Meet the Meerkat
Darrin Lunde, author
Darrin Lunde has worked as a mammalogist at the American Museum of Natural History and at the Smithsonian Institute. His work has brought him into contact with all kinds of animals, big and small, throughout the remote forests of South America, Africa, and Asia where he camped for months at a time to survey species diversity and to discover new species.
Read more about Darrin Lunde.
Patricia Wynne, illustrator
Patricia Wynne is a well-known scientific illustrator whose art has been included in many collections and exhibited around the country. Her detailed illustrations have appeared in 90 books, including The Body Book, Tropical Rain Forest, and Hello, Bumblebee Bat, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor Book. Patricia lives in New York City.
Read more about Patricia Wynne.
- Pennsylvania Center for the Book Baker's Dozen
- Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
Along the lines of their Hello, Bumblebee Bat (July 2007), Lunde and Wynne again introduce primary readers to a small, fuzzy animal through a very simple written interview: "Hello, little animal. What is your name?" "My name is Little Meerkat. I am a kind of mongoose." Looking directly at the viewer in Wynne's cleanly drawn illustrations, or seen scampering about a nearly barren habitat with its burrow-mates, the interviewee describes its appearance, what it eats, sounds it can make and common habits, then at day's end nestles down in cozy company for the night. Playing up the meerkat's general cuteness and social nature, this takes a more anthropomorphic approach than Heidi Moore's A Mob of Meerkats (2004), but may in consequence lend itself better to sharing with groups of children.
School Library Journal
Lunde uses a question-and-answer format to provide very basic information. Addressing Little Meerkat, the author receives responses from the animal about its habitat, family structure, food, enemies, and so on. Watercolor, ink, and colored-pencil illustrations capture the activities of the meerkat family and are large enough to share with a small group. The book may satisfy the curiosity of preschoolers about this desert-dwelling animal. However, children who want more than essential facts will need to consult books such as Conrad J. Storad’s Meerkats (Lerner, 2007) or Heidi Moore’s A Mob of Meerkats (Heinemann Library, 2004), both of which have numerous photos.
Rainbo Electronic Reviews
Ever since Disney's The Lion King, children have been fascinated by meerkats. That fad has been reinforced in recent years by the television program "Meerkat Manor" on Animal Planet. This book is for early readers and it teaches them that meerkats aren't really cats at all, but are related to the mongoose family. Cute illustrations accompany the easy reading text.
Library Media Connection
These excellent introductions to some exotic creatures present facts about the bumblebee bat and meerkat in question-and-answer format. Two pages of facts are included at the end, which add to the information for younger students. Lunde works for the American Museum of Natural History, which is also where Wynne works as an illustrator. Wynne's illustrations make these creatures even more intriguing. Although there are no photos of these creatures included, the illustrations give a good sense of proportion and anatomy. It is nice to see a few full-length titles to satisfy curious appetites that might see these species mentioned in other animal titles. Recommended.
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Page count: 28
8 1/2 x 8 1/2