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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In When a Meerkat Moves to the City, Oscar is a meerkat. He is a very dapper, dignified little fellow with “a black shimmering top hat with a red bow tie on his neck.” He was always very different from the rest of his family and he left his home in Africa to find a home in the United States. But the cow told him “Moo” and Ratty the rat, who lived in a stinky garbage can, invited him for supper and fed him fish carcass for dinner, which really didn’t sit well in his stomach, but he was too polite to refuse. The perfect home for Oscar just seemed like an impossible dream, when, even in Home Depot, Oscar tried but couldn’t really make it into his home. And then there’s the mouse, Sheila, who followed him on the adventure until they ended up flying to England and inviting themselves into a castle. Everyone needs a home. And that’s all Oscar wanted – a home. A place to belong.
Everyone needs a home, a place where they feel like they belong. For the amazing young writer (and an artist as well), Ella Schmeling, this is a very important part of life. And, for a dignified little meerkat like Oscar, a home and place to belong is an essential to life. This is a fascinating adventure with a powerful lesson, one that teaches the importance of accepting others as they are and always being polite. It also explores three continents and teaches the reader about meerkats. Complete with very colorful and entertaining illustrations, this is a wonderful story written by a very talented young lady. I look forward to seeing more books by this author for many years to come.