Hamster and Cheese

Book 1

From the Series Guinea PIG, Pet Shop Private Eye

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 - Grade 5
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

There’s a sandwich thief in Mr. Venezi’s pet shop.

Everyone is a suspect, from the chinchillas to the goldfish. Never fear! The world’s fluffiest detective on the case: Sasspants, PI.

By day, Sasspants is your average book-loving, gizmo-inventing guinea pig. By night she solves pet shop mysteries with the help of her sidekick, Hamisher the hamster. Our furry little heroes will stop at nothing to find the sandwich thief! This is the first book in the Guinea PIG, Pet Shop Private Eye series.

“Absolutely adorable drawings, blended with witty dialogue in a way that makes this comic a perfect read for all ages . . . and Owly would like to add that ‘little Hamisher and his drawings are equal to awesome.’”—Andy Runton, author of Owly

“Move over Miss Marple, never mind the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, here’s the real mistress of the whodunit. She’s sharp. And she’s furry. This one’s a keeper.”—Mark Siegel, illustrator of To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel

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Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 5
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Graphic Novels
Copyright 2010
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Graphic Universe ™
Language English
Number of Pages 48
Publication Date 2010-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 2.6
Text Type Fiction—Mystery
BISACS JUV008120, JUV028000, JUV002180
Dewey 741.5'973
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 7 x 7.25
Lexile 510
Guided Reading Level O
ATOS Reading Level 2.0
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 135432
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Awards, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Colleen AF Venable

Colleen AF Venable lives in New York and is the author of several acclaimed graphic novels, including National Book Award Longlist selection Kiss Number 8.

Illustrator: Stephanie Yue

Stephanie Yue grew up in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, and went to New York to study illustration. Currently, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and spends her days drawing, practicing kung fu, and making stuff.


  • ALSC Graphic Novels Reading List, Winner, 2018
  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids, Winner, 2010
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2010
  • Kirkus Best Children's Books, Winner, 2010


Kirkus Reviews

“[An] electrically charged comic-book story.’”
Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

“[A] humorous mystery. Children who are just beginning to read graphic novels independently will enjoy solving the case with Sasspants. The full-color cartoons enhance the comic appeal.”
School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

“Children can look and guess for themselves about the clues and red herrings the book presents. The humor in the characters’ personalities and dialogue makes this a lively and entertaining book.”
Publishers Weekly


“Young readers will appreciate the zaniness of the pet shop and the fun mystery, and Yue’s colorful art uses a straightforward panel design that’s easy to follow.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Yue’s graphic panels, colored by Hi-Fi Design, make the most of the comic potential and extend it with plenty of visual slapstick. Middle graders will close this and ask right away for Detective Pants’s next caper.”
Kirkus Reviews