HARLEY by Star Livingstone


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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An unusually long easy-reader format—but then llamas are unusual animals, and a guard llama that watches over a flock of sheep is even more extraordinary. First-timer Livingstone does an excellent job of creating distinct personalities for Harley and for the ram of the flock and the shy sheepdog named Jet. The shepherd in the story happens to be a woman who happens to have an Asian daughter, with all the characters in the book based on real people and animals who are former neighbors of the author. The reader learns how a llama can keep a flock of sheep safe from both coyotes and a rambunctious ram, and about quite a few other aspects of both llama- and sheep-keeping, all told in a simple, anecdotal style with a good bit of dry humor. With short sentences, controlled vocabulary, and no contractions, this would serve well as a long easy reader, as transitional fiction between easy readers and chapter books, or as reading material for new teen or adult readers. Charming illustrations by Caldecott Honor winner Bang (When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry . . . , 1999) capture Harley’s antics (llamas can spit and throw tantrums) and add personality to the other animals and human characters. An interesting story that will appeal to kids who like uncommon animals and to any family who owns llamas. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-58717-048-5
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: SeaStar/North-South
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2001


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