Hot Rod Hamster and the Wacky Whatever Race!

Series: Scholastic Reader, Level 2

by Cynthia Lord, Illustrated By Derek Anderson

Scholastic Press
September 2014

Ages 4 – 6 . Grades PreK – 1

Library of Congress: 2013046940

Lexile measure: 500L

DRA: 20

Guided Reading: L

Hot Rod Hamster LOVES to drive superfast. And today he's building a box car from scratch to race downhill in the Wacky Whatever Race. He needs to pick out a box, wheels, and a paint color for his car. Can you help him?

With the same bouncing rhythms, fun choice rhymes, and daredevil antics that made the picture books so popular, this original Level 2 reader will be a sturdy stepping-stone for Hot Rod Hamster fans as well as series newcomers as they move on to independent reading. The years Ms. Lord spent as a first-grade teacher have given her the perfect sense for what language and storylines work best for emerging readers. This new adventure skillfully emphasizes word families and rhyming structures with pedal-to-the-metal flare! Little boys and girls will race to collect this latest story from their favorite furry friend.

Hop into the early-reading driver's seat and join Hot Rod Hamster and his buddies for a fun-filled race day with a thrilling surprise at the finish line!
Derek Anderson

Derek Anderson is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of the Little Quack series by Lauren Thompson as well as the Hot Rod Hamster series by Cynthia Lord. He is also the author and illustrator of Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure and Story County: Here We Come! He writes and paints in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit him online at
Cynthia Lord

Cynthia Lord is the award-winning author of Rules, a Newbery Honor Book and a Schneider Family Book Award winner, as well as the critically acclaimed Half a Chance, A Handful of Stars, and Because of the Rabbit. She made her picture-book debut with Hot Rod Hamster, which won several awards, including the Parents' Choice Award, and is the author of the Shelter Pet Squad chapter book series. She lives in Maine with her family. Visit her at


  • Praise for HOT ROD HAMSTER:

    A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year
    A Parents' Choice Award Recommended Title
    A Wyoming Buckaroo Award Winner
    A Children's Choice Book Award Finalist
    A Buckeye Children's Book Award Nominee (Ohio)
    A Colorado Children's Book Award Nominee
    A Goldfinch Award Nominee (Iowa)
    A Magnolia Award Nominee (Mississippi)

    "Junior racing fans will get a vicarious thrill with this story of a tiny driver who dares to burn rubber with the big boys. . . . Anderson's acrylics are boisterously large, colorful, and off-kilter--just like his swaggering protagonist."--BOOKLIST

    "Newbery Honor author Lord's picture-book debut is a rollicking, roaring read. . . . Anderson's fluffy, jaunty illustrations are as full of energy as the rhymes. Young car enthusiasts won't be the only ones enamored of this hot-rodding rodent and his big canine buddy."--KIRKUS REVIEWS


    A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year

    "Loud, exaggerated acrylics burst off the pages, and the plump, cuddly characters look like stuffed animals come to life. Children will enjoy the opportunity to participate and make choices throughout the book leading up to Hamster's surprise party."--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL


Paperback / softback

Perfect-bound Paperback

ISBN: 9780545626781

32pp. | 6 x 9