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ForeWord Clarion Review

Green Hamster is terribly bored. He’s certain that everyone else on the idyllic island of Fujimini must be having more fun than the hamsters, who are merely planning their daily Hamster Race and a birthday cake snack.

In fact, Green Hamster is so convinced he’s missing something, that he announces to the other hamsters, “I’m going on a quest to find the most fun on Fujimini Island.” Though most of his friends try to convince him to stay, Brown Hamster, “the wisest hamster,” tells him to go; he knows that some lessons are best learned on one’s own.

What follows is a delightful tale of Green Hamster’s adventures in search of the most fun place. Along the way, he meets and tries to join in activities with pandas, penguins, and dolphins, escorted by two accommodating bird friends who help him find his way from place to place. Each group of animals is friendly and welcoming, but Green Hamster tries a bit too hard to fit in, exaggerating his abilities and coming close to getting into trouble at each stop. Luckily, his new friends rescue him and never blame him for misleading them. The curious Green Hamster eventually realizes that maybe home wasn’t so boring after all.

Beautifully illustrated by Alan M. Low with a bold and vibrant palette, Green Hamster and the Quest for Fun is the first of author Eileen Wacker’s new Fujimini Adventure Series. The story is subtle and engaging, perfectly paced, and written at a level just right for preschool and kindergarten. Thoughts about friendship, contentment, and honesty are put forth in a manner that gently encourages parent–child conversation. Illustrations are inviting and often humorous, such as one where the hopelessly bored Green Hamster lies prostrate on the ground, tongue lolling melodramatically.

Young readers will enjoy Green Hamster’s charming adventure story and the vivid illustrations that bring it to life. The introduction of the other playful inhabitants of Fujimini Island hint that the rest of the series is sure to be just as much fun.