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Emily Gravett, Meerkat Mail (Simon and Schuster, 2006)

Emily Gravett can do no wrong in my book; Wolves and Orange Pear Apple Bear are destined to become classics of kidlit, not just because the kiddies enjoy them, but because adults are wowed as well. Meerkat Mail, Gravett's third book, doesn't quite come up to the standard she's set for herself, but this should be another one that will have your kids clamoring for you to read it to them over and over again.

Sunny is a meerkat who starts feeling claustrophobic in the family den, so he sets out to see the world and visit all his cousins (all of whom are other members of the mongoose family), and the story is told in postcards that he writes home to his family. Gravett is interested in showing the variations possible in a single species, and she does it well, with the kinds of understated drawings that have made her so popular. While it lacks the over-the-top humor of her previous books, it's still interesting, fun, and a worthy addition to the Emily Gravett bookshelf you should be building for your kids (or the kids you borrow if you feel guilty about reading kidlit as an adult). ****
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on January 18, 2009
This is a wonderful "there's no place like home" story, as the adorable meerkat travels the world, then realizes how much he needs family to remain the center of his life. This is my favorite illustrator and author-- her books are always imaginative and original.

BUT--- A CAUTION
The only reservation I have about the book is it's actual construction. Be cautious, as the glue on the interactive parts of the book (flaps to lift, etc.) oozed out a bit and sealed the pages together. I bought this as a gift book but when I looked through it I ended up damaging it just by turning pages, due to this glue issue. Hopefully the publisher will fix this problem for the next edition.
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on October 19, 2007
There are so many remakes of classic stories and this is one of the better ones. Growing up the jolly postman was one of my favourite books. Meerkat Mail is similar but a little more playful. A cute meerkat decides to go for an adventure and sends home letters to his parents that a fun to read and very sweet. The art work is beautiful as well.
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on August 10, 2013
The idea of introducing postcards glued in a book i tihrough it was brilliant, specially because kids now a days dont really know this way of comunication. As i worked with littleones all day they love this story of a meerkat that is so independant and try to solve her problem of crowdness in the family.
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on May 31, 2013
This book is a delightful find for those of us that long to be a bit more footloose. Each postcard is mounted so that you can see the picture and then open it up and there is a new note home. I found the story heartwarming with hidden depth in the small articles written inside the covers highlighting events that were going on while Sunny was visiting each location.
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on March 22, 2008
Meerkats seem to be the animal du jour and they are fascinating creatures.
Gravett has written and illustrated a wonderful book about them, both as
a nice little story and as a piece of information. I like everything about
it - the landscapes, the humor, the postcard concept (though I think it
would have been even better if depiction of real stamps had been used, as
I am a stamp collector) even the thickness of the paper. It is a real
keeper and Gravett is truly a treasure in children's picture book genre.
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on September 4, 2013
This is a great book for all ages but especially if you have a youngster who keeps thinking that life somewhere else would be better than home. The little meerkat visits all kinds of places and they are lovely or interesting, for a short time but they just are not perfect....like home.
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on May 22, 2008
If you liked the Jolly Postman, you (and your children) will enjoy Meerkat Mail! An upbeat story about a meerkat and his journey. The postcards are adorable! A great conversation starter about sending (and receiving)mail, too!
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on June 23, 2009
I loved the idea of this book. It's a story about a meerkat who gets tired of where he lives and travels to all his relatives homes and sends back postcards.

There are lots of really good aspects to this book: the fun illustrations, the great "realistic" postcards, the information garnered from reading the descriptions from the postcards, the cute "postmarks" and the sweet ending.

But, there were a few bummers: the writing wasn't always incredible (though it was good), and what bothered me the most was how after a while the author quit naming the "relatives" that our meerkat would visit. So, while we started out learning "that is what a meerkat looks like, that is what a mongoose looks like, etc" by the end I was like, "What animal is that?"

But, overall a very fun and creative read, and there's lots to discover on each page!
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on June 13, 2013
We are getting ready to start the Griffon & Sabine series so this was a cute intro to the concept of travel correspondence
The story was so cute too!
Good for kids 5+
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