by Richard Brown
illustrated by Paul Howard
Cambridge Readers, UK, 1996
Age group: 4 to 7 years old
Format: 24 page paperback
Another lucky find at our holiday house, this is a year one reader that originated from a school near home! My kids are above this reading level now but we still had fun reading it together.
A young boy meets a hamster for the first time and is hopeful his parents are getting him one for Christmas.
This is a sweet story that is actually based on a true story from 1973 when Artul Pandy was new to Cambridge (England).
When visiting a friend, Artul sees a hamster and very excitedly tells his parents how much he would love to get one for Christmas. His parents were very non-committal to this request but had some mysterious shopping trips.
Reading the book, it did seem very likely Artul would get a hamster on Christmas morning but a beginning reader book isn’t likely to have a lot of depth or complexity in the plot! Having said that, the book did have an unexpected twist for Christmas morning that added to overall enjoyment of the story (and luckily the potentially bad ending didn’t eventuate!)
Would I recommend it? For a child learning to read, this is a great Christmas story to practice with. For everyone else, it is simple but enjoyable so yes I’d say it deserves to be recognised as a good Christmas book!