Jeannie Houdini

Jeannie Houdini

A Hamster's Tale

by Mary-Ann Stouck

Illustrated by Rebecca Evans

Published by: The Gryphon Press

25 Pages, 9.00 x 9.75 in, Color illustrations throughout

  • Hardcover
  • 9780940719408
  • Published: May 2019


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