From School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Hamweenie is a cat that daydreams of being adored by children and revered by the world. In his tiny red cape and teeny black top hat, he fantasizes about walking the red carpet as a star and entertaining enraptured audiences. Instead of being worshipped by the masses, he is lovingly cared for by his young girl. She bathes, fans, feeds, and otherwise fusses over her cosseted cat to his (supposed) utter dismay. As she pampers her spoiled pet, he resignedly accepts her ministrations with stalwart acquiescence of his fate in life. Though readers understand that Hamweenie would be lost on his own in the big city in which he lives and, in reality, wouldn't really want to "escape," a cat can dream, can't he? Spare narration in a tongue-in-cheek, matter-of-fact style is accompanied by Edward Goreyesque illustrations done in pen-and-ink and watercolor. This quietly humorous peek into the life of a coddled feline will resonate with those readers who have ever been owned by a cat.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Those who’ve owned a cat, especially in an apartment, may recognize Hamweenie. Well, the outer Hamweenie. Inside, he is a star. He is a magician performing in front of a vast audience; a celebrity walking the red carpet. But “fate has been cruel to Hamweenie.” He must live with a girl who practically starves him—cut to the top-hatted cat turning away from a table groaning with chicken, cake, pizza, and clams. He stands bravely against the torture that she inflicts (grooming) by knocking things over and throwing up. And though Hamweenie’s attempts to escape are in vain, he waits (curled up with his mistress) with the slightest of smiles on his face. A main character named Hamweenie almost guarantees strange and delightful detail, and Bowman doesn’t disappoint. Each pen, ink, and watercolor scene is a little story in itself. Hamweenie (you just can’t write that name too much) dreams of “being loved the world over” and imagines an intricate Macy’s Hamweenie balloon flying over the real version of himself, as he sits atop a float while crowds cheer. Readers will too. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper