Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure!

Children - Animals
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 09/16/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite

Hammy Hammerhead’s (almost) Big Adventure! by Mike Crowder features a hammerhead shark, a teal whale shark, an orange tiger shark, a grey Mako shark, a green bull shark, a pink nurse shark, and a blue shark. They are drawn in a cartoon style, but they are sufficiently accurate to be an educational plus. The other sea creature featured in detail is a puffer fish, who is light and puffs into a ball, perfect for a game similar to basketball but played underwater. There’s a moral subtly hidden in this very readable story – bullying is wrong while making friends is nice. The book is divided into three chapters, but each tempts reading on until “dang it” you find page thirty-two is “the end”.

I loved Mike Crowder’s chatty style of writing. The story begs to be read aloud, and there are lots of brilliantly colored illustrations. One on every page, so the youngster, or youngsters, listening would have plenty to look at. I suspect they would prompt interruptions for questions, but the story lends itself well to conversation. What is the biggest thing you can think of? Why don’t fairies and elves clean bedrooms? There is also an utterly irresistible line I can’t resist quoting – “I’m not a shrimp, I’m fun-sized.” Find out for yourself who says it and why. Hammy Hammerhead’s (almost) Big Adventure! is a treasure of a book – a must-have for adults with children in their lives, and Hammy demands a place on every child’s bookshelf.

Pikasho Deka

Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! is a children's picture book by Mike Crowder. Full of colorful pictures, the short story follows Hamy Hammerhead, a young shark who grew up in the biggest aquarium in the world, Sharkland, high up in the mountains of Florida (just go with it). One day, Hammy couldn't wait to complete his breakfast and join his friends to play pufferball. But his mother wouldn't allow him to do so until he cleaned his room. Reluctantly, Hammy completes his chores and arrives to play pufferball, only to see his friends already midway through the game. Just then, the school bully, Spike, shows to lord over everyone. Now, Hammy must beat Spike in a game of pufferball to stand up for his friends. But is it enough to teach Spike a lesson?

Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! is a delightful adventure story about a fun-loving young shark who finds a way to fight back against bullying. Author Mike Crowder, who wrote and provided the pictures for the book, tells an engaging story that kids will love to read and take away valuable lessons about friendship, empathy, and courage. With adorable characters, including an adventure-loving hammerhead shark for a protagonist, the book is a joy to go through. The underlying message of the book, how even bullies deserve compassion and empathy, will resonate with everyone, even adults who are long past high school. I had a wonderful time with Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! and will definitely recommend it to kids.

Joe Wisinski

Hammy Hammerhead, who is an anthropomorphic hammerhead shark, is having the kind of day many young children have. One problem for him is that he has to perform a household chore before he can go play with his shark friends. Once his work is done he goes out to play a shark’s version of basketball, but a bully shows up who potentially could ruin the game and the fun the sharks are having. But at Hammy’s suggestion, he and the bully engage in a contest—if Hammy wins the bully must go away and leave them alone. Hammy wins, but then comes a twist, which I won’t mention so as to not spoil the surprise. The entire story is told in Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! written by Mike Crowder, who also created the illustrations.

There are many good lessons for children in Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! by Mike Crowder. Some of the lessons are that household chores need to be done, that there are better ways to engage a bully than by fighting, and that it’s all too easy to adopt the same kind of behavior that we abhor in bullies. I also liked the surprising and delightful twist, which will fascinate children, keep their interest, and help them learn yet another good lesson. Crowder’s illustrations are fun and charming, and they fit the narrative well. Crowder doesn’t say what age group his book is for, but any child up to the early elementary grades would like it. Even children who can’t yet read would both enjoy having it read to them and looking at the illustrations. I recommend this book to children, their parents, and their grandparents.

Vincent Dublado

Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! by Mike Crowder is a colorful little tale about friendship and dealing with bullies. The setting takes place in Sharkland, the biggest aquarium in the United States. Meet Hampton J. Hammerhead or Hammy, a young hammerhead shark enjoying his chummy bowl of Yum-O’s. After his meal, he plans to play pufferball with his friends. But his mom truly means business when she tells him to clean his messy room first. But it only takes him three minutes and eight seconds to clean up his room, as he is very excited to go out and play. When he reaches the playground, his friends have already begun playing: Moby, the teal whale shark; Toni, the orange tiger shark; Otto, the gray Mako shark; Ferdie, the green bull shark; Peggy, the pink nurse shark; and Elmore, the blue shark. Sean the pufferfish serves as their ball. As they are enjoying the game, they are interrupted by the school bully, Spike, the great white shark. Will they stop playing, or will Hammy and his friends stand up against Spike?

This is not an adventure story. Rather, it is more of a day-in-the-life type of story, where a particular situation has conflict and resolution. Mike Crowder’s artwork largely contributes to the attractiveness of this storybook. Every page is occupied by fully-colored backdrops that give a three-dimensional feel to the large aquarium setting. Similarly, every fish character is well-drawn and colored which helps to bring out their distinct characteristics and personalities. This is also a story that breaks the fourth wall, as Hammy tells Spike that they have only a few pages left remaining, and the game is taking too long. It’s an entertaining story, one that teaches kids even bullies deserve compassion and friendship can make them become better versions of themselves. Hammy Hammerhead’s (almost) Big Adventure! makes for a good bedtime story and school reading activity.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! by Mike Crowder is a humorous children's picture book that makes learning easy and fun. Hammy Hammerhead is a young hammerhead shark who lives in Sharkland, probably the biggest aquarium in the whole world. Waking up one day, he looks forward to playing with his friends; Moby the whale shark, Toni, the tiger shark; Otto the Mako shark; Ferdie the bull shark; Peggy the pink shark, Elmore the blue shark, and making a special appearance is Sean the Pufferfish. His mom, however, insists that he cleans his room first before anything else. So he cleans up real fast, eats his breakfast, and then rushes out to play pufferball with his friends. They are having fun playing until Spike, the school bully, joins them.

Mike Crowder's Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! is an absolutely enjoyable read. Also illustrated by the author, it is a colorful journey into the underwater world. Hammy Hammerhead is a relatable character right from the first page because the truth is, most kids would rather play than clean up their rooms. The narration is witty, funny, and casual, and it feels like the author is in front of you telling the story. With sharks suffering from bad press, I find Hammy Hammerhead's (almost) Big Adventure! a very refreshing read. The book also has a message on how to deal with bullying, which makes it relevant and inspiring. Perfect for bedtime and classroom reading, it is also informative. Kids can learn to identify the different species of sharks and have fun at the same time. Highly recommended!