Monday, July 19, 2010
Hot Rod Hamster, written by Cynthia Lord and illustrated by Derek Anderson. Scholastic, 2010. $21.99 ages 3 and up
"Great day, grin day, build a car to win day,
Cheer day, chase day, gonna have a race day!"
What a great book to spur on those early readers...animals, rhyme, little versus big, a race and a longing to win. Now, there's a story!
A hot rod is what is needed if Hamster is to have a hope in the race today. He knows it needs to be small...but, it also needs to be FAST! The rhyming couplets offer up choices for vehicle; and while Hamster is choosing, the reader is also encouraged to make a choice. The speech bubble dialogue between Hamster and the Bulldog in charge help young readers keep up with the action and add humor...and a whimsical look at Hamster's character. He is happy, hopeful and determined to make a showing. He wants to BURN RUBBER! He doesn't want his engine to purr, he wants it to ROAR! Once the rod is ready, he needs 'blazing-hot flames' to enhance the look and a helmet for safety. Now, he's ready to ROLL! I'll leave you to discover the victor in today's race.
You want even more fun? Check out the charming, detailed illustrations! The loveable hamster and his race team are full of energy and enthusiasm for their project, taking us along as they build the hot rod that Hamster wants and needs to make a good showing in the race. The bright colors, the fully engaged characters and the absolute joy they take in working together adds much to the text.
You are gonna love it, and then love reading it again and again!