Saturday, December 15, 2012

The leaping Llama carpet by Marian and Ruth Waller

Sadly this book is long out of print but I do have a copy and there is one in my school library.  This is such a great story packed into a colourful and energetic picture book.

Our narrator lives above her grandmother's carpet store.  She likes to play there on Sundays when the store is closed.  "I roll up in the runners and hide under huge, hairy kilims."  Her favourite of all the carpets is the one covered in leaping llamas.  Grandma loves to tell the story of the how the carpet weavers wove this rug with magic, dreams and mystery.

One day two shady characters arrive in the store demanding to buy the Leaping Llama carpet.  It is not for sale even though they offer all manner of things from bicycles to dogs, new teeth, a white Christmas and even 'all the tea in China'.    The next Saturday while Grandma and the little girl are away at the movies the gangsters break into the store and steal the carpet and so the chase is on.

Here is the fun.  When the thieves unroll the carpet, as a celebration, every one of the llamas is gone.  They have left the carpet and run to the four corners of the room.  Spooked, the thieves run of, allowing Grandma and her grand daughter retrieve them.  Luckily Grandma has bought an esky to transport the llamas after she cools them down in the 'fridge.  "She said the cold reminded them of their early days on the mountain top and sent them into a deep sleep."  This is of course not the end and you need to be ready for a little twist - yes this is a circle story and it might all begin again with a new carpet.

After you read The Leaping Llama carpet take a look in the library for books about llamas and their relations the alpaca and vicuna - very fascinating animals.

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