Tuesday 1 November 2022

Meerkat Christmas

Meerkat Christmas by Aura Parker (Penguin Random House) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9780143777229

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

‘Hip hooray! It’s Christmas Day! Meerkat One, it’s time to play.’ One by one, more Meerkats join in the fun. Number Five takes flight as a red-nosed reindeer, while Meerkat Eight is sleeping in a stocking and almost misses out. Together, they build a Christmas tree tower – but what happens when there’s an ‘enormous Meerkat sneeze’?

Aura Parker’s captivating rhyming couplets will charm littlies aged three to six every time the words are read aloud. Simple yet active language encourages youngsters to sway, wobble, shake and swing along with the Meerkats. As well as being a joyful ode to Christmas, Aura’s delightful picture book nurtures number recognition and makes counting from one to ten a lively game.

With their dark eyes and winning smiles, Aura’s Meerkats are marvellously appealing. Rich reds and deep greens support the Christmas theme, as do the satisfying nods to holiday favourites: puddings, bonbons, candy canes and more. Aura’s entertaining endpapers deserve a special mention – they feature a wealth of incredible details.

Overflowing with warmth and whimsy, Meerkat Christmas is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Dynamic images and rollicking rhymes roll across the spreads, taking eager readers along for the ride.

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