Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Mystery of Meerkat Hill

The Mystery of Meerkat Hill
by Alexander McCall Smith, illustrated by Iain McIntosh
Anchor Books, 2013.  90 pgs.  Intermediate

     The second title in McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe mysteries for young readers, The Mystery of Meerkat Hill finds Precious helping some new, and very poor friends, find their missing cow. But first, we learn the story of how Precious's father Obed was saved from an angry ostrich by a hat on a stick, and how the two new children at the school found and tamed a meerkat named Kosi. Kosi saved Teb and Pontsho's grandfather from a cobra, and he makes all the difference in the missing cow search as well. Even though I suffer from an irrational dislike of meerkats, I liked Kosi and this book extremely--filled with information about Africa in general and Botswana in particular, and with excellent but non-pushy advice to children about how to behave towards one another and their elders, The Mystery of  Meerkat Hill is a gentle treasure, with pictures as nicely drawn as its story.

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