Booklist (December 1, 2010 (Vol. 107, No. 7))
Grades 1-3. A couple of steps up from an easy reader, Jonell’s latest book will appeal to those who prefer their fantasy stories furry and friendly. It follows four siblings over the course of a day and a very long night as they deal with a wish gone wrong. The Willow kids (ages six and up) have just moved from their suburban neighborhood to a house in the country, and they’re having some trouble adjusting. But those troubles seem simple after Celia, the youngest, turns into a giant hamster when she wishes “to be big.” Dorman’s black-and-white illustrations are appealing, and Jonell handles the children’s problem with a light hand, finding humor in how they hide Celia’s appearance and tremendous stores of energy from their parents. After a night of adventure in which the children sneak out to find the Great Hamster and undo the magic, all ends well. And the Willow kids are sure that next time, they will better handle all of the new rural magic around them.