April 1, 2011
Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord
by Cynthia Lord
illustrated by Derek Anderson
Hamster wants a hot rod and the place to go to get one is the junk yard. Once he picks a body, it is customized and rigged just for him — a tiny driver with tons of spunk. But it is clearly a dog-eat-dog race as Hamster takes on much larger opponents, many of whom clearly do not take him seriously.
Rhyming text and dialog combined make this book a fun read and at just over 300 words it is sure not to overwhelm a new, less-than-confident reader. From picking the body style to choosing the trophy at the end, Lord engages young readers by encouraging them to share their own choices. “Which one would you choose?” is the chorus they will hear time and time again.
Kids will also identify with Hamster’s small size as well as his high energy and big attitude. This is a hero they can call their own.
Given the high energy main character and the active play with the reader, this wouldn’t make a good bed time book but would be an excellent choice for story time or any time you want to engage a group in a book.
Derek Anderson’s vibrant illustrations draw the eye in and provide plenty of visual detail to compliment and expand on the spare text.
Check this one out and have a fun reading experience with the young readers in your life.