PW called The World According to Humphrey a "breezy, well-crafted first novel, narrated by a hamster." The comical critter returns to Room 26 in Friendship According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney, only to discover a new class pet, Og the frog. Can a friendship be forged? Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Humphrey, the hamster, has an enjoyable life as the classroom pet in Room 26 at Longfellow School. But then Og, the frog, moves in with his glass aquarium, and Humphrey feels pushed aside and forgotten by his "classmates." Fortunately, Humphrey gets to go home for the weekends with different children, giving him a chance to practice his skill at patching up old friendships and helping forge new ones. Told in Humphrey's somewhat hyper-perky voice, this novel will probably appeal to fans of small, furry animals, as well as to pet-lovers in general. But readers who thrive on action and adventure will find little to interest them. Birney's writing style is rather bland, leaning heavily toward short, choppy, declarative sentences. Still, many children will enjoy a few hours cuddled up with Humphrey. This is the second title in Birney's "Humphrey" series. 2005, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Ages 8 to 12.
Barbara Carroll Roberts
Gr 2-4-The adorable and intelligent hamster introduced in The World According to Humphrey (Putnam, 2004) is dismayed to find that he shares his status as classroom pet with a frog. Try as he might, Humphrey cannot seem to make friends with Og, who just splashes him or says "BOING!" The little rodent, who can secretly write, learn, and get out of his cage, also uses his wits to effect positive outcomes of the various subplots, including a new girl who won't talk and has trouble making friends, two pals who get into a terrible fight, a bully who causes trouble on the bus, and the janitor who dreams of going back to college. The theme of friendship is as pervasive as the title implies, making this chapter book a charming read-aloud. Pair this tale with Frank Asch's Survival School (S & S, 2003) for an appreciation of animals in the classroom.-Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Humphrey is back in Room 26 after winter vacation. In the off-season Humphrey has lost none of his sense of humor, his penchant for saying things thrice, or his nearly preternatural ability to solve human dilemmas. When a new pet is brought into the classroom, Humphrey faces his own jealousy over the attention Og the Frog receives. Worse still, Og's only response to Humphrey's attempts to befriend him is, "BOING!" Humphrey still finds it in his heart to assist his friends. For example, through crafty shenanigans, he helps solve the bully problem and lends a paw when the janitor faces a tough decision. All this, while the class is preparing for a Poetry Festival. Humphrey's good intentions prevail, even when it comes to Og. Ultimately, this thoughtful yet upbeat tale lends credence to the notion that actions and intentions can be misinterpreted while pointing out the benefits of looking at a situation from another's point of view. Readers will find that seeing the world from Humphrey's standpoint is mighty satisfying. (Fiction. 7-11)
"Seeing the world from Humphrey's standpoint is mighty satisfying." Kirkus Reviews
"The theme of friendship is as pervasive as the title implies, making this chapter book a charming read-aloud." School Library Journal
Christopher Award winner