by Dietlof Reiche
This is the first book in a series that has been translated from the original German by John Brownjohn, illustrated with whimsical line-drawings by Joe Cepeda, and published under the title The Golden Hamster Saga
. As Book One, this story mainly serves to introduce the hero of the series: (surprise!) a golden hamster named Freddy.
Freddy is a typical, golden hamster in many ways. He was born in a cage. He requires food like grain, shredded lettuce, and a bit of protein (best served in the form of a mealworm). He is impeccably neat and tidy, storing his food in a burrow, using a separate hole as his john, and exercising on a running disk to stay fit and trim. He is also a bit conceited and takes himself awfully seriously. But then, hes a very gifted hamster, too. He learns to read and write from the small girl, Sophie, who owns him. Then he moves in with a man named Mr. John, who has lots of books for a literate hamster to read, and who eventually gets a computer so that the hamster can write too!
But there are many obstacles between the would-be hamster author and his creative freedom. For one, there is his attachment to Sophie, and her attachment to Freddy, in spite of Sophies moms allergy to hamsters. For another, there is the irritation of living in the same apartment with two smelly, filthy guinea pigs who keep up a constant campaign of tasteless jokes and songs. Perhaps most significant is the presence of Sir William, a civilized tomcat who probably wont eat Freddy as long as he obeys the civilized rules of the apartment...and one of those rules is that the animals must never get in touch with humans!
Kids of all ages will enjoy this goofy tale, told by an often pompous but also adventurous hero in a small, cute, furry package.
Recommended Age: 8+
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