Reading with alpacas delights kids

Alpaca and maracaThere were delighted squeals aplenty at Gordonton School yesterday as the junior classes joined a million kids to read the same book, here and in Australia.

Better yet, after reading Alpacas with Maracas projected on the big screen, two VIPs came by the school – real life cuddly alpacas from the nearby Cornerstone Alpaca Stud.

Reading and asking alpaca wrangler Herman creative questions (“do alpacas spit?”) were the order of the day.

Sandie Haddock from Scholastic books was there, and said the aim was to get a million kids reading simultaneously at school, libraries, homes – anwhere.

National Simultaneous Storytime originated in Australia and is in its 19th year.  Alpacas with Maracas was written by Matt Cosgrove.  Alpacas are South American camelids, similar to, and often confused with llamas.

Llamas, says Herman, are bigger. And yes, alpacas do spit but mostly at each other.

“Generally they are absolutely adorable.”

Number 8 Network’s Iris Riddell, back from Japan, was there to take pics.


First, came the book reading –

Alpacas with maracas


Then Verona, front, and Silver Blade from Cornerstone did their thing.







Some people couldn’t get close enough to the woolly teddybears.


Photo of Annette nose to nose with alpaca


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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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