Customer Reviews: The Hamster Handbook (Barron's Pet Handbooks)
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on August 22, 2004
I was so lucky to come across this book! It's deceptively small and thin because in fact, it is chock full of information on every single subject pertaining to hamsters! It takes the basic tenets of any hamster care guide and expands on it tremendously. You get a FULL history of hamsters, a FULL guide to nutrition and health, exercise, hamster language, breeding . . . it even has information on showing your hamster and on hamster clubs and organizations. This book has absolutely everything you will need to know! You are mistaken if you think you can get through it in one sitting!
A very attractive factor also, is that the author has had tons of experience with making lots of tools/habitats/toys/wheels/breeding shelves herself, and gives you all the information you need to make your own! She does not endorse any product or suggest you buy certain things the way other books do - she will tell you what your hamster needs, and more often than not, she will tell you how to make them! For example, you can make a hamster litterbox out of a juice box (instead of buying an expensive one like I did).
MOST IMPORTANTLY - it is very evident that the author LOVES hamsters. She writes with affection, care and passion. It was as though the book was written out of love! She talks fondly and sweetly of her own hamsters (she owns and breeds over 70 with her husband) and really makes you feel "okay" for being hopelessly in love with your own hamster :).
Oh, and, it's got the most adorable, beautiful hamster photographs you've ever seen.
Buy this book, and you will never need another, or if you insist on buying more than one, this is a *must* for your collection!
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on January 20, 2004
There is so much information in this book, it tells you everything that a hamster owner should know with out fluffing it up with jargon and trade terms. It is a book that everyone, from an aspiring veternarian to a child, would enjoy. It makes you an instant expert! The best part about it is that it doesn't assume the reader is a seven-year-old kid prone to smashing his or her new pet. It assumes that the reader has a thirst for knowledge (not to say that it is too much for a child to understand). Bartlett also includes some anecdotes and makes the book very fun and easy to get through. It sorts through all the information on the internet and in other books and boils it down to what a new hamster owner needs to know and what they want to know. It would be wise to save yourself the trouble and buy this book rather than look online for hamster information or bother with another book, I think that I can say very confidently that ANY OTHER HAMSTER BOOK IS A LIE!
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on December 28, 2006
I care for 10 Roborovsky dwarf hamsters, the world's smallest and fastest hamsters. So naturally I look for information that will help me care for this specific species of hamster. Although much of the information in this book is good, there is some info in here that is just plain wrong. For instance, it lists the Roborovsky as a "large" hamster reaching 4 inches in length, when it is actually the world's smallest hamster, reaching a maximum of 4-5 CENTIMETERS (2 inches). So I have to rate this book as just OK, since it contains some erroneous information. I also rate it lower because the author makes few distinctions between large/standard and dwarf hamster care. But there are key differences that should be noted in any hamster care guide. For example, dwarf hamsters, especially Campbell's, are prone to contract diabetes. So any source of sugar, including fresh fruit, should be very limited or avoided entirely. But the book makes no mention of this, showing the same list of recommended foods for all types of hamsters. Therefore, I would not recommend this book as a good guide for dwarf hamster care (or use it only as a supplemental guide to something better written by a vet, like "Dwarf Hamsters" by Sharon Vanderlip DVM). Since I have no experience with standard hamsters, I would use other people's reviews as a guide for how well this book covers care of standard hamsters.
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on July 13, 2004
This Hamster Handbook is very similar in information and binding quality to Barron's Complete Owner's Manual. Slightly redundant, but an essential guide for hamster owners. Barron's is an excellent company that publishes quality pet owner's guides. Their books on Golden Retrievers are also some of the best on the market. The authors have much expertise in this pet and others, and do not hesitate to document it on the page.
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on August 14, 2006
I had pet hamsters as a child, but now that I'm an adult, I've fallen in love with them all over again. "The Hamster Handbook" is an excellent all-around guide to the history, physiology, and care of hamsters. I appreciated the many anecdotes about the author's personal experience with hamsters that can be found throughout the book. I also enjoyed reading about the hamster's humble beginnings and how it made its way to becoming a popular pet. And the chapter on feeding hamsters has been incredibly helpful...I hadn't realized that there were so many different things hamsters eat (they are omnivores, like humans). If you think hamsters are just a disposable pet for kids, you are very wrong. Pick up "The Hamster Handbook" and learn about the amazing and wonderful little creature that is the hamster.
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on March 10, 2009
After having a recent problem with a Hamster, I did as much reading as I could to try and solve the problem (biting, anxiety, don't ask...). But as a result, I got the opportunity to read all the top rated books here. If you're trying to decide which one book to buy, this is the one.

A few others are very good too, but lack in different ways. Hamsters for Dummies has a lot of good info, but it's all black and white and no color pictures, which I think is important. This book is all color with tons of pictures. It includes all the basic info you want, like housing choices, food options, treats, behavior, common ailments, etc. and also has more extensive info on the the history, different breeds, breeding, etc. It's well layed out, with a good index. The author clearly knows her hamstmers and tells it as she sees it in the first person.

It's also worth mentioning that this is a good book for an adult, or older child. So many hamster books are written for children. That's nice, except me as the mother will be the one actually buying everything and probably doing most of the care anyway.

So, if you're looking for that one book to either help decide if you want a hamster, or have a reference while taking care of these pets, I think this is the best choice.
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on January 31, 2009
This book is packed full of information on hamsters and I found it quite surprising.this is more of a mature child or adult read ,but its written very well and has more information than I ever expected on Hamsters..breeds,color and care but lots of infomation on habits in the home and the best chances of taming and enjoying your hamster in a good cage setting..of coarse diseases and health care are discussed.a good home for the hamster with the proper food is what is most important..Im so glad to find books on these and other small animals being written to give the animal its full benifit in its life and to be enjoyed.B.W.
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on May 9, 2013
Lots of great info and background on hamsters. Was very easy to read and is a good choice for anyone who wants to know more. Lots of cute pictures too. Easy enough for most kids to read. Recommend highly!
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on November 4, 2006
This is by far the best book if you are looking to buy a hamster. My parents made me read it before I could get a hamster and I learned soo much. Not to mention there are adorible pictures on every page! You will learn more about hamsters with this book than with an other book and the internet combined!
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on January 16, 2013
My daughter got a hamster for Christmas. We have used this book all the time to learn tips and foods that are safe for the hamster to eat. I am so glad we got this!
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