Kiah Thomas (text), and Connah Brecon (illustrator), Allergic Alpaca, Little Hare, August 2019, 32 pp., RRP $19.99 Hbk), ISBN 9781760503437
Despite its title, this book is actually a quirky and unusual alphabet book. As you can gather from her name, Alpaca lives at the beginning of the alphabet with her friends Antelope, Ape, Alligator, Anteater, Albatross and the Ants. However, she is allergic to the apples growing there. After an unfortunate archery incident, Alpaca tumbles and falls down through all the letters of the alphabet to Z.
What she discovers at Z is that her runny nose, spots and headaches clear up. What a dilemma! Should she move away from all her friends? The humorous ending sees the creation of a new name for apples.
This book is not for very young readers. An appreciation of allergies is helpful along with a working knowledge of the alphabet. There is an issue with there being no X or Y word in the text, although a xylophone and yak are shown in the illustrations between W and Z.
Connah Brecon’s pictures are as entertaining as usual although I’m not sure that Alpaca is readily identifiable as one. This picture book is an unusual take on the alphabet and may take some getting used to.
Reviewed by Lynne Babbage