An amazing array of alpaca appreciation for ALIA storytime event
The Sector > Workforce > An amazing array of alpaca appreciation for ALIA storytime event

An amazing array of alpaca appreciation for ALIA storytime event

by Freya Lucas

May 16, 2019

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) will again host National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) in 2019. On 22 May, more than 1 million children will be read aloud the same book, Matt Cosgrove’s Alpacas with Maracas.


Each year for NSS a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, preschools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.


This year’s NSS choice has had an unexpected side effect – to help make the day more special, ALIA said, many NSS locations are renting alpacas from verified companies.



One Alpaca provider, Maria Marchant of Alpaca Kisses, said “Alpaca Kisses has seen an increase in library and school visits throughout May/June 2019 which we expect to continue for some time. We have already had a number of events including a childcare centre and a school, where the kids put on a play of the book.”


Now in its 19th year, ALIA described NSS as a colourful, vibrant, fun-filled event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy. In 2018, over a million children participated in the event, with the excitement seen as a testament to the popularity of the event and the power of reading aloud.  


On the uptick in demand in alpaca rentals, Amanda Olthof, CEO of the Australian Alpaca Association, said “The Australian Alpaca Association are thrilled that many of our members have had the opportunity to share their alpacas as part of National Simultaneous Storytime. We look forward to seeing lots of photos of Macca’s friends enjoying the story. If you aren’t able to spend NSS 2019 with an alpaca, look out for an ‘open farm’ or alpaca show near you.”


NSS is supported in 2019 by author Matt Cosgrove; publisher Scholastic Australia; the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa; creative partners Story Box Library; CleverPatch and Scope Aust; and, NSS 2019 sponsor, James Bennett.


For more information about NSS 2019, visit the ALIA website.

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