Kids' Books We Love
Book reviews from Youth Services
The World According to Humphrey
Birney, Betty G.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Number of Pages: 124
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Why I liked this title:
Humphrey is a hamster. A very smart hamster! He loves to learn and, in fact, it only took him one week to learn to read. He spends the weekdays in Room 26 and goes home with students and staff members on the weekends. Because of his unique position in the classroom, Humphrey is able to “see the needs of those around” him and manages to positively affect the people he comes into contact with. He helps a shy girl learn to speak up, a family who watches too much TV learn to spend time with each other, and a lonely janitor find love.
This is a very entertaining and sweet story. The hamster is smart and kind and comes up with clever ways to help the lives of others. The lessons about watching people, paying attention to their needs, and doing what you can to help them, will not hit kids over the head. They are subtle enough that the kids will learn them in a gentle way. And, for those who have, or are thinking of getting, a hamster, each chapter offers practical advice on the care of hamsters. It would also make a great read-aloud for a class with a pet, or one thinking about getting a pet.
Reviewed by: Karen Trier on 4/3/2010
Trouble at Betts Pets by Easton, Kelly.
Third Grade Pet by Cox, Judy.