3 out of 4 stars
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In How to Pack an Alpaca Pack, Cowboy Worm teaches young readers about the lovable relative of the llama. Children will learn about alpacas' countries of origin, physical features, wool, and of course, how to "pack" them.
The children's book is 36 pages and features a rhythmical text that makes it ideal for reading aloud. Although I haven't spent any time around alpacas, I learned something new about the wooly animals; they make a humming noise, a fact sure to delight little ones. Worm also educates young readers about the many colors of alpacas, their abundantly wooly coats, and split-hoofed feet that prevent them from falling. I can picture younger children pointing to the different shades of alpacas while their parent reads the story to them.
The colorful illustrations include an assortment of curated photographs. I especially like those that seem to capture the facial expressions of the adorable alpacas; these include many of the book's images, as well as those featured on the front and back covers. I also appreciate that the photography credits are properly cited at the end of the book.
On the other hand, the other illustrations pale in comparison to the high-resolution photography curated from professional sources. A few of the images appear pixelated while others look washed out, and the book suffers as a result. Also, "pack an alpaca" is a fun phrase to read, but since the animal is most known for its soft wool, I would have liked to have seen the inclusion of simple facts about its use. Additionally, Worm is credited as the editor, and although I noted only a few grammatical errors, a professional editor would have likely addressed the illustration inconsistencies before publishing.
Overall, I rate How to Pack an Alpaca Pack 3 out of 4 stars. Although the poor quality of some of the illustrations detracts from the book as a whole, the educational story and amusing photographs will entertain young readers through the age of 10. I also recommend it as a read-aloud story for parents, grandparents, and teachers.
How To Pack An Alpaca Pack
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