Van Allsburg, Chris. The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. $18.99. PICTURE BOOK.
No one wanted the last hamster at the pet store. Finally a little girl took him home, but she ignored him. The little girl then sells him to a boy with a dog who scared him. The boy then gave him to his Cousin Sue who tried to put the poor hamster in a doll’s dress. She put him in an exercise ball and Sweetie Pie ran away and got lost. From there to another home where the mother thought he was a rat. Then to a school class, but a boy left him outside on the playground when he was supposed to take him home over the holiday vacation. Finally, the hamster found the perfect home in a tree with a squirrel. No more cages. Having owned a hamster as a child I could relate to this story. I was very excited to get a hamster, but soon grew bored of it. But for the hamster-lovers out there, it is kind of an awkward story about cages being like prison and the children aren’t very nice or very responsible. The watercolor illustrations have a lovely traditional picture book feel, but the story didn’t work for me.
EL-OPTIONAL. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.