'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 5 April 2018

Review: Meerkat Choir

My five-year-old daughter thinks this book is an absolute hoot! Each time we read it, we have to read it again straight away. And, the beauty of it is, I am more than happy to. It's so much fun to read out loud.

The meerkat choir is about to begin its first rehearsal. The conductor starts the countdown — And a ONE - and a TWO - and a THREE — but each time they try to begin, they're interrupted by a different animal.

But as the choir master grumpily points out each time this is a meerkat choir. A turtle, a hedgehog, a bird. The list of animals wanting to sing with the choir goes on, until the frustrated choirmaster makes a sign to ensure no one else can join. But, sadly, when the choir finally starts to sing, it is not up to the choirmaster's standards and he quits. Suddenly, the enthusiastic meerkats hear a sweet sound and go to investigate.

This laugh-out-loud story is told entirely in speech bubbles, stunningly enhanced by the priceless expressions on the seemingly simple cartoon-style illustrations.

Nicki Greenberg is a master of humour and she wields it boldly here to convey the perils of exclusion. There's a daring final image of the discriminatory choirmaster, left alone to dwell in his anger and misery.

The message works beautifully for the playground but, on a deeper level, it highlights the need for diversity and acceptance in creating a harmonious society.

Title: Meerkat Choir
Author/Illustrator: Nicki Greenberg
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: October 2017
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781760290795
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book