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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Where's the Meerkat? Illustrated by Paul Moran, Steve Wiltshire and Simon Ecob

Where's the Meerkat?

Over the past year we have seen the humble, inquisitive meerkat take over the world, and in "Where's the Meerkat?" that is literally the case. A family of meerkats are making a round-the-world trip, visiting some of the world's most famous and popular places and your task is to spot them in the crowd. Each page is intricately illustrated in full colour with a checklist of items and people to spot along with the meerkats. This is the perfect quirky gift for the meerkat-mad member of your family.

My son took this into hospital with him and it kept him (and my husband) amused for ages! 

The book follows a similar format to the old favorite, Where's Wally, but has been updated with the up to date trend of meerkats. They are everywhere at the moment, following the popularity of that insurance compare website.  

The book starts with a description to the adventure the reader is about to take: an adventure which takes the reader around the world, upon which you are accompanying a family of 10 meerkats and the reader's task is to find the ten family members within each picture. Each picture is a double page spread and set in a different country. From the carnival atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; New York, USA; Innsbruck, Austria; Paris, France; Moscow, Russia; The Great Wall, China; Easter Island, South Pacific; Sydney, Australia; London, UK; Venice, Italy, Giza, Egypt; Bangkok, Thailand; Kyoto, Japan; Santa Cruz, USA; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; Marrakesh, Morrocco; through to The Kruger National Park, South Africa, the meerkats travel the world in this book.

The pictures are really colourful and reflect life within each country. I was surprised that the books were not as 'busy' as many Where's Wally books, however the meerkat's are really difficult to find. My son, who's 7, and husband spent a long time searching each picture to find all ten meerkats each time. The meerkat's have different attire each time, to merge in with the countries residents and customs.

I think that this book would be great for children and adults alike - the children will have the opportunity to learn about many different countries while having fun finding all the meerkats, whereas adults will probably enjoy just finding the meerkats. It would make a great Christmas present for any age and I am sure meerkats will feature in many stockings this year.

Thank you the publishers, Michael O'Mara for sending me this book as a competition prize on twitter (@OMaraBooks)

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