Bambi the Blind Alpaca by Jan Lummis
Inspired by a true story about a missing alpaca called Charisma, and his blind brother Bambi, this book is simply adorable.
The two alpacas enjoy each other’s company, and look after each other. Bambi is blind and if he strays too far from his brother, he bumps into fences and gates. One day Charisma disappears and poor Bambi is all on his own. He frets about his brother and refuses to eat. His owners bring some sheep to his paddock to keep him company, but Bambi misses his own kind. One day, another alpaca arrives and before long the two are munching, humming and cuddling together.
Author Jan Lummis is Bambi’s owner and he was approached by Scholastic to tell the story of the two alpaca after it made headlines in the media.
The resulting picture book tells the story in a simple, yet sweet, way for children. Lummis uses lots of alliteration, onomatopoeia and adjectives to add rich detail to the story. It’s rare to find a children’s book that doesn’t rhyme and Lummis hasn’t stuck with that convention. It makes the story much more authentic and refreshing to read.
Illustrator Jenny Cooper uses gorgeous neutral hues to bring the alpacas to life. Bambi’s blindness is hinted at in a subtle way, and each animal in the story is full of expression and character.
A double page spread at the back of the book gives readers facts about alpacas. These facts offer some insight into why Lummis has chosen some words for the picture book (did you know the sound an alpaca makes is called a hum?), as well as why Bambi reacted the way he did.
Lummis has also included a photograph of the real Bambi that offers a tiny bit more information about what happened on her farm.
Bambi The Blind Alpaca is both a heart-breaking and a heart-warming story. Full of love, friendship, kindness and hope, it is a sweet story that is simply delightful.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
Scholastic, RRP $18.99