Meerkat Mail

Meerkat Mail

by Emily Gravett
     
 

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Sunny Meerkat lives in the Kalahari desert with his family. Under the hot sun, Sunny and his brothers and sisters work together, play together, eat together, learn together, and sleep together. Sunny needs a break, so he decides to take a trip to visit some relatives. Through a series of postcards—that actually flip open for children to read—Sunny

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Overview

Sunny Meerkat lives in the Kalahari desert with his family. Under the hot sun, Sunny and his brothers and sisters work together, play together, eat together, learn together, and sleep together. Sunny needs a break, so he decides to take a trip to visit some relatives. Through a series of postcards—that actually flip open for children to read—Sunny documents his journey for his family. But as he travels from the barnyard through the forest to the city, Sunny realizes there's no place like home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Sunny the Meerkat lives in the Kalahari Desert, where it is "VERY dry and VERY hot," writes Gravett (Wolves), winner of the U.K.'s Kate Greenaway Medal. What's more, his large family is "VERY close. Sometimes Sunny thinks they are TOO close." He sets out to see if his Mongoose family relatives inhabit more salubrious digs, sending home postcards that are tipped into the pages like flaps. "Dear Mum, Dad and Everyone," reads a postcard from the rainforest, where he visits his Liberian Mongoose cousins. "It is raining. QUITE HARD. Hope the weather is better at home. Loads of love from Sunny Rainy... P.S. Great Aunt Maureen was right. I should have packed an umbrella." Finally realizing that there's no place like one's natural habitat, Sunny returns home to a joyous celebration. The book's novelty can't quite conceal that the humor is stretched-at least in the text; the pictures of the meerkat blend naturalist observations with nutty anthropomorphic details (e.g., an adult meerkat rests under a beach umbrella while giant ants perform acrobatic stunts before his electric fan). The handsome watercolor and ink illustrations make the most of the elongated horizontal format; Gravett conveys not just how a landscape looks, but also how its lighting and climate feels to a very small mammal. The scenes among Sunny's nocturnal cousins are particularly striking. And there's no denying that her meerkat have tons of animal magnetism. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Sunny Meerkat lives in the hot Kalahari Desert with his large family. They do everything together. One day, Sunny decides he has endured enough heat and enough togetherness. He packs his suitcase and takes off to find the PERFECT place to live. He spends his first night with Uncle Bob and his family who made him feel very welcome, but they live in constant fear of nearby predators. The next day Sunny visits some cousins, but living in a termite mound is just too itchy, so he moves on. Other stops along the way include a farm, a rain forest, a dark hole, and a marsh. As the week nears its end, Sunny is getting very discouraged. Perhaps no place is right for him. Then he comes upon a place that is very hot and the residents are very close. He has traveled in a wide circle to arrive back where he began. He is home and it is perfect. Sunny and his many mongoose relatives appear amiable and likable as they interact with each other in the softly colored illustrations. Picture post cards fold out from some of the pages providing interesting tidbits about Sunny's travels. The end pages of the book feature illustrations as snapshots of family members and activities. This is a nice reminder of the values of home and family. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
A restless meerkat's wanderjahr lasts just six days, but that's long enough to visit as many members of his far-flung clan. Chafing at his large family's "Stay safe, stay together" lifestyle, Sunny packs a suitcase and goes off to visit a string of relatives, from Liberian mongoose cousins Mildred and Frank to Great Aunt Flo the marsh mongoose-oblivious to the predatory hyena struggling along behind. Unhappily, as he reports back on a set of lift-the-flap picture postcards, none of the places he visits are as warm or comfortable as his familiar old burrow, so in the end it's back to the Kalahari. There he gets a big welcome party with a banner, hugs, a platter of yummy scorpions . . . and the frustrated hyena gets a jeering send-off. Gravett depicts the meerkats, the mongooses and their varied habitats in deftly brushed watercolors, adding lighthearted riffs (the postcard from Aunt Flo's swamp is an ad for the "Dive-In Self-Service Restaurant") and decorating the endpapers with faux photos and newspaper clippings. Along with humor and suspense, she folds snippets of natural history into the tale-and it's worth noting that meerkats outdo even kittens for cuteness and personality. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416934738
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
09/25/2007
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,123,828
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Emily Gravett is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including the Kate Greenaway Award–winning Wolves and Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. She is also the author and illustrator of Again! (shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award), Wolf Won’t Bite!, Blue Chameleon, The Rabbit Problem, Dogs, Spells, The Odd Egg, Monkey and Me, Orange Pear Apple Bear, and Meerkat Mail. She lives in Brighton, England, with her family. Visit her at EmilyGravett.com.

Emily Gravett is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including the Kate Greenaway Award–winning Wolves and Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. She is also the author and illustrator of Again! (shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award), Wolf Won’t Bite!, Blue Chameleon, The Rabbit Problem, Dogs, Spells, The Odd Egg, Monkey and Me, Orange Pear Apple Bear, and Meerkat Mail. She lives in Brighton, England, with her family. Visit her at EmilyGravett.com.

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