Tuesday 7 June 2011

Adventures with Mia the Meerkat

Adventures with Mia the Meerkat by Jan Latta (True To Life Books)
PB RRP $12.95
ISBN 978-0-9756770-7-0
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Jan Latta went to Namibia in 2009 to photograph meerkats in the wild. Unfortunately time was against her and she was forced to produce this book through visits to the Mogo and Taronga zoos. It is the ONLY book in the series which was created from a zoo environment.

Mia the meerkat is the narrator. She introduces us to her family group which is called a gang, and guides us through their daily life and habits. She shows and tells us how and where they live and forage for food, and how and what they eat. (Mia’s favourite food is scorpion, with sting removed of course!)

We learn about their homes; tunnels called burrows that they dig with their front curved claws, and why there are 70 entrances. Then there are the personal details of their grooming habits, the twenty sounds used to communicate with family, and the benefits of their extremely acute senses.

This is an amazing fact book which incorporates a great deal of information. A list of Meerkat Facts at the end includes their scientific names, habitat details, body length, height and weight, birthing, diet and lifestyle, with interesting websites for additional research.

The pages are set out with wonderful life-like photos, lovingly taken, that bring to life the accompanying text. These are a terrific series to teach children 

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