Jeannie Houdini (Hardcover)
A Hamster's Tale
Gryphon Press, 9780940719408, 25pp.
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
List Price: 17.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Twins Martina and Mateo wanted a hamster as a pet but find caring for Jeannie a chore. Their younger sister, Sophia, loves Jeannie and sets out to solve the mystery of why Jeannie continues to escape from her cage. This endearing and engaging story of a growing friendship is also instructive about the needs of small animal companions, often referred to as pocket pets. ". . . With an interesting layout of full and partial illustrations, this sweet picture book entertains, especially on the pages that depict Sophia hunting the missing hamster down. A friendship between Sophia and the mischievous pet is inevitable as she discovers the commonalities between Jeannie's small world and her own miniature playhouse. Interesting subplots available for discussion include sibling rivalry, the historic vaudeville performer, and responsible pet ownership. A helpful section at the end of the book answers questions about how to care for and adopt hamsters as pets. Evans paints the children with light-brown skin and straight or wavy black hair; their names suggest Latinx heritage. A fine educational tool for children who think they may be ready to give love and attention to a pet. (online resources) (Picture book. 3-6)" Kirkus
About the Author
Illustrator Rebecca Evans is the illustrator of Friends in Fur Coats (The Gryphon Press) and eight other children's picture books, including Someday I'll Fly, and eight early readers. She has worked as an artist and designer before returning to her first love, children's book illustration and writing. She shares her love of literature and art with elementary school children. Rebecca lives in Maryland and enjoys spending time with her husband and three young children and working from her home. Author Mary-Ann Stouck is the author of a previous children's title, A Fine Winter Cap (Walhachin Press), and the editor of a book for adults, Medieval Saints: A Reader. She is a retired Associate Professor of Humanities at Simon Fraser University. As a child, her first animal friend was a hamster, and as an adult she has given a home to horses, dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits and three more hamsters. She has been a volunteer at her local animal shelter, the British Columbia SPCA, for many years and a member of its community advisory board. Mary-Ann is deeply committed to fostering empathy between children and pets.