Hamster and Cheese
Hamster and Cheese is the first book in a new series, Guinea PIG: Pet Shop Private Eye, by Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yue. In it, the title character, named Sasspants, solves mysteries. It’s very cute — Sasspants lives in a glass habitat filled with books her size — and has some funny dialogue and character interactions.
There is one running gag, about the shop owner being stupid, that didn’t work for me, since it’s reflected in calling all the animals the wrong things. The snake is labeled “llamas”, for instance, and the hamster thinks it’s a koala. That one part seemed to be trying too hard. But much of the other humor was good comedy, such as the forgetful fish and the sleepy hamsters and the inter-species spats.
The art is great, with Sasspants creating crazy little inventions to get around the shop and the animals being adorable. Sasspants has to (unwillingly) team up with a go-getter hamster to figure out who’s stealing the boss’ sandwich in order to restore harmony in the shop. (Thus, the title.) They mystery doesn’t play fair — you can’t guess the solution yourself — but it’s involving in its twists, especially with the malicious snake. Kids love pets, therefore kids should love this.