Llamas (Farm Animals), by Katie Marsico
This particular book provides a look at what a child’s first book about llamas is likely to be. And that is a book that, perhaps unsurprisingly, does not discuss a lot of things about llamas, including species apart from the familiar llamas, not even including the somewhat more obscure alpacas, to say nothing of the still more obscure wild members of the family. More oddly, the book does not explore the South American origin of the llamas or the struggles that have been faced in making the llama and alpaca as farm animals. Rather, this book has a resolute focus on llamas as being a pet for children and as being a farm animal that rural Americans might be familiar with. And it is perhaps unsurprising that this is where I first heard about the animals from a llama farm that the family of one of my school chums had. Admittedly, I grew up around some pretty quirky people, but it is perhaps to be expected that at least a few people will have had the same sort of experiences or the same sort of opportunities that I had to become familiar with such odd animals. Where I Live now there are plenty of llama and alpaca farms as well, and if Florida and Oregon have such animals, they cannot be too unfamiliar in quirky rural areas.
This book is extremely short and is made for a very young reading audience. This book, as might be expected given this, provides very little that would be a challenge for reader, but still a bit of information that would be highly entertaining to those who read the book, even if it is more than a little bit basic. First, the author explains that the llama is not quite a camel, even if it is obvious that it is at least a little bit like the camel in terms of its looks, and even some comments on why it is that people keep llamas as livestock for their fur. After that the author talks about the llama herds that people grow and notes that llamas as animals prefer to be around others of their kind and are not cut out to be solitary animals. This leads to a discussion of life on a llama farm, which includes the shelter that llamas need as well as grass for grazing and equipment to clean the llama fiber. The author closes the book with more reasons to raise llamas, including to pull carts and to compete for ribbons and prizes, after which there is a glossary, information for further reading, index, and information about the author.