Hamster Princess: Giant Trouble, by Ursula Vernon

I am a huge fan of Harriet the Hamster Princess, whose fairytale mashup adventures take her and her riding quail, Mumphrey,  into all sorts of magical dangers.  In Giant Trouble, her fourth outing (Dial, May 2017),  Harriet meets the story of Jack and the Beanstalk when a mysterious cloaked chipmunk tries to sell her magic beans.

Harriet knows enough not to trust the chipmunk and his beans, but Mumphry pecks one up.  That night, when the bean comes out the other end of Mumphry, it sprouts into a gigantic beanstalk.  Her first reaction is concern; a beanstalk several miles tale could cause considerable damage to her family's kingdom if it fell.  Cutting it down isn't an option, and when she hears harp music wafting down from it, she decides to go up it to see who's there.

She and Mumfry find a giant's cabin in the clouds at the top, and inside the cabin is a captive harpster--a girl who is part hamster, part harp.  Appalled at the injustice of the harpster's captivity, force to play lullabies when really she wants to start a rock band, Harriet starts thinking of how to rescue her.  But then the giant comes home, and proves to be a formidable advisory, too much for Harriet to handle on her own.

Fortunately her friend Wilber has come up the beanstalk to find her, and fortunately, Strings the Harpster and even her co-captive goose can take part in their own rescue.  But what was just a simple rescue attempt becomes a dangerous and touch and go escape attempt, involving a desperate race across the clouds.

It's as exciting and charming as all of Harriet's adventures, but rather more tense. Harriet really can't pull this one off on her own, and it's good to see her working as part of a team.

If I were working in a bookstore, I'd be trying to handsell this series to every 8-10 year old girl who walked through the door.  Harriet is just about the most kickass female role model going for kids this each, and with the acknowledgement that even the most kickass hamster can't do everything alone, her story becomes even stronger.  Plus she's going to play drums in String's band.


  1. I adore Harriet! My two young nieces adore her too. I only wish I knew more girls to give it to! (Though I bet the grown-up nieces would appreciate it too.)

    She's this generation's Paper Bag Princess (I wonder if Ursula Vernon read that book back in the day ...)

    Also, I love Mumford. Noble steed extraordinaire!

  2. Oh, thanks for reviewing these. I'm still getting my nephews through the Dragonbreath adventures (and the Origami Yoda series) - I wasn't sure if these would work for them, but it sounds like they will. ☺

  3. Poor Mumfry having munched on the wrong sorta bean, but this does sound like another fun book in the series.


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