Destiny’s Purpose: A Young Alpaca Living with Alopecia
Reading Destiny’s Purpose is like reading a comforting novel. The words are almost poetic, the pace leisurely. The book takes the reader on a journey they’re sure to enjoy.
Born into a long line of show winners on an alpaca farm in Ontario, the new alpaca appears strong and healthy—destined for greatness, so he is named Destiny. We follow Destiny through the seasons of the year. We are introduced to “pronking,” when alpacas move with a stiff-legged bounce into the air, all four feet leaving the ground together and returning to the ground together, and a “kush” a resting position wherein the alpaca’s legs are folded under it.
Then one morning, something is wrong. When the farmer opens the barn, Destiny is lying on the ground, shivers rippling across his body. The vet informs the family that he has “alopecia,” a disease where the immune system is confused and causes hair to fall out. In the days to come, the alpacas warn Destiny to stay away, and Destiny becomes an outcast.
Several months later, a storm knocks down a tree that damages the fence protecting the alpacas from dangerous predators. Late that night, the alpacas sense something is wrong. “Illuminated by the moon, three sinister figures took shape: glowing eyes, gleaming teeth, guttural snarls—.” In a suspense-filled turn of events, the farm is forever changed, and Destiny finds his unique and surprising purpose.
Author Shannon Cassidy-Rouleau has created a wonderful story that gently deals with alopecia, a little known disease where people lose their hair. Yet the story is not “about” alopecia; it is about Destiny and how by being himself, he discovers his purpose. Any child who has ever felt like an outcast will relate to Destiny’s story and will be surprised how things can change when one does what comes naturally.
|Author||Shannon Cassidy-Rouleau, Illustrated by Dennis Auth|
|Page Count||32 pages|
|Publisher||Big Tent Books / Castlebridge Books|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|