Skip to main content

A visit with author Dave McDonald and Hamster S.A.M.

Last night, I took my kids to the Storybook Night at their school, mostly because I wanted to buy them books at the Scholastic Book Fair and it was the last night I could do so. We got our books and then decided to join in a presentation by Dave McDonald, author of Hamster S.A.M.: Odd-ventures in Space!, a graphic novel written for ages 7 and up.

McDonald gave the kids a brief overview of the book, which is about a hamster named Sam and his sidekick Fescue who fly their portable potty rocket into outer space. The kids thought it sounded like a fun story, and we ended up buying a copy at the signing table after the event. C loved it. M and I are going to read it tonight.

My favorite part of the presentation was when McDonald showed the kids the original artwork, which is much larger than the book, and explained that it is shrunk down to make the books.

I think the kids enjoyed his drawings the most. He showed how to use simple shapes like ovals, squares and circles as the basis for creating new characters.

When we got home, C immediately started reading the book, and M got right into drawing her own characters from simple shapes. I was impressed by the way his presentation really inspired my kids' creativity.

To learn more about Dave McDonald and Hamster S.A.M., visit the author's website.


  1. What a fun presentation. I didn't know authors came to the book fairs at school, that's pretty cool! I'm gonna have to check out Hamster S.A.M. for my boys! Thanks for sharing.

    1. I don't think we've had an author at the book fair before! He did come to the school last year to do a presentation for the older kids during school time, though. It was fun!

  2. I seriously wish my potty would turn into a rocket and go somewhere really far away...somewhere that I can perhaps potty with no interruptions. It seems like a really cute story and I like that he taught them how to dry characters with simple shapes.

    1. Hahahaha! That's so funny! Thanks for the laugh.


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Book Review: The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Peter Byerly is distraught over the loss of his wife nine months ago. He has retreated to their cottage in the English countryside, hoping to return to his love of collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens a book about Shakespeare forgeries and finds a Victorian watercolor of a woman who looks just like his wife, Peter is soon on a search for the origin of the painting and the truth about Shakespeare's real identity.

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett is a wonderful journey for anyone who loves books. It follows Peter's search in 1995, which turns into a bit of a thriller at times. But Lovett also takes the reader back in time a bit so we can learn the story of his relationship with his wife and how he came to be a bookseller. He does a beautiful job of expressing Peter's feelings about the rare books he encounters, and his feelings are contagious.

And then he takes us back even further to the history of one particular volume, whos…

Book Review: The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis

When Stella and Tom move to a new home in London, they are sad to have left their friends behind. But soon they have a mystery to solve. Their neighbor's dog, Harry, keeps disappearing. Where is he going and why is he always wet when he comes home? As they investigate the area in the garden where Harry seems to come and go, they discover a hidden tunnel that takes them back to their garden ... almost 100 years ago.

The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis is a wonderful children's book that reminds me of the adventurous stories I read as a child. I saw other reviewers say something similar. I'm not sure what it is about the way the story is told, but it is reminiscent of children's books from many years ago, yet it will definitely appeal to the kids of today.

Stella and Tom have an adventure in the past that leads to new friends and discoveries. While it's a time travel story, it doesn't have a lot of fantasy elements (although there are some moles that act a bit unusua…