious yogurt drops brought to him by Little Girl. He couldn’t want for anything more, right? Wrong. When a wily cat starts talking about the wonders of the sunroom filled with yogurt drops, the gullible hamster escapes the cage to discover what he’s missing. What he discovers is a dog, the cat, and an “enormous monster” called Hoover that is very dangerous to small rodents. Bowers’s representational artwork captures the life of a hamster well, and the facial expressions of the animals will delight young readers. There’s lots of white space and the text and pictures flow well, allowing readers to absorb the action. This title should hit the mark, especially in classrooms in which hamsters are in residence.

Childrensbookstore.com Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

Seymour is the luckiest hamster, his life is perfect! He has a clean cage with wood shavings, seeds to eat, and room to run. He has a shiny, new, top of the line exercise wheel. Best of all, he has yogurt drops that are given to him by his girl, who always smothers him in kisses, bleh!

Pearl the cat enters the picture and convinces Seymour life is better outside his cage, with more sunflower seeds and yogurt drops than he could ever eat. Big goofy Buck is no help in resolving Seymour’s curiosities. It is only after Seymour escapes that he realizes Pearl is a “big fat liar!” Will Seymour ever see his perfect, safe, home again? The one he took for granted?

I once heard that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Someone should have taught this to Seymour. Children often think their lives would be better, “If only I had…” Memoirs of a Hamster has the potential of teaching a valuable lesson to little ones; to appreciate what they have and not waste time dreaming of an illusion.

Devin Scillian comically addresses the world of a hamster, from first person perspective, (I mean first hamster perspective) as if he interviewed a real hamster. He also gives children a glimpse into the life of a goldfish in Memoirs of a Goldfish.

Tim Bowers has created the cutest and chubbiest hamster! His ability to capture whimsical stories with art is superb. We invite you to see more of Bowers’ work by clicking here.

Children of all ages will enjoy this adorable tale about appreciating what you have. We look forward to more installments of the Memoirs series. They are excellent stories that give children, and adults for that matter, an interesting new venue for learning important life lessons.

Booklist Online Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

The team that brought us Memoirs of a Goldfish (2010) reunites for another day-by-day diary of a pet whose life isn’t as boring as it first seems. “This hamster has it going on,” proclaims the cute little rodent after boasting about his bowl of sunflower seeds, his water dispenser, and his FuzzyBoy 360 hamster wheel. All would be perfect if not for the temptation planted by the family cat. “The staircase is made of sunflower seeds,” purrs the villain. “And the sunroom is filled with yogurt drops.” Eager to visit this utopia, the hamster busts out—only to be trapped behind the sofa by the cat and chased by the dreaded “Hoover.” It’s a classic story of the grass is greener, concluding, of course, with the hamster very satisfied to be back in his cage, even if it means suffering through smooches on the nose from the little girl. Scillian’s low-key sense of humor is perfect for our daffy protagonist, while Bowers’ art has a timeless, adorable appeal. Life is hard off the hamster wheel, you know?

Feathered Quill Book Reviews: "Memoirs of a Hamster"

Life is good for Seymour the hamster. He has a great cage full of fresh, deep shavings, lots of seeds, clean water and, oh, yummy, those wonderful yogurt treats. When his new super-de-duper wheel arrives, well, Seymour is in heaven. As he says, “My life is perfect.” Perfect, that is, until sneaky Pearl the cat tells him a big, fat lie.

Pearl thinks of Seymour as a tasty snack and all she has to do to enjoy that snack is get the little hamster out of his cage. When she tells him that the sunroom is filled with yogurt drops, the staircase is made of sunflower seeds and there’s plenty of room outside of his cage to run around without a wheel, the trusting hamster decides to escape from his cage. Seymour makes his escape plan, and with a little help from “sweet Pearl,” his freedom is assured. Alas, there are no yogurt drops waiting for him in the sunroom, just a hungry cat.

Memoirs of a Hamster is one of those rare, wonderful children’s books that gets you laughing on page one and then never stops. Seymour is just so lovable, and the fact that a wheel and yogurt drops are enough to send him into a permanent state of bliss will endear him to everyone. This hamster tale teaches a great lesson on being happy with what you have in a very enjoyable way.

Quill says: Memoirs of a Hamster is goofy, silly, and a whole lotta fun!

