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Hamster and Cheese (Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  977 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Sasspants, reluctant Guinea Pig P.I., solves the case of the missing sandwiches with the help of her sidekick, Hamisher the Hamster, and a menagerie of suspects.
Hardcover, 46 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Graphic Universe (first published January 1st 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,561)
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Mar 28, 2010 Betsy rated it it was amazing
This book stars a guinea pig by the name of Sasspants.

There. I've just told you everything you need to know to enjoy it. No need to thank me. Unfortunately, I have the creeping suspicion in the back of my medulla oblongata that there may be folks out there for whom "Sasspants"-monikered rodentia is not enough. Perhaps you are wondering what else there is to find in this bite-sized graphic novel. It's a slight little thing, after all. Coming in at a mere 48 pages you might be inclined to take it
Apr 14, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sasspants the guinea pig lives in a pet shop with a bunch of other animals. The owner of the shop, Mr. Venezi, has really bad eyesight, though, and doesn’t know much about the animals he’s selling. As a result, most of their cages are grossly mislabeled – the hamsters are “koalas,” the gecko is a “moose,” the chinchillas are “camels,” and the mice are “walruses.” Sasspants loves to read, and just as she’s about to get to the end of her book, she’s interrupted by a Hamster/Koala who thinks she’s ...more
Sep 04, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children who enjoy reading graphic novels
This is a humorous mystery in a pet shop where the guinea pig has to figure out who is eating Mr. Venezi's sandwich every day. The illustrations are colorful and cartoonish and the narrative is entertaining, but sometimes a bit disjointed. I had to reread several pages because the story wasn't really making sense. I think a large part of it is the fact that Mr. Venezi is very nearsighted and labeled his pets as another completely unrelated animal.

We enjoyed reading this book together - the anim
Matthew Hunter
We laughed a lot during our bed read-a-long of Hamster and Cheese. First, there's the title that reminds of the punny names given cozy mysteries. (Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness, anyone?) Then there's sidekick Hamisher, a hamster with an identity crisis. See, pet shop owner Mr. Venezi has trouble properly labeling different animal species. Camel labels adorn rabbit cages. And hamsters have been led to believe they're Koala Bears. Hamisher's split between two identities, and he's not happy about ...more
Maria Fitz
Apr 03, 2015 Maria Fitz rated it really liked it
Text to Self: I think this book relates to myself because I love animals and always loved going to the pet shop and that's where this graphic novel takes place! This story is about a hamster who becomes a private investigator, which I think we all wanted to be at one point, and solves the mystery of who ate the sandwich. I think after spy kids and all the cool movies like that came out growing up, that I always wanted to do something like that and I did for four years while I was in the military ...more
Sami Voshell
Mar 25, 2015 Sami Voshell rated it it was amazing
Text to Self: I loved this book. I'm a huge mystery fan, and seeing the story unfold was fun. I really liked that the culprit behind the stolen sandwich wasn't an obvious choice. I always try to figure out the endings of book, especially those with twists, and I couldn't figure out who the real culprit was. I really liked that, although this is a children's graphic novel, it has appeal for adults too.

Text to Text: Although it wasn't originally a book, Hamster and Cheese made me instantly think o
Feb 27, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it
A review of Hamster and Cheese by Rachel Langenfeld
I will introduce my students to the book by asking how many students have been to a pet shop and what kinds of animals they may find there (Text-To-World Strategy). Do you find zebras, koalas or moose at a pet shop? What about rabbits, fish and hamsters?
I will get my students excited about the book by telling them they can help solve a mystery, the mystery of a stolen sandwich. They get to be Private Eye Detectives and help the animals in the pe
Tiffanie-ann Bucheit
Feb 23, 2014 Tiffanie-ann Bucheit rated it it was amazing
This story is about a hamster trying to solve the mystery of a missing sandwich that belongs to the pet shop owner. The animals work together to figure out who the sandwich thief is. Although in the beginning of the story we think it may be one of the animals, at the end of the story we find a huge plot twist!

Text to self- Growing up with three siblings there have been times when something occurs in the home and our parents give us one last chance to figure out who did it and to then fess up. In
Kelsey Kalinski
I thought this graphic novel was a great book for elementary school kids. It is a fun mystery-solving story with cute pet store animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, fish, snakes, and rabbits. An elementary school student would be able to relate this story to his own experiences if he or she had one of these animals as a pet or if he or she has ever had to solve a mystery of any kind on their own. For example, if one of their toys went missing one day and they had their own investigation ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing
TED 8650 Children's Literature

This book would be a great addition to my collection. It starts with Sasspants, a guinea pig, reading in her cage, when the G falls off of her name tag. Hamisher the hamster then asks her for her help, because her name tag now reads Guinea PI (like private investigator). Hamisher needs to find out who is stealing Mr. Venezi's, the owner's, sandwiches. Mr. Venezi thinks the hamsters are stealing his sandwiches, and if his sandwich goes missing one more time, he is ge
Lisa Lathrop
Apr 15, 2015 Lisa Lathrop rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
1) This book was rated suitable for grades 1-4. The text balloons were easy to follow (left to right, and also some connected to one another in a circular format). The illustrations were delightful, colorful and often full of details. If you looked at the illustrations carefully, you would see a "lump" in the snake's belly or pick up that "guinea pig" in later frames was missing the "g" as Sasspants (the guinea pig) was actually a private investigator.

