January 1st – PERU – The vicuna and its magic

viavicu_00510057-0001-thumb16A very happy new year to all. Day 1 book 1, our exciting adventure begins. We are starting our journey in the company of a school librarian, Blanca Viacava, which seems almost too perfect for a home school reading project. The little 38 page book is in that rare and almost sacred category of books – the hand crafted kind. This takes us back to the days of the famous Egyptian scribes and monastic scriptoriums. This book was patiently and wonderfully illustrated by Rosa Palamino in an amazing applique. The pages are simply and sweetly constructed with all the key features to take readers right into the meadows of the Andes. This being a fabric book seems fitting, as textiles have a rich history in Peru and the vicuna, whose life the book details, offers up some of the most expensive wool in the world. The book is a non-fiction account of the life and shearing of the vicuna. Considering we had naively never heard of a vicuna before, the book was informative. We would have loved the book to give an explanation of why these animals are not domesticated (and therefore pose a difficulty in needing to be shorn wild). The illustrations make this book a treasure.


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