Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Beetle and the Hamster by Hilary McKay

I have a good friend who adores the writing of Hilary McKay but she has never mentioned this little series to me. There are four Beetle and Friends titles and I think Beetle and the Hamster might be the second book and so I plan to look for Beetle and Lulu which perhaps introduces these characters. I am curious about how Beetle got his name.

Henry has a hamster but it took him weeks to persuade his mother to let him have this special pet. Beetle, his friend, also has a hamster but he didn't seem to have any family problems. This hamster just appeared or so it seems.  Henry asks Beetle to explain but he refuses.

"I can't tell you because I said I wouldn't. I promised I wouldn't tell anyone.
Not far away sat a girl called Lulu. Beetle carefully did not look at Lulu, and Lulu carefully did not look at Beetle. They were the only people in the world who knew how Beetle had got his hamster."

I hope you are full of questions. I cannot tell you how Lulu is involved, where the hamster came from or why Beetle says this is is such a huge secret.  You need to look for Beetle and the Hamster to discover the truth but I do guarantee you will never guess this plot and it will leave you and the youngest readers in your life laughing out loud.  You might also discover something about loyalty and promises.

Sadly this is a very old book (2002) so it is long out of print. This is especially a pity because this is another one of those little easy chapter books with a terrific story that is just perfect for beginning readers.  Read more about the writing of Hilary McKay here.  You might also read my review of Lulu and the Hedgehog in the rain. I cannot find anything to confirm this but I think the Lulu series (2012-2013) are an offshoot from Beetle and Friends (2002).

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