Molly, the Dancing Meerkat: A Lesson in Responsibility
by Michele Voss
Trafford Publishing

"You have to do your part. You can't just play."

Molly, the Dancing Meerkat is a simple but very effective allegorical narrative about Molly, a young meerkat, who shirks her sentry responsibility for dancing. Insistent that playing is more important than watching out for predators, Molly mindlessly wanders from her pack into an open area, which is spacious for dancing but singles her out as convenient prey. With a close call to becoming someone else's meal, Molly realizes the significance of her duty to the group. Incorporating a number of themes besides responsibility, such as self-centeredness and commitment, while coupled with the ever-curious meerkats, Voss's debut book has great potential to connect with children and their role in society.

First-time author Voss has joined forces with rising cartoon artist Mulvihill to create a unique picture book to teach children the importance of responsibility. Voss' lilting open (run-on) couplets nicely complement the fun-loving and colorful meerkat characters. With the exception of self-centered Molly, the meerkats represent an excellent example of commitment amid a communal setting. Molly, on the other hand, represents the egocentric nature of young child who think that the world revolves around her.

Children may not recognize Molly's selfishness, but they will definitely understand that she escapes grave danger because of a sentry—the very role that she chose not to take seriously. And while the predator scenes are non-threatening, Voss' story opens opportunities for parents to enter into dialogue about the importance of actions and how they can hurt or benefit others. Being responsible to put toys away so as to avoid someone tripping over them and getting hurt, could serve as a possible example. Absolutely charming and captivating from cover to cover, this is a fun read and unquestionably makes a wonderful addition to preschool literature.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home