The Meekat Wars

The Meekat Wars

by H. S. Toshack


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780956323620
Publisher: PakaMdogo Press
Publication date: 01/06/2011
Pages: 241
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

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The Meekat Wars 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Sheena, the little domestic black and white cat, wanders off on a new adventure in her native Africa, this time with two groups of meerkats who think the sun in the sky over their mound is the best for their important Sunwake ritual. Sheena encounters a scorpion with poison in its tail, a disagreeable honey badger, a family of porcupines, a lizard that changes color, Mondo the big cat who is a nasty fighter and hurts Sheena, water buffaloes, hyenas that run after one of the porcupines, and her good friend Mpole, the elephant, who helps save the day. Sheena does convince the two groups of meerkats to see that it is the same sun over both their home mounds and makes it back to her owner's campsite. She leaves Baragandi National Park in the back of their Land Rover as though nothing much had happened. "The Meerkat Wars" is a wonderfully written animal fantasy that will enthrall readers and teach them about the animals and the topography of Africa. Sheena the cat and the other animal characters are totally believable while retaining their animal characteristics. The black and white illustrations are first-rate and help to convey the story, including the woundings and deaths of some of the animal characters without being maudlin. The map on pages 2 and 3, and the somewhat dark pictures in the table of contents add to the storyline with Sheena's picture featured at the beginning of each chapter. The plot proceeds well and each new adventure is incorporated well into the text. It is nice to have a first rate animal fantasy available to readers everywhere. A must purchase for libraries as well.
technodiabla on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book is not really billed as a kid's or YA novel, though I requested it with that in mind. My daughter (age 8 but high school-level reader) did not really understand the story (reading it herself). Talking animals were good, but the allegory was lost on her. The writing I would say is appropriate for a middle- to high-school student. I will try again by reading it to her. It's right up her alley, so I'm surprised she didn't warm to it more. I will reserve rating it until I have read it myself.UPDATE: I've read quite a bit myself now. The story is very cute and the characters are appealing (especially to kids). I find there is too much detail that doesn't further the story in any way. Almost like the author had a 100 page book and really had to make it be a 250 page book. That type of details bores kids (bores me too but less so). 3 stars.
choir267 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The writing was amazing and I couldn't stop reading it. Since the book seemed like it was written in European style it was hard to understand some words. I thought the plot was well executed on the back of the book. There were pictures of all the animals that were mentioned other than meerkats and the cat Sheena. In the beginning though Sheena did get lost from her campsite the meerkats gladly took her in and cared for her. I thought that was really kind of them. There were parts that I cheered for one of the characters and that really made the book feel interactive. Overall the book was excellent and I can't wait to read more books in the series.
Lokeyanna on LibraryThing 10 months ago
If you are the kind of animal lover that revels in the antics of the smaller creatures on our planet and that chooses to look beyond the attention-grabbing Big Five of the African continent, then you just might be the ideal audience for The Meerkat Wars by H.S. Toshack (PakaMdogo Press, 2012; ISBN: 978-0-9563236-2-0). This inspiring tale of how a cat helps a clan of meerkats to fend off an invading clan that wishes to take over its territory makes for a heart-pounding and insightful read, not only teaching youngsters (and those of an older generation who still are blessed with the ability to savor such writing) of the habits of these relatively small inhabitants of the African plains, but also encouraging them to empathize with others who may, in appearance at least, seem to be significantly different to themselves, especially at first sight.The characters that comprise the cast of this tale all come to life under Toshack¿s thoughtful and perceptive penmanship. Even if a child has never before heard of the strange breed of mongoose that also bears the name `suricate¿, they are bound to warm to the author¿s lively descriptions of this apparently sun-worshipping breed of small mammal that spends so much of its life underground. By starting from familiar territory, with a cat that, unbeknownst to its owners, stows away on board their Land Rover when they go on safari in the Baragandiri National Park, and who gets lost almost as soon as she arrives in the Park, Toshack cleverly elicits the sympathy of his audience, many of whom most probably have cats as pets, or who have relatives or friends who do. Sheena, despite being the pivotal figure in the story, in her position as a link between the two warring clans, provides an understandable and empathetic connection between the familiar and the unknown on more than one level. Meerkats, on her first encountering them, are as strange to her as they are likely to be for any human who has not yet been exposed to the wonderful range of creatures that there are to encounter in the African bush. Although Toshack is, at times, inclined to indulge in a fair measure of anthropomorphism, he conveys with ease insights into not only the way of life of meerkats, but also into that of other animals that Sheena encounters in her adventures, such as porcupines and honey badgers. It comes as no surprise, then, to find that Toshack has both lived and worked in Africa, nor that he is a retired English teacher and educational consultant. Indeed, he takes great enjoyment in playing around with the English language, such as when Sheena first thinks porcupines are called `porcuspines¿ and has to be corrected in her language usage. Toshack¿s great sense of humor adds an extra bite to the ease and flow of his writing, which is complemented by numerous fine drawings by Nelson McAlister.If you and your children become as enamored with Toshack¿s and Sheena¿s (she is accredited with coauthor status) story as many others have been, don¿t fret when you come to the end of this marvelous semi-allegorical tale¿there are two others that you should also feel drawn to read: Paka Mdogo and The Gradual Elephant.
nightprose on LibraryThing 10 months ago
H. S. Toshack has written a third book in his Paka Mdogo: Little Cat series. Our little heroine is Sheena, a domestic cat. As in her first two books, Sheena is off on an adventure. In The Meerkat Wars, Sheena's family goes on an African Safari. Sheena stows away in the back of their vehicle, and ends up in the middle of a warzone. There is a war amongst the tribes of Meerkat in the Baragandiri National Park. Sheena becomes the mediator, and hopeful peacemaker for the Meerkat. As in any situation involving war, there is violence. However, this is a chapter novel for young adults. As an educator, H. S. Toshack handles these situations with intelligence and moral lessons. Tolerance and acceptance are stressed. The book is filled with natural facts and interaction of Meerkat. The lessons are easily applicable to human nature, as well. I highly recommend this book and series. Well written, the books are both adventurous and educational. H. S. Toshack plans more books based on his Paka Mdogo: Little Cat. His following of readers continues to grow in number, and in age.
