The Amazing Hamweenie by Patty Bowman: Cats Have It So Rough

Day 983 of My Captivity

“ My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed some sort of harsh, dry, nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.”

-Excerpt from “A Dog’s Diary versus A Cat’s Diary”

the amazing hamweenie

Cats can be independent and standoffish, but of course, they have a good reason-they’re amazing! They see themselves as the best things in the world, while we-disgusting, simple-minded humans that we are-stand in their way on the path to greatness. Of course, they don’t necessarily tell us that, so nobly taking the burden upon himself, one cat in particular has told of feline struggles in a stunning and dramatic storybook. This cat is called Hamweenie, and his book is called… “The Amazing Hamweenie.” So maybe he isn’t speaking for all felines after all…but it’s a good read none-the-less, and great to teach kids about what the family cat is truly thinks of them, no matter how independent they act.

Summary (according to Hamweenie, who is obviously right)

Hamweenie is a striped orange cat living in a household that, he makes very clear to readers, is the worst house in the world. He is often poisoned-he’s even starved. He’s can’t escape no matter how hard he tries, and while he attempts to perfect his skills that will stun the world, his efforts are often times  sabotaged by one of the vile resident humans (a young girl with pigtails.) He tries to make his anger clear by tearing up the couch, or knocking things over, but alas it is to no avail. While all of these terrible things whirl on around him he must try and rest-and hope that when he wakes up, the injustice will end. Throughout the whole book, harsh reality is punctured by images of the famous cat Hamweenie dreams of becoming.

Translation Of Summary (according to me, who is a simple human and obviously wrong)

While the text tells readers Hamweenies interpretation of life, the illustrations tell quite another story. When he announces he is being “poisoned” it shows the little girl dressed up as a nurse feeding him turkey flavored vitamins.  When he is being “starved” Hamweenie is shown crossing his paws and turning his nose up at a table filled with delectable foods, while the little girl is offering him something on a silver platter. His thwarted attempts to escape include being caught from jumping out the window, and being removed from the girls backpack as she heads off to school. Towards the end of the book we see Hamweenie blowing out a birthday cake, and then collapsing with the little girl on a couch for a cat nap to wait for all of the “terrible” things to end-aka resting up for all the wonderful things to come. Throughout the whole thing, harsh reality is punctured by images of what Hamweenie aspires to become.



The illustration and the story could not be better suited. The details are great-and when I say details, I mean details. Not overwhelming or busy details, but beautiful and humorous ones. They perfectly capture the obviously terrible (fantastic) life that Hamweenie must endure. The lines are thin, the profiles of the characters sharp, and the essence of Hamweenie and his experiences pour out of the pages, from his little cat potbelly to his skinny curly cat whiskers and angry (smug?) expressions.

hamweenie illustrations

Overall Opinion

Oh, this book made me chuckle. It made me chuckle a good deal, and that is always a plus. Kids will love it-it’s so humorous, but it’s a humor they will pick up on and enjoy, despite not being obviously ‘kiddy.’ Young readers, old readers, it doesn’t matter your age-Hamweenie is a book everyone will delight in. Not to mention it has pristine title for a children’s book-how easy it for a kid to ask for Hamweenie every night?

buy it

The Amazing Hamweenie by Patty Bowman.

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