From the Cover of Little Meerkat’s Big Panic by Jane Evans:
“Once upon a time there was a Little Meerkat with a very important job to do. It was finally Little Meerkat’s turn to be the Lookout Meerkat – searching the horizon for any danger to the Meerkat gang.
It was all going well until Little Meerkat fell asleep and woke up to find everyone had disappeared! This sent Little Meerkat into one very big panic. With help from Small Elephant and Mini Monkey, can Little Meerkat calm down and find the missing Meerkats?
This playful full-colour storybook shows children aged 2-6 easy ways for them to calm their body and brain when feeling anxious. It also includes guidance for parents or professionals on the neuroscience behind the strategies, and how they can use the book to help children.”
Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]
What Our Family Thought:
The back cover of this book says that it appeals to children ages 2 to 6 years old. However, Transfiguring Adoption feels that children even up to 9 years of age could benefit from this story. The story is not geared directly to foster or adoptive families, but definitely deals with subject matter that is significant for our kiddos.
The illustrations of this tale are done in cartoon fashion that appear to be targeted at that 2 to 6 age range. The characters are cute and friendly. Overall the images add to the story’s emotions and plot. The images definitely appear to help keep children’s attention and explain the written content in a way that allows kids to digest it.
As the above synopsis clearly states, this tale is about Little Meerkat’s big problem and panic. The story not only illustrates how one does not think clearly during a panic but the book interrupts the story several times to pose questions about feelings/emotions to the reader with sample answers. The questions allow a caregiver to quickly check-in with a child to check for comprehension and help transfer the story to one’s own life.
After story time has finished, the back of the book allows parents to dig deeper into the neuroscience of trauma and how it plays out in their child. It also offers an explanation on how the animal characters in the book can help your child.
Overall Little MeerKat’s Big Panic appears to be an excellent resource for your family which is helping a child from a traumatic past. It not only helps the family as a whole understand feelings, emotions and how the brain is affected by them all but it also offers activities to help kids self-regulate.
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It’s Your Turn:
- Which character did you like the best? Why?
- Why was it hard for Little Meerkat to talk when he first saw Small Elephant?
- How did Small Elephant feel when left alone?
- How did Mini Monkey get everyone to calm down?
- Show and teach an adult how to do Mini Monkey’s breathing exercise.
- How would you feel if you were left alone?
- What are ways you like to get your brain to calm down?