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Hamster and Cheese: Book 1 (Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye) Paperback – April 1, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2–4—Children will love Sasspants, a guinea pig who reads in her pet-shop cage using a thimble recycled as a reading lamp. She is the only animal properly identified because she's made her own sign using tiles. When the "G" at the end of "PIG" falls off, Hamisher the hamster mistakes Sasspants for a private investigator ("PI"), and enlists her help to find who's stealing Mr. Venezi's sandwiches. So begins this humorous mystery. Children who are just beginning to read graphic novels independently will enjoy solving the case with Sasspants. The full-color cartoons enhance the comic appeal. Two funny informational pages about the pet store denizens follow the story.—Marilyn Ackerman, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Who is stealing Mr. Venezi’s sandwiches? The befuddled pet-shop owner misidentifies the store’s animals, leading the hamsters to think they’re koalas. In this first book in the Guinea PIG, Pet Shop Private Eye graphic-novel series, Hamisher the koala-hamster thinks Sasspants the guinea pig is a private investigator because the second G on her cage’s sign has fallen off, so he asks her to investigate. They travel through the pet shop, questioning the various animal suspects (rabbits, a snake, a parrot), and Sasspants decides to set a trap for the thief by disguising the shop’s turtle as a sandwich. Grumpy Sasspants, hyper Hamisher, creepy Gerry the snake, the goldfish (whom Mr. Venezi calls kangaroos), and the other animals all have distinctive personalities. Young readers will appreciate the zaniness of the pet shop and the fun mystery, and Yue’s colorful art uses a straightforward panel design that’s easy to follow. The book includes fun facts about snakes and other animals Mr. Venezi thinks he has. Grades 1-3. --Kat Kan
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The Guinea PI series has been a favorite of our family for over a year. This graphic novel series has provided hours of enjoyment for us. Our now seven year old sits in our lap and we read the story to him out loud, while he follows along in the pictures. The content is very kid-appropriate. No violence, very little to be scared of, lots of cute but quirky characters. Yet there are some very real social situations that are illustrated, so that our child learns cultural cues and norms. The narrative is layered and convoluted, making it interesting for adults. The characters are so well written and illustrated that it is easy to find voices for them as we read aloud. All in all, I highly recommend this for anyone five and older that enjoy animals and their personalities.
This is absolutely adorable! The artwork is so cute and the animals have such personalities it was a joy to read. Elementaries are going to love this series. Sasspants PI inadvertently gets mistaken for a detective and the hamsters call on him to solve the case of the missing sandwiches. Every day the owner puts a sandwich near the hamster cage for his lunch and every day it disappears. He has said if it happens one more time he is going to get rid of them once and for all. Only the hamsters don't know what is happening as they can't stay awake and Sasspants takes the case to get the annoying hamster off his back. The owner is somewhat addlepated, having labeled the animal cages with all the wrong names: the hamsters are koalas, the mice are walruses, the chinchillas are camels and so on. But what really makes this so entertaining are the personalities of the animals. Sasspants is a reader who wants to be left alone, a take charge guy just to get everyone off his case. The goldfish are my favourite with their short term memories, they can hardly remember each others names long enough let alone have an intelligent conversation. Then the hamsters who spend most of their time sleeping except the one who has befriended Detective Pants and thinks they have become best buddies, though he does have a tendency to fall asleep frequently and also believes he may still be a koala like the sign says. The last pages include an article on a non-fiction topic relevant to the story, this time explaining how a snake can eat something four times the size of its mouth and a last page telling the differences between what the owner labeled the animals and what they really are. Adorable!