Hot Rod Hamster

( 3 )


From Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord and NYT bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson comes an INTERACTIVE read-aloud picture book for the very young-featuring an extremely lovable and adorable hams

Old car, new car, shiny painted blue car
Rust car, clean car, itty-bitty green car.

Newbery Honor-author Cynthia Lord and New York Times bestselling ...

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From Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord and NYT bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson comes an INTERACTIVE read-aloud picture book for the very young-featuring an extremely lovable and adorable hams

Old car, new car, shiny painted blue car
Rust car, clean car, itty-bitty green car.

Newbery Honor-author Cynthia Lord and New York Times bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson put the pedal to the metal in this endearing, rhythmic, rip-roaring race to the finish line where a hamster creates a sizzling hot rod with a little help from his new furry friends and YOU!

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  • Hot Rod Hamster
    Hot Rod Hamster  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The metallic cover of Lord’s (Rules) first picture book, along with the image of the hamster hero waving a checkered flag, will draw readers inside this clever, rhythmic story. When a hamster decides to find a junkyard car to enter in a race, it must choose its car, tires, and so on, and readers are asked for their input (“Smooth wheels, stud wheels, driving through the mud wheels,/ Fat wheels, thin wheels, take her for a spin wheels./ Which would you choose?”). The answers, however, aren’t always readily discernable from the text or illustrations. When the hamster is racing against bigger competitors (“Stare face, scowl face, frowning grouchy-growl face.... Which would you choose?”), it answers, “GRRR. I’m built for speed!” Anderson’s (the Little Quack books) acrylic artwork is consistently action filled and comical. Full of entertaining details, the illustrations of the enthusiastic hamster, the wary bulldog who owns the junkyard, and miscellaneous mice and rats that appear develop the characters in ways that the exuberant text does not. Still, when it comes to kid appeal, the book’s interactive format should get impressive mpg. Ages 2–6. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Kids will be in the driver's seat, bonding with the hot-rod hamster as he sallies forth into a bulldog's junkyard to put together his very own race car. It's a dog's race, though, and children will sympathize with the small creature's struggle to compete with bigger, gruffer opponents and cheer him on to the finish line. Close-ups of the mud-streaked track in the bold-stroked, textured acrylics allow readers to see the competition at eye-level with the hamster (and axis-level with the other contenders). But the action builds up even before the engines start, and young readers will love helping the irrepressible hamster build his dream car. Their hands will dart up immediately when they hear the refrain, "Which one would you choose?" illustrated with comic-style illustrations of the myriad choices of cars, tires, parts, and flames, and they'll become hot-rod designers along with Hamster. If Bob Kolar's Racer Dogs (Dutton) or Brian Floca's The Racecar Alphabet (S & S, both 2003) are worn, torn, and vroom-vroomed in your library, add this one to the lot.—Sara Paulson-Yarovoy, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
There's a hot-rod race at 4 Paws Speedway, and Hamster has a need for speed. He heads out to One Dog's Junk for some help building the perfect hot rod. "Old car, new car, shiny painted blue car, / Rust car, clean car, itty-bitty green car. / Which would you choose?" He gets to pick his wheels, his engine and his painted-flame design, too. Dog and his mechanic mice build Hamster's hot rod to specs. Though his competitors are skeptical-"Stare face, scowl face, frowning grouchy-growl face, / Bored face, dare face, nose up in the air face"-readers will guess the outcome of Hamster's big day at the races. Newbery Honor author Lord's picture-book debut is a rollicking, roaring read. In addition to the rhymed text punctuated by questions, the characters talk in speech balloons that move the story along without breaking the flow. Anderson's fluffy, jaunty illustrations are as full of energy as the rhymes. Young car enthusiasts won't be the only ones enamored of this hot-rodding rodent and his big canine buddy. (Picture book. 2-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545035309
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 189,884
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Lord is the award-winning author of RULES, a Newbery Honor book (among its many distinctions), as well as the critically acclaimed TOUCH BLUE, released August, 2010. She made her picture book debut with HOT ROD HAMSTER. She lives in Maine with her family. Visit her at

Derek Anderson is the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling illustrator of the Little Quack series by Lauren Thompson as well as HOT ROD HAMSTER by Cynthia Lord. His upcoming original picture book STORY COUNTY: HERE WE COME! publishes in January 2011. He writes and paints in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit him at

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 15, 2012

    Perfect book for little boys!

    This is one of my son's favorite books! The illustrations are darling and the message (bigger isn't necessarily better) is good. It's the perfect book for any little boy who loves cars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    Shniy, delightful fun

    Second graders loved this book. The style encourages engagement, and the reading level is easy.

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  • Posted April 2, 2010

    Funny for boys and girls!

    Don't let the title or cover art fool you. Boys and girls enjoy this book. We bought this book to donate to my daughter's class. The teacher has told me it is a great book to get the children to calm down and laugh together.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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