Books to Borrow...Books to Buy Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

Seymour the hamster loves his life inside in cage; he has everything he needs–sunflower seeds, water, a flashy wheel to run on, and a girl who gives him yogurt drops.

Pearl, the cat of the house, has other ideas for Seymour. Pearl tells Seymour that if he comes out of his cage he’ll find the staircase is made of sunflower seeds and the sunroom is filled with yogurt drops. Tempted by this information, Seymour makes his escape, but as Seymour soon learns, Pearl’s tales were lies, and her sole intention is to make Seymour into a snack . . .

Hilarious in every way, “Memoirs of a Hamster” is pitch-perfect.

The Simple Moms Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

When you were a kid did you ever wonder what life was like from your pet’s point of view? The newest literary hit at our house from Sleeping Bear Press is just that, a hilarious accounting of 2 weeks in the life of one pet hamster.

In Memoirs of a Hamster, Seymour the hamster shares his perfect life. Seeds, wood shavings, yogurt drops, his own FuzzyBoy 360 exercise wheel.

Seymour is living the good life of hamster dreams until he listens to the family cat Pearl (did you know “Cats are big, fat liars“?) and goes off on an inadvertent adventure.

The author, Devin Scillian, did an excellent job of writing a storyline that is engaging to kids (and I’ll admit, adults as well). My 5-year-old daughter and I laughed together at Seymour’s reactions to kisses from Little Girl “Nasty. Hello? Ever hear of germs?” and “Barf!”

Even the best written kids books can fall flat without equally as engaging illustrations and thankfully Tim Bowers provides some awesome illustration for Memoirs of a Hamster. Each daily memoir entry has a perfectly coordinated illustration to keep kids engaged and entertained.

In fact the illustrations are so good that even this rodent aversive momma found Seymour to be pretty darn cute. Not cute enough get one of those furry friends of our own, but still, REALLY, really cute!

Another home run from Sleeping Bear Press that my girls are excited we get to keep as our very own for endless reading loops!

Midwest Book Review: "Memoirs of a Hamster"

Everything can be perfect until someone else shows up and ruins it all for us. “Memoirs of a Hamster” children’s picturebook following the unusual adventures of Seymour the hamster who tries to escape the arrival of a new cat in his home to screw up in his perfect life. When his escape goes awry, he learns to appreciate what he has in spite of rude neighbors. “Memoirs of a Hamster” is a charming and much recommended addition to children’s picturebook collections, not to be missed.

Kirkus Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

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)

Time Out Chicago Kids Reviews "Memoirs of a Hamster"

Who’s the luckiest hamster in the world? Seymour is. At least that’s what he believes, living the good life relaxing in his wood shavings, munching yogurt drops and running on his wheel. His happiness fades after Pearl, the sly cat, taunts Seymour with visions of a sunroom brimming with yogurt. So Seymour plots a daring escape from his caged paradise—into dangers he never imagined. As in the duo’s preceding Memoirs of a Goldfish, many of Bowers’s intricate illustrations fill two pages. That scale captures Seymour’s smallness, and Scillian’s tenderhearted writing renders his big personality.

Contributors

Author: Devin Scillian

Devin Scillian is an award-winning author and Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist. He has written more than 10 books with Sleeping Bear Press, including the best-selling A is for America: An American Alphabet, Brewster the Rooster, Johnny Kaw and Memoirs of a Hamster. Devin lives in Michigan and anchors the news for WDIV-TV in Detroit.

Illustrator: Tim Bowers

Even at a young age, Tim Bowers’s artwork reflected a strong sense of humor and an interest in animals. Prior to illustrating children’s books, Tim worked as an artist for Hallmark Cards, where he helped launch the popular Shoebox Greetings card line. His first children’s book, The Toy Circus, was published in 1986. He now has illustrated more than 25 children’s books and garnered various awards including the Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best” list and several Junior Library Guild selections. Tim’s artwork has been included in the Society of Illustrators Annual Art Exhibition and the S.I. Humor Exhibition, as well as featured in children’s magazines, used on a wide variety of products, and appeared on hundreds of greeting cards. Original paintings from several books are in private and institutional collections across the country. Tim lives with his family in Granville, Ohio, and travels to schools and libraries to share his work with students.