innermurk on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I love a good animal fantasy adventure story, so I was excited to get this one from the early reviewers program. The main character, a cat named Sheena, is a loveable little creature that seems to have a knack for getting involved. I loved that the adventure just seemed to roll out before her, and she wasn't nosing her way into things, or trying hard to be involved. The conflicts that arose were all perfectly natural and gave the plot flow and excitement in an extremely believable way. I loved the ambiguous nature of all the animals, no flat characters, or black and white, right and wrong here. There were motives and real life influences in everything that happened. The dialogue was entertaining, if somewhat full of puns at times, but still seemed natural and interesting. This author really loved playing with words, and I think it helped that the made up or mashed together words were italicized as it helped alleviate confusion and emphasized they weren't real words, especially as there are lots of foreign words (names really) used. On the other hand there are plenty of real words used that have double meaning, such as the main characters name. I was surprised to find that this is actually the third book of Sheena's adventures in Africa, and I will be looking for the first two to read as well. There were references to the previous tales, and even some recurring characters, but nothing so critical that I felt lost. The events were recapped succinctly and efficiently and the events moved on nicely.I think the book can be enjoyed on many levels, and one could have some good discussion arise out of the main plot of the book, where the cat (an outsider) is trying to change deep held faith based beliefs of the indigenous people. In this particular case, the meerkat tribes each believe that they have the one true sun and that the other sun of the other tribe is false (giving the premise that there had to be two suns at least) and thus their differences are so great that small conflicts lead to the conclusion that war is needed. In the end, by proving there is only one sun, Sheena is able to make the meerkat see that their differences are not really differences at all, and they really have more in common than not. We have to assume the happily ever after for them as the tale ends with them having a chance to resolve everything, and seeming to, but the main character leaves them before the actual compromises have been made. It is sort of trite to be able to resolve everything like this and really quite condescending to wash out all the faith of two separate belief systems, but that would be a good point to stop and make parallels to the real world and it's problems.The story is accompanied by lovely realistic drawings of the animals and the action. I was always intrigued to see the illustrations and looked forward to each new one. Overall this was a great read and I'm so happy to have been introduced to the Paka Mdogo series!
dulcibelle on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is a sweet little middle-grade book about a house cat in Africa (named Sheena) that gets involved in a dispute between two colonies of meerkats. It's third in a series of stories about Sheena's adventures, but each story stands alone and the series can be read in any order. Youngsters will enjoy reading about the scrapes Sheena gets into and how she gets out of them and the story will help them learn about nonviolent ways to resolve differences. Recommended for all youngsters and adults who don't mind talking animals. :-)
fuzzi on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This was my November Early Reviewers' book, which arrived within the last week.The premise was cute: an adventurous cat becomes a stowaway (by choice) on her family's vacation to the African wilderness. Left behind when her owner's Land Rover takes off unexpectedly, she encounters a meerkat while on her way back to base camp. She winds up living with the meerkat group, learning more about their society and assisting them when problems of a serious nature crop up.This is not a children's book, although preteens and up can and should enjoy it. As an adult, I found myself appreciating how the author played with words, and enjoyed the relationships between and amongst the animals portrayed.Definitely worth the read, perhaps a reread in the future.
jll112 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I am 10 years old. It is a very good book. I like it.. It is very well written. It has African animals in it which I enjoyed. I love it.. The author let me know the characters so well that I want to read more about these characters.
beckvalleybooks on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The authors knowledge of how Meerkats live, work and play is well researched, which adds to the story and the belief that you are really living like a Meerkat. The knowledge of the other types of animals encountered along the adventure is also first class.Sheena, a poor lost cat, brings the story to life with her adventures, fights and struggles to get back to her human family. She encounters two fighting tribes of Meerkats, the Duwara tribe and the Utongo tribe. Sheena realises that both tribes need to believe in the same thing 'One Sun' to end all the fighting, so they can live in peace. Can she achieve this?A book to be enjoyed by both young and old as the author brings the sense of humour and honour among the Meerkats alive. With sketches throughout the book for you to enjoy.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
The Meerkat Wars is the third adventure in this series about Sheena, a little black and white cat who lives in Africa with her family. In this book, the family is going on vacation, camping on the great African plains. Sheena goes along as a stowaway. She is stranded away from her family and on her way back to the campground, encounters her next big adventure. Sheena makes the acquaintance of a colony of meerkats, the Duwara, after helping one of their members who was stung by a scorpion. She stays with the colony for a few days, learning about their ways. She is there when another Meerkat colony, the Utongo, raid the Duwara tunnels and kidnap their pups. As Sheena talks to both colonies, it becomes apparent that they are divided not by any reasonable event, but by their belief that each colony is living under the One True Sun. Meerkats start their day standing and basking in the sun, so the sun is the prime event in their world. Those who doubt the supremacy of the sun are enemies. Can Sheena bring the two groups together in the realization that there is one sun that shines for all? This is a children's book, skillfully educating while entertaining. Several of the animals of the African plain are introduced along with their habitats, feeding habits and general behavior. In addition to the meerkats, there are seval cats porcupines, chameleons, water buffaloes and elephants. The underlying point, that we are all more similar than we are different, and that our separateness is often just self-generated, is brought home without a preachy tone. This book is recommended for middle school readers and for parents interested in getting good books for their children.