The Amazing Hamweenie

The Amazing Hamweenie

5.0 2
by Patty Bowman

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A truly unique debut about a precocious cat with BIG dreams

Dressed in his signature top hat and black cape, Hamweenie is poised to earn his place among the most famous celebrities and daredevils of all time. From the stage to the red carpet, the skies to the sea, Hamweenie believes, without a doubt, that he will be the greatest star the world has ever seen.…  See more details below


A truly unique debut about a precocious cat with BIG dreams

Dressed in his signature top hat and black cape, Hamweenie is poised to earn his place among the most famous celebrities and daredevils of all time. From the stage to the red carpet, the skies to the sea, Hamweenie believes, without a doubt, that he will be the greatest star the world has ever seen.

The horrors of reality, alas, befall him: a beautiful apartment, a loving little girl, his every need fulfilled to excess. His treats are simply too delicious. His pillows? Beyond luxurious. Such torture! Hamweenie must escape! But with his wretchedly wonderful owner appearing at every turn, will he ever make it out of the apartment? From debut author and illustrator Patty Bowman comes a picture book about the secret life of cats and about dreaming big--no matter what your species.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Bowman’s spidery ink-and-watercolor drawings have a slightly offhand feeling, just right for her portrait of a narcissistic cat and his owner. She’s a girl in a neat school uniform who pushes Hamweenie around in a perambulator and includes him in tea parties. But Hamweenie wants more: he “dreams of grandeur and stardom, of being loved the world over and idolized by children.” (A parade float, admiring crowds, and a huge Macy’s-style Hamweenie balloon give a general idea of the adulation Hamweenie is looking for.) Bowman uses the picture-versus-text device to emphasize the yawning chasm between Hamweenie’s expectations and his actual circumstances. “His living conditions are atrocious,” she writes, as Hamweenie lounges about reading a magazine called Hollywood Gossip and munching on a bag of Fishy Snacks. The setup seems to call for Hamweenie to escape and find the fame and fortune he wishes for—or else, perhaps, to encounter humiliation and return to his perambulator—but neither happens. It’s just a description of the “agonizing abuse” of Hamweenie’s day-to-day life. Still, cat owners will appreciate the all-too-accurate feline portrait. Ages 3–7. Agent: Alia Hanna Habib, McCormick & Williams. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
On the top floor of an apartment building in the city, resides a cat named Hamweenie. This cat has grand dreams of being a magician on stage and walking the red carpet with the stars. However, his reality is living in an apartment as a pet cat with a girl who takes care of his health and well-being (i.e. vitamins, baths, nail trimming) along with pampering him with treats. The detailed illustrations humorously show the torment that Hamweenie's must endure like playing video games, eating fish snacks, or indulging in gourmet meals. He tries to escape out the window but to no avail. Although his plans are thwarted he continues to dream big for the day he can escape the apartment. The end pages reflect the life of Hamweenie. Older children may enjoy the tongue-in-cheek humor and the play on words for the games on the shelves in one of the illustrations. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—Hamweenie is a cat that daydreams of being adored by children and revered by the world. In his tiny red cape and teeny black top hat, he fantasizes about walking the red carpet as a star and entertaining enraptured audiences. Instead of being worshipped by the masses, he is lovingly cared for by his young girl. She bathes, fans, feeds, and otherwise fusses over her cosseted cat to his (supposed) utter dismay. As she pampers her spoiled pet, he resignedly accepts her ministrations with stalwart acquiescence of his fate in life. Though readers understand that Hamweenie would be lost on his own in the big city in which he lives and, in reality, wouldn't really want to "escape," a cat can dream, can't he? Spare narration in a tongue-in-cheek, matter-of-fact style is accompanied by Edward Goreyesque illustrations done in pen-and-ink and watercolor. This quietly humorous peek into the life of a coddled feline will resonate with those readers who have ever been owned by a cat.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
This portrait of a pampered pet uses sly humor and illustrations with an old-fashioned feel to reveal a marmalade cat's essential feline nature. Hamweenie, the titular hero of this (not quite) epic adventure, yearns for glory. Pictured in a top hat and cloak, this debonair tomcat imagines himself a magician, the star of a parade (in person and as a large balloon) and a red-carpet habitué. He chafes against the limitations inherent to his current situation, the beloved and cosseted pet of a pony-tailed, freckle-faced little girl, and presents himself as horribly misunderstood and mistreated. Bowman's illustrations, executed in pen and ink and watercolor, are reminiscent of Edward Gorey, with round-faced, pointy-limbed creatures and decidedly odd touches. They also contradict almost every detail of her brief, deadpan text. While being forced to ride in a baby carriage or take a bath might indeed be considered a fate worse than death from a cat's point of view, Hamweenie is also shown playing a video game, reclining and reading a magazine while his owner fans him assiduously, and snubbing an extensive, if not especially appealing, feast. While obviously incorporating fantastic elements, Bowman's words and pictures nonetheless capture perfectly typical feline behavior and the fawning affection felt by many cat owners. Clever and quirky, cat lovers will approve and understand, though others may be somewhat mystified. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Amazing Hamweenie , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
File size:
13 MB
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Patty Bowman lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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The Amazing Hamweenie 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extraordinarily original.  Hamweenie is a wonderfully mischievous cat.  Looking forward to seeing what comes next.  This book now tops my list of favorite children book - and the best part, this book is for 'children of all ages.'  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This children's book is truly a gem. Anyone, children and adults alike, who adores a dramatic feline will appreciate the beautiful artwork and humor in this tale. I'm pretty sure Ms. Bowman must have known my cat Marshal when she wrote this charming book. I certainly look forward to the continuing adventures of Hamweenie, as well as other possible fun treasures. I have at least 10 friends who would love a Hamweenie T-shirt or stuffed animal! Congratulations, Ms. Bowman on a creating a new beloved character!