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- author Jackie French

Sunday 4 November 2012

Review: Stinky and Jinks: My Hamster is a Genius

Meet Jasper Stinkybottom and his reluctant new owner, nine-year-old Benjamin Jinks.

When Ben’s mother says he needs to be punished for sticky-taping his little sister to her bed, Ben is a little concerned. His mother has a long history of unusual punishments. When his mother says his punishment will be getting a pet to care for, Ben is delighted until he finds out he isn’t getting the aardvark, hairy-nosed wombat or octopus he requested. Instead, he gets a pet hamster.

Ben is about to discover that owning a hamster is far more exciting that he could ever imagine. Stinky is no ordinary hamster. Not only can he talk, but he’s better at solving maths problems than Ben is (although that isn’t much of an achievement). If only Ben could just find some way for Stinky to help him with the maths test his mean maths teacher has planned…

This great novel for young readers is lots of fun. Jasper Stinkybottom is a hamster with attitude, Ben’s maths teacher Beardy McCreedy makes a great bad guy and Ben is an everyday boy who thinks he’s discovered a great way to avoid working on a subject he finds difficult.

As a parent, I like that Ben learns that sometimes the best way to get a job done is to simply work hard and apply yourself. Young readers will no doubt be more entertained by the way Stinky helps Ben to conquer his fear of maths (it involves counting hamster poo).

The first in a new Stinky and Jinks series, My Hamster is a Genius should appeal to both boys and girls and is ideal for confident young readers keen to start reading novels. The second book in the series, My Hamster is an Astronaut, is due for release in 2013.

Title:  Stinky and Jinks: My Hamster is a Genius
Author:  Dave Lowe
Illustrator: Mark Chambers
Publisher: Lothian Children's, $12.99 RRP
Publication Date: September 2012
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780734413437
For ages:  6-9 years
Type: Young junior fiction