The Alpactory: Ready, Pack, Go!

Harper/HarperCollins/. Apr. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062909510.
K-Gr 2–What is an Alpactory? A factory where they make alpacas? Nope. At the Alpactory, friendly alpacas help a young snake get ready for a sleepover, an adorable penguin pack a backpack for the first day of school, and a gerbil prepare for a camping trip. By the end of the tour of this quirky factory, the animal children realize that all they really need for a trip is themselves. There is no need to worry about leaving things behind: They will find what they truly need along the way. The book, with a title that is a triple portmanteau of alpaca, pack, and factory, is initially a daunting experience itself, but its heartwarming message comes through. The jacket flap gently explains the book’s concept to readers, even as the book’s barcode is about to be packed away. The book’s illustrations are busy and vibrant. The Alpactory’s wacky employees are tons of fluffy fun, with different hairstyles and shades of fur. Environments, like the alpaca’s suitcases, are jam-packed with details and the animal’s expressions are lively. Readers will want to visit the Alpactory even if they’re not going on a trip.
VERDICT This colorful new spin on anxiety management strategies is a great addition to any collection.–

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