2.) The type of reader I would suggest this
Dana Still
Apr 03, 2015 Dana Still rated it it was amazing
Test to Self: I grew up reading comic books or at least looking at them, as I got older I did read Encyclopedia Brown. This kind of reminds me of reading those, although I was in 5th grade when I read them, this book would be for younger students, maybe 2nd or 3rd grade. There is a mystery to solve and our hero is a Guinea Pig, two things that kids love.

Text to Text: I am finding this one hard, not sure what I could compare this book too, I can compare the characters to Shrek and Donkey. Shrek d
Dec 02, 2015 Jairus rated it liked it
Shelves: infm-208
There’s something mysterious going on in Mr. Venezi’s pet store. His sandwiches keep disappearing and no one is quite sure who the culprit is. Hamisher the hamster asks Sasspants the guinea pig to help investigate the case, mistaking her for a Guinea P.I. after her letter G falls off her cage. Sasspants finally agrees after much reluctance. The story then follows this duo as they make their rounds around the pet store, interrogating the other animals.

The illustrations by Stephanie Yue steal the
Sean Albright
1. This is a graphic novel that utilizes the use of humor to entertain its readers. With a guinea pig as a private investigator, hired by a hamster, it’s certain to get a kick out of the younger audience. It’s a great addition to a collection because it is an introductory graphic novel that uses mystery very well to entice the younger audience.
2. This book is suitable for kids grades 2-4. It uses simple to read text and offers a fun mystery for young readers to follow along with. I believe myst
Nov 06, 2015 Stefanie rated it it was amazing
This is a great graphic novel for everyone. Great detailed illustrations, very colourful and entertaining to hold people's attention all while trying to solve a mystery.

Plus the guinea pigs name is Sasspants who just wants to read.

I think this would be good for reluctant readers or anyone who loves animals.
Mar 03, 2015 Shannonmde added it
Shelves: sydney, 2015
I'm pretty sure I need to read this whole series ASAP. Super adorable about a Guinea PI (the snake ate his G), a hamster who insists he solve the mystery of the missing sandwich before the hamsters get the blame and the absent minded petshop owner who isn't good with animals so all the critters are mislabeled. The hamster is in a cage that says koala.. the finches are in a cage that says llama. In this first case (first comic book) they are on the lookout for a missing sandwich. The fish and chi ...more
Amber Hurlbert
Apr 02, 2015 Amber Hurlbert rated it really liked it
"Hamster and Cheese" is a graphic novel. I liked this one more than the other, maybe because of the animals.

Text-self: I would ask the students if they have a guinea pig or hamster, and what kind of things they do. (Or other students could answer from knowledge they have, even if they don't have one).

Text-world: I would ask everyone if they think animals can be sneaky, or play tricks on each other. This would be a fun time for funny stories or ideas.

Text-text: I would find a non-fiction book
North Richland Hills Public Library
Jul 10, 2014 North Richland Hills Public Library rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I was disappointed that the title did not to allude to the main characters. I expected the book to be about a Guinea Pig named Cheese, and a Hamster named Hamster. I would have accepted a Guinea Pig named Hamster and a Hamster named Cheese, but that did not happen either. The guinea pig’s name is Sasspants, and the hamster’s name is Hamisher. The book is called Hamster and Cheese. I enjoyed the book anyway. The characters of the pet shop are fun and friendly, although everyone is misnamed throug ...more
Bailey Noel
Sep 18, 2016 Bailey Noel rated it it was amazing
In this book, the plot starts off with several different small animals including a hamster. The hamster and a guinea pig start talking, and soon they become friends. The animals in the cage think they are animals that they are not. For example, the hamster thinks that he is a koala, until he discovers that he isn't a guinea pig after all. The author uses his animations to portray what he is trying to show. The pictures are very inviting, and the bold large lettering shows what the animals are tr ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Nov 21, 2010 Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: Both books 1 & 2 are Cybils '10 nominees and as a panelist for Graphic Novels they are required reading for me.

