Marv and the Humongous Hamster

Marv and the Humongous Hamster

By Author / Illustrator

Alex Falase-Koya, Paula Bowles



Age range(s)



Oxford University Press




Paperback / softback




When ordinary boy Marvin wears his super-suit, he becomes MARV. A superhero with infinite powers . . . In this story, it's Marvin's turn to look after Nibbles, the classroom hamster. He's determined to show his grandad that he's responsible enough to have a pet, but disaster strikes when Dr Boom shows up with his latest invention and makes the hamster HUMONGOUS!

It's time for Marvin to get into his super-suit and become MARV-unstoppable, invincible, and totally marvellous! Only then can he put an end to Dr Boom's mischief and rescue Nibbles!



Marv and his super-suit are back in this, his 6th , adventure, Marv and the Humongous Hamster. Who doesn't need a super-suit and one that is powered by kindness and imagination, no less?

This story starts from a very relatable problem for any young reader; the need to prove that you are responsible enough to do something. In Marv's case it is to have a pet and what better way to prove this than by looking after the class hamster but, as you will have come to expect, nothing goes smoothly for our hero Marv!

This beautifully written story is carefully written to appeal to the young reader transitioning from picture to chapter books. The balance between illustration and text on a page has been brilliantly designed to ensure that the reader is not overwhelmed and that the story moves at a good pace. The limited colour pallet used for the illustrations ensures that they are detailed and informative whilst enabling the aesthetic to be calm. Alex has chosen his language carefully to allow for a level of challenge for the reader that will not invade their enjoyment of the plot but will extend their vocabulary.

The Marv series is an absolute must have for school libraries and book corners for upper KS1/KS2 pupils. It is a book that you will struggle to put down as you will want to read all six chapters in one go. It is the perfect book to use to inspire pupils imaginations and get them writing their own stories as well.

128 pages / Reviewed by Amanda Shipton, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+

Natalie J

Marv and the Humungous Hamster is the seventh title in the series about a boy called Marvin whose alter ego, Marv, is a superhero. Despite initially being confused as I did not realise this was a further adventure in an established series, I enjoyed this fast-paced humorous adventure.

Written by the co-author of Marcus Rashford's The Breakfast Club Adventures, Falase-Koye is a clever writer, creating an early reader's chapter book that is full of plot twists, tension, and excitement in a fun, appealing and accessible way. By making his hero black, like him, because as he says he struggled to find superheroes who looked like him, he has also created an important addition to the superhero world.

The 109 pages, across six chapters, are a wonderful mix of text and blue and grey illustrations, which range from full page spreads to spot pictures with text woven around them. The cartoon images work well with the style of writing, emphasising the story's pace and humour, especially the pet shop scenes where the super-villain that Marv does battle with has used his size-changing ray gun to create an army of supersized rabbits and hamsters.

This is a lovely, original series, built around the idea that Marv's powers are fuelled by the strength of his kindness and imagination, and drawing on the entertaining trope of superheroes - that they are unrecognisable when wearing a costume and mask from their everyday selves.

128 pages / Reviewed by Natalie J McChrystal Plimmer, librarian

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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