mongoose. Children learn how each type of mongoose lives, the food it eats and what type of habitat it lives in.
The book also stresses the fact that there is safety in numbers. The illustrations are endearing and whimsical including a photo album of Sunny's travels and family members. Children will love this book. They will spend hours just looking at all the pictures.
Learning Activities for this book:
1. Writing Postcards - Visit a local tourist attraction and purchase some postcards. Have your children study Sunny's postcards and use them as a sample on how to write a postcard. Have them send the a postcard to a friend of relative.
2. Science and Geography - Research each of the different species of mongoose mentioned in the story, write facts about each species, compare and contrast their eating habits, enemies, and habitats. Use the Meerkat 3D Paper Craft above and color the patterns to match the descriptions of each mongoose. Have your children find the different places on a map where Sunny visited his relatives.
3. Science - The jackal shows up in just about every page of the story. Research enemies of the meerkat. What is its greatest enemy? See if you can find the jackal in each picture.
4. Math - Sunny lives in the Kalahari Desert and thought it was too hot there. Find out how hot and cold it gets in the Kalahari and compare it to where you live. How much hotter or colder does it get?
5. Art - Have your children create their own travel journal or family scrapbook. Help them label each picture or include a short description.
6. Safety - Ask your children if they remember what the meerkats' motto was, "Stay safe, stay together." Discuss the importance of staying together. Ask them what they think their family motto should be. Help them make a sign with the motto to hang up in a conspicuous place in their home.
7. Creative Writing - Have your children use the book as an example to write their own story using a different animal or using themselves as the main character.
8. Connecting - Ask your children why they think Sunny was not happy at home. Ask them if they ever felt like they wanted to leave home to find somewhere better to live, and if they think they could find such a place. Encourage them to share what they like about where they live, and what they don't. Can they change the things they don't like? Discuss the meerkats' family motto and ask your children if they can think of a family motto for their family that might help them all get along better. They might say something like, "Respect others' belongings", or "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all". Have your children make up a large sign with the new family motto to hang in a conspicuous place.
9. Other Ideas - For other learning activities, pictures of illustrations from the book, videos, and an interview with the author go to Booktrust Children's Books web site.