This is absolutely adorable! The artwork is so cute and the animals have such personalities it was a joy to read. Elementaries are going to love this series. Sasspants PI inadvertently gets mistaken for a detective and the hamsters call on him to solve the case of the missing sandwiches. Every day the owner puts a sandwich near the hamster cage for his lunch and
Dec 09, 2011 Katelyn rated it liked it
1. Graphic Novel

2. A hamster and a guinea pig try to solve a mystery for their pet store owner. He wants to know who is stealing his sandwiches, otherwise he is going to get rid of the pets.

3. A- This is a fun read for students or children interested in comic books. The format is designed exactly like a comic book would be.

B- I did not find anything terrible about this book, but I also didn’t find anything great. I think it is good for students who want to read, but might be on a lower reading
Hannah Scott
May 31, 2012 Hannah Scott rated it really liked it
Guinea Pig Pet Shop Private Eye: Hamster and Cheese by Colleen Af Venable was one of the cutest graphic novels I have ever read. The illustrations were colorful and lively which really captured my attention. The use of space was incredible because even though each panel was a different size, they all fit together like puzzle pieces to create full page spreads. The story took place in a pet store which, in my opinion, could really attract young kids because who doesn’t love going to the pet store ...more
Ashley Bell
Dec 03, 2012 Ashley Bell rated it liked it
The book, Hamster and Cheese, by Colleen AF Venable is a cute mystery. The Pet-shop owner, Mr. Venezi, has discovered that his sandwich disappeared during lunchtime and he blames his koalas, which are actually hamsters, but Mr. Venezi isn't exactly good at the identifying the pets that he is selling in his shop. So Mr. Venezi decides that if his sandwich disappears one more time then that's it for the "koalas". So when Hamisher the hamster sees that there's a resident Guinea Pig in the shop he d ...more
Teresa Scherping
Hamisher the Hamster (who thinks he's a koala) needs help! Mr. Venezi the pet shop owner has been losing his sandwiches, and if he continues to suspect the hamsters, he may just get rid of all of them. When Hamisher mistakes Sasspants the Guinea Pig for a private eye, he thinks all his problems are solved. Sasspants, who is not really a detective, decides to help Hamisher so that he'll leave her alone to read her book. But who could be stealing the sandwiches? One of the other pets? Or a visitor ...more
Katie Lawrence
Jul 24, 2015 Katie Lawrence rated it really liked it
This was delightful! I love the idea of a guinea pig named Sasspants who falls into being a pet shop detective. What fun! Both Sasspants and her sidekick Hamisher (who believes he is a koala) are very entertaining and I loved their interviews with all the other animals. I kind of want to read more now, which I did not expect! My students will love these.
Jul 10, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed again, having read the second book of this series, and wanting to see where it began. Venable has created a memorable character and location. The confusion in this pet shop has already excited my Grandson, and I am sure he is going to love this book. What we have here is a mystery, and a Guinea Pig who just wants to solve it so everybody will give her the peace and quiet she wants. There are all sorts of false leads, and just when you think you know "who-dun-it" another twist to the pl ...more
Mar 18, 2016 Shannon rated it it was amazing
03/16: To save time manually transferring my reviews from Shelfari to Goodreads, I'll just save Book 1 in the series. But David really loved the entire series back in the day.

06/12: This one was promoted in an Amazon review of "Guinea Dog." David loved this entire series!

Amazon Book Description: There's a sandwich thief in Mr. Venezi's pet shop, and everyone is a suspect, from the chinchillas to the goldfish. Never fear! The world's fluffiest detective on the case: Sasspants, PI(G). By day, Sass
Awesome. Sasspants just wants to be left alone to read in the pet store, but that hamster won't leave her alone until she solves the mystery of the missing sandwich. Silly fun with the pet shop owner mislabeling all the critters who have distinctive personalities. More importantly, perhaps, the text/art combination is good for reluctant readers. The PandaBat and I both loved it.
Kerry (The Roaming Librarian)
This cracked me up! This graphic novel series about a guinea pig who is somewhat forced to become a PI for his pet shop (to save some very grateful "koalas") will have kids and adults alike chuckling. The art is sharp, colorful, and very expressive. So much fun!
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You might know me from such films as "Colleen's Fourth Birthday Party" and "Colleen Falls Down Over and Over Again While Ice Skating."
I've had a rock stuck in my knee since 1986.
I eat cereal for almost every meal.
I have a huge connect-the-dots tattoo.
I am often holding YA books, watching Phyllis Diller films, and covered in ink.
I am a proud supporter and co-creator of Lumberjack Day. (every Sep
More about Colleen A.F. Venable...

Other Books in the Series

Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye (6 books)
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  • Fish You Were Here
  • Raining Cats and Detectives
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