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Harley Hardcover – March 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 7
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587170485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587170485
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,390,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The eponymous star of this affecting reader is a pack llama-in-training who is destined for a different calling. While his teacher attempts to guide the animal, "He shoves. He kicks. He spits!" writes Livingstone, making her debut. But a shepherd desperate to find a solution to the coyotes that prey on her sheep sees something in Harley and takes him home to protect her herd. What follows is a lyrical and wryly observed portrait of an animal hero. Through Livingstone's rhythmic, stripped-down prose, and Bang's (The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher) full-bleed spreads and vignettes--which combine a painterly beauty with the immediacy of a sketchpad rendering--the book becomes a meditation on the sublime rewards of being an acute observer. Livingstone and Bang play up nuances that will spark connections between the protagonist and readers, but they never stoop to easy anthropomorphizing. They convey Harley's fierce love of the sheep through his actions. Against marauding coyotes he becomes a furry, flailing fury; he throws a tantrum when two of the sheep are sold; and when it is too hot, he sprawls on the ground in a teeth-baring stupor: "He lets the sheep wander off./ He does not go after them." In short, this llama is one fascinating fellow. Ages 6-9.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-Harley just can't seem to learn to be a pack animal, or to get along with the other llamas. When a shepherd comes to the ranch looking for a guard llama, she decides she likes the look of Harley, so she takes him back to her field. He learns to guard the sheep and comes to take his job very seriously. He even manages to befriend the cantankerous ram. In short, declarative sentences appropriate for beginning readers, Livingstone tells a simple tale culled from everyday realities, developing the animals' personalities without resorting to anthropomorphism. Bang's charming illustrations complement this effort, conveying Harley's obvious pride in watching over his flock and his rage as he warns away prowling coyotes. Excellent use is made of page layout, as when the ram, preparing a playful charge in the upper left-hand corner of a two-page spread, faces Harley in the lower right-hand corner. Children will be intrigued to hear that all of the characters and events in this book were based on real life, as the author observed it. A charming story of a creature who finds his place.
Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, Eldersburg, MD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The story is true and I know the situations by own.
"camelide"
Molly Bang is a Caldecott Award-winning author and her illustrations in this unique easy reader are absolutely beautiful.
Nicola Mansfield
I look forward to reading of Harley's next escapade with my grandson's.
Linda Glennon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda Glennon on April 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
America's roads will be ridden this summer with the traditional "Harley" of two wheels, but Star Livingstone's HARLEY - on four hooves is a llama who is going leave his tracks on the hearts of America's kids! A sweet, reader friendly story for the young reader and the young at heart. Harley is not the conventional llama that comes to mind. He has style, he has purpose, he has attitude and yes - he spits! The story is delightfully woven throughout the everyday chores and challenges of being a shepherd. Harley develops from "bad boy llama" to a fine upstanding, Blue Ribbon winning llama with purpose. He is repsected by the other four legged cratures and feared by the ememies of those he is called upon to protect. Children will strongly identify with Harley's mischievous side while they find strength from his bravery in face of the bullies he has to deal with. The ram and the coyotes soon learn Harley is a llama of distinction and not to be taken lightly. I applaud Mrs. Livingstone for venturing into children's books with a non-conventional animal and bringing him right into the reader's heart. The illustrations of Molly Bang add wonderful, vivid visualization to Mrs. Livingstone's story. I look forward to reading of Harley's next escapade with my grandson's. Thank you Harley and Ladies, Bravo!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Smith on April 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was immediately captured by this recalcitrant llama, and I'm not a child (well hardley). Children will love it; those on our lists will get it next birthday up.
The nicest thing is that the animals, the sheep, the ram, the coyotes, and Harley the llama, are animals, not animals pretending to be people (or worse people pretending to be animals). They are animals, with no apologies. Livingstone serves up a good story, stories which the fly leaf says are true despite its fiction label. But its not a 'nature story' either. It is in a class by its self, a style that Livingstone defines.
Excellent interaction between the stories and the illustrations as well. Bang's style, but integrated into the words and the story.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "camelide" on October 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For me young at heart and keeper of a small flock of sheep with some llamas and alpacas is this book a very great book in a small size. The story is true and I know the situations by own. Except that with the coyotes, they don't live here in the middle of Germany. But the little camels notice everyone who is passing their and the sheep's meadow. When unfamiliar dogs will come in they will bring them out. And the llamas are very friendly to the lambs. They allow them nearly all, they play with them and the lambs might climb them as mountains and they might have a sleep on the back of a resting llama.
Molly Bank thanks for these wonderful illustrations. You make that my pictures in my head become true. So they are: the sheep with different faces and lookings and naturally with different characters. And so they move -the llamas.
I got the German edition but the publisher for this edition stopped it. I hope and I wish that the English edition will live longer and better sell as the German one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Got-It-Online on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on the other reviews. I have tried to get my 2nd grader to read it but she can't get beyond page 10. I have tried twice to read it to my kids, but I can never get to the end because they are completely bored. Maybe I have to own a llama to appreciate this story.
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