Billy the Banded Mongoose is a fun fact-filled picture book authored by Jenni Sanderson and illustrated by Emma Brierley.
The book was inspired by the banded mongooses which can be found strolling around the village of Mweya in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. These crazy critters are part of the Banded Mongoose Research Project and have been studied by researchers from the UK for several decades. Research into the behaviour of these creatures has revealed an intriguing set of characteristics. Did you know that all females within a banded mongoose group become pregnant at the same time and give birth on exactly the same day? Or that banded mongooses are the only animal in the world to have an escorting system of pup care? Or that banded mongooses are often seen cleaning parasites from all over the bodies of warthogs as a tasty treat?
Billy the Banded Mongoose is the story of what happens on a typical day for the mongooses in Mweya. Through reading the book you can find out what life as a mongoose is like, how looking after pups is hungry work and how the mongooses must work together to fight their nasty neighbours. The book also includes questions about the behaviour of Billy and his banded buddies – the kind of questions that are asked by the banded mongoose research team. By thinking about or discussing the answers to these questions you can become a mongoose scientist yourself and gain an insight into the world of behavioural ecology.