The 'hidden object' genre was brought to new life recently by the 'Where's Wally' series, and since then there has been a range of variants, some adult satire('Where's Bin Laden?') and others cashing in on popular charcters ('Where's the Doctor?'). This is more of a cash in, in that it exploits the current children's craze for Meerkats.
"Where's the Meerkat" is colorful and fun and will have a pretty long shelf life before completists find every last thing, as there are 15 double page picture puzzles hiding 10 meerkat characters, and added value is given with a list of extra objects to find with the answers at the back of the book.
The book begins with a brief character study of each member of this particular Meerkat family. They are going on a global tour, you see, and each picture puzzle is a famous location from around the world (Great Wall of China, Times Square etc.). There's a caption on each page that will give some limited educational information on each location woven into the story of the Meerkat's travels.
I had a go, and a bit like the pc 'hidden object' game genre, I could get most pretty quickly but then really struggled with the last few, usally giving up and having to cheat! My 6 year old lad has so far given it a curosry glance, but keeps coming back to it for other brief dips. I think it will be a hit, but it will need some gentle encouragement to develop the requisite patience.
Good value, then, and a healthy antidote to the rapid fire, rapid feedback world of Nintendo DS for your kids.