Llamas: Living Wild, by Melissa Gish
Although there are a great many books that are easy to read and are aimed at young readers and are undemanding looks at the llama as an animal, this book distinguishes itself from the general run of the mill book about these camelids by being a very suitable and gorgeous book for one’s coffee table. Now, admittedly, I have never seen this particular book on anyone’s coffee table, but this is precisely the sort of book I would happily put on mine, especially to distract young readers or guests while busy. Coffee table books are particularly excellent books to read in many cases because the photography is so excellent in them, and that is certainly the case here. As a fairly large book in terms of its pages, this is precisely the sort of book that could be easily seen as being attractive to put on someone’s coffee table, and it would certainly be a sign that someone was quirky and strange, precisely the sort of thing that one person would want to have in order to signal being a strange person in an appealing way. I know that I would think someone was delightfully quirky if they had this one on a coffee table as I was waiting for dinner to be finished. Perhaps you feel the same way I do about this.
This book is a short one in terms of the number of pages at a bit less than 50 pages. Included in this book are a great many interesting quirks, including glorious pictures of herds of llamas in the altiplano, showing not only their eating but their alert response to the eruption of a nearby volcano, which spurs them and their ranchers to move to safety. After that there is a discussion of the various members of the llama family, and where domesticated herds of them can be found, which is a bit odd because one sees them in South America pretty heavy and then a bit in North America (including Oregon and the Midwest), and then nowhere else in the world, as well as a discussion of the quirks of llamas, including the odd coloring patterns between children and parents, the odd teeth, the chewing of cud, and the twisting around of ears. This leads to a discussion of happy herds and what they mean for llamas in herds of mixed animals. There is also some mystery and magic and a story of how it was that the llamas were made in the first place, and a short index.