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"Please Play Along!" by Patches, resident faux hamster @ Salem Church Branch

I took up residence on the Children’s Desk at the library about one year ago. Although I have been adored and admired by many, some people actually give me the cold shoulder. Can you believe that people say things like, “Oh, it’s a fake hamster. Whatever!” or “Let’s go. It’s not real.” I have even been called a rat! I want you all to know that I am listening, even if I don’t always physically react (my batteries run low sometimes, don’t yours?). And just for the record, I prefer the term faux.

It is amazing how much fun the children and I have when I get to run on my wheel, drink from my water bottle or just take a nap in my igloo. The little kids love me for who I am and the big kids are intrigued by what I might be. It’s the grown-ups that I feel sorry for. Many of them are so worried about clarifying my status as a pretend hamster that they spoil it for others who enjoy a little stretch of the imagination. So if you don’t mind, please play along.

For those of you who love to let your imaginations run wild, check out this booklist with some of my favorite picture books where reality isn’t always what it seems.