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Charming, unexpected and funny. The twists on familiar tales, the exuberance and bravery of Harriet and the charm of the writing all made me contact my brother and recommend this for his grandchildren. He has bought the first two books; since he loves reading to them, and to the other children in their classrooms, I suspect these books will become essential parts of their childhood.
I have now given copies of this book to various friends' and relatives' children, and they have all loved it. The rest of the series is great, too! A sword-wielding princess obsessed with fractions, and she also happens to be a hamster - what's not to like?!
It takes a certain kind of fairy tale book for the heroine to work out that if she's magically cursed to have something terrible happen on her 12th birthday she has to be alive on her 12th birthday for that to happen - and so the curse can't let anything seriously bad happen before then... Which means she can have hunting ogres and cliff-diving as her hobbies because she's invincible. If you like books that lightly snark about what didn't make it into the Disney fairy tales, and let the prince and the princess be just good friends because they're both a bit young to be marrying anyone yet... this is the children's book you've been waiting for (and will want to steal from their bookshelf)
Awesome book. Retelling of Sleeping Beauty starring a princess hamster who isn't going to just wait around to fall asleep and get rescued. Illustrations are perfection. Tho labelled a kids book this is a great all ages story of self discovery and empowerment.
When I was a kid, my dad read to me every night. Dad was the king of the benign indulgence - he could make working out a prime factorization, or adding up the cost of everything in the grocery cart sound like an amazing treat. He was also the world's softest touch about "one more chapter?" There were nights I didn't even have to ask. He'd flip to the next page without any prompting, announcing "That's a terrible place to stop."
He is lucky I didn't have this book. We'd have been up all night.
Harriet Hamsterbone is completely, unstoppably, indubitably awesome. Whether she's telling you what fraction beat you are at checkers, or rescuing a helpless dragon, Harriet is the kind of hamster you want to hang out with. Nothing ever quite happens as expected, and all of it is wonderful.
The publisher says this is for kids in grades 3-7. I don't know what they're thinking there. It is never too early to introduce your children to characters who think fractions are cool.
I am a grownup, at least in theory, and I could not stop giggling while reading this. I had to exercise SO MUCH WILLPOWER to not constantly quote this book over Twitter while reading it. I can't wait until my niece is a couple of years older so that I can buy it for her.
The book is almost a Muppet Show version of sleeping beauty. The protagonist is far stronger and smarter (and furrier) than the usual insipid princess with nice little side references to at least one other fairy tale. And like the muppet show, while it's theoretically for kids, it's full of humor for the adults keeping their reading children company.
If you/your kid enjoyed the adventures of Danny Dragonsbreath, you'll definitely like this. There's some clear parallels in the main characters, but it's different enough to not feel like a photocopy.
Love this author-witty retelling of a classic fairy tale with wonderful illustrations. (I never knew hamsters had so many facial expressions!). Originally purchased to give to grandchildren, this copy is signed by the author (!), and since my oldest grandchild is not reading yet I will be hanging onto this copy for a while longer, and possibly purchasing another copy to pass along. Of course the other books in the series will be added to this one-and possibly two sets, as there are two families of future readers!