The countdown to bedtime is about to begin when a family of hamsters arrives at the front door. "All aboard," shouts the child's pet hamster, and it's off to the kitchen for a snack, to the bathroom for toothbrushing, to the bedroom for a story. And just as the child starts to read, more hamsters stream through the front door and the escapades accelerate as the countdown continues. Now in a sturdy board book format, this favorite bedtime book is ready for a younger audience.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
"Ten minutes till bedtime!" Father announces from behind his newspaper. Out a picture window, his son and his son's pet hamster can see a hamster family (with kids numbered 1 to 10) approaching the house. "All aboard!" shouts the boy's prized pet, as his puzzled owner opens the door and the hamster tourists are loaded onto the special trolley. What the humans at 1 Hoppin Place don't know is that their cherished family pet has advertised on the Web (www.hamstertours.com) for a "10-Minute Bedtime Tour," and the hordes have only just begun to descend.
"Nine minutes till bedtime," Father insists, oblivious to the burgeoning hamster parade. At the 8-minute marker, the hamsters and the boy are in the kitchen for a pre-bedtime snack. One little guy is standing on top of a fruit bowl, lowering a cherry cluster with a string and paper clip. Hamster number 10 is trying to feed an animal cracker to the boy's fuzzy bedroom slipper. "Seven minutes till bedtime!" reminds Father as creative tooth-brushing progresses. But what's this? It's the 5-minute countdown marker, and the faint light of hamster headlights appears out the window. More tourists are on their way! Buses, trucks, taxis, and golf carts full of rodents are driving up the sidewalk! Hilarious hamster hijinks ensue. If you're not seeing the appeal here, it's like this: each spread is turbocharged with dozens of winsome, adorable details that will keep youngsters giggling and entranced--and counting to 10--time after time. Peggy Rathmann, author of the Caldecott Medal-winning Officer Buckle and Gloria, offers readers a rollicking rodent romp that ends with a goodnight kiss and many, many closed eyelids. (Click to see a sample spread. Copyright © 1998 Peggy Rathmann, published by Putnam Books, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.) (Ages 2 to 8) --Karin SnelsonAbout the Author:
Caldecott-medalist Peggy Rathmann was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in the suburbs with two brothers and two sisters.
"In the summer we lolled in plastic wading pools guzzling Kool-Aid. In the winter we sculpted giant snow animals. It was a good life."
Ms. Rathmann graduated from Mounds View High School in New Brighton, Minnesota, then attended colleges everywhere, changing her major repeatedly. She eventually earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota.
"I wanted to teach sign language to gorillas, but after taking a class in signing, I realized what I'd rather do was draw pictures of gorillas."
Ms. Rathmann studied commercial art at the American Academy in Chicago, fine art at the Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, and children's-book writing and illustration at the Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles.
"I spent the first three weeks of my writing class at Otis Parsons filching characters from my classmates' stories. Finally, the teacher convinced me that even a beginning writer can create an original character if the character is driven by the writer's most secret weirdness. Eureka! A little girl with a passion for plagiarism! I didn't want anyone to know it was me, so I made the character look like my sister."
The resulting book, Ruby the Copycat, earned Ms. Rathmann the "Most Promising New Author" distinction in Publishers Weekly's 1991 annual Cuffie Awards. In 1992 she illustrated Bootsie Barker Bites for Barbara Bottner, her teacher at Otis Parsons.
A homework assignment produced an almost wordless story, Good Night, Gorilla, inspired by a childhood memory.
"When I was little, the highlight of the summer was running barefoot through the grass, in the dark, screaming. We played kick-the-can, and three-times-around-the-house, and sometimes we just stood staring into other people's picture windows, wondering what it would be like to go home to someone else's house."
That story, however, was only nineteen pages long, and everyone agreed that the ending was a dud. Two years and ten endings later, Good Night, Gorilla was published and recognized as an ALA Notable Children's Book for 1994.
The recipient of the 1996 Caldecott Medal, Officer Buckle and Gloria, is the story of a school safety officer upstaged by his canine partner.
"We have a videotape of my mother chatting in the dining room while, unnoticed by her or the cameraman, the dog is licking every poached egg on the buffet. The next scene shows the whole family at the breakfast table, complimenting my mother on the delicious poached eggs. The dog, of course, is pretending not to know what a poached egg is. The first time we watched that tape we were so shocked, we couldn't stop laughing. I suspect that videotape had a big influence on my choice of subject matter."
Ms. Rathmann lives and works in San Francisco, in an apartment she shares with her husband, John Wick, and a very funny bunch of ants.
copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Puffin Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140566538