Missing Meerkitty! Legs: The Tale of a Meerkat Lost and Found by Sarah J. Dodd
MIKI AND MAMA LIVED UNDER THE GROUND, WHERE IT WAS WARM, DARK, AND SAFE.
ONE DAY MIKI WOKE UP.
MAMA WAS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN.
Then he heard her voice.
"COME OUTSIDE AND SEE THE WORLD," CALLED MAMA.
At first Miki is afraid to leave the safety of their den, but Mama says she will be with him, and a kind man in red boots called a keeper is there to take care of them both.
Miki emerges into the world, where it is not at all dark. It is bright and exciting, and, also, a little scary. as the shadow of a hawk passes over them. But the den is nearby and Mama is right--the keeper is there with delicious earthworms and watchful eye on Miki. Little by little Miki ventures further and further and sees some amazing sights.
THE WORLD WAS FULL OF LEGS!
In the zoo are the long pink legs of a flamingo, the striped legs of a zebra, the wide, wrinkly legs of elephants, and the extra long legs of a giraffe. And Miki can't wait to see more of the world. He follows a butterfly and easily slips through the fence and finds himself indeed outside in the world.
OUTSIDE THERE WERE EVEN MORE LEGS OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES.
Little Miki is surrounded by legs, legs in pants, legs in skirts, legs in sneakers, and legs in boots all hurrying every which-way! The tall buildings go up and up like giant legs into the sky.
"MAMA?" SAID MIKI.
Miki is lost in the big city! But then he spies one pair of legs in red boots he knows.
Miki goes home in the arms of the dutiful keeper, and all's well with this little meerkitty, in Sarah J.Dodd's Legs: The Tale of a Meerkat Lost and Found (Lion Children's Books, 2015). Meerkats are zoo critters currently popular with kids, and the familiar theme of the little runaway is told well in the text and in the utterly charming illustrations by Giusi Capizzi, who makes good use of the shifts in perspective from the little meerkat's level where he first sees only legs and at last the faces of the people and the animals that he learns to know. This is a sweet cautionary tale for preschoolers and their parents who have known the scary experience of being momentarily lost from each other in the big world.