A Conversation with Kristi Mahoney

A Conversation with Kristi Mahoney

We are pleased to present our conversation with Kristi Mahoney, author of Alpacas Make Terrible Librarians, which releases September 3, 2024. 

Our Conversation with Kristi:

GRP: Welcome, Kristi! Alpacas Make Terrible Librarians is such a fun story. What inspired you to write it? 

KM: I have always loved both animals and libraries so these are two topics close to my heart. And some of the best ideas happen when you pair two unlikely things together!

The idea for the “Alpaca” sparked many years back when I first visited Davis Farmland (https://davisfarmland.com/) in Sterling, MA with my kids. They loved it so much that we bought a season pass and would go several times a week – always taking a hay ride where we would learn facts about the animals—including alpacas. The first time we went was just after alpaca shearing day, so the alpacas all had brand new haircuts. It was love at first site for me. I thought they were adorable and interesting and knew they’d make a great main character for a picture book!

There has never been a time when libraries weren’t a huge part of my life. In my childhood, I cherished my weekly library visits which fostered my love of books. In college, I found them the best place to study. When I had a family, we visited them to get books and attend story times. You will currently find me at the library at least twice a week. Fun fact about the library in my town (Franklin Public Library)—it happens to be the very 1st free public library in the country! https://www.franklinma.gov/about-us/pages/library-history

GRP: What’s your favorite moment or character in the book and why?

My favorite character has to be the Alpaca librarian! I laughed out loud the first time I saw her discarding non-alpaca books, sun-bathing during story time, and introducing the kids to the dung pile. The two scenes that pulled at my heartstrings were when she snuggled with the kids in the beginning, and when they all ran out onto the lawn together. There is no way I could pick one favorite moment. Chantelle and Burgen Thorne created the perfect illustrations for this book.

GRP: What are some interesting messages or conversational points your book inspires, if any? 

KM: Interesting messages in the book would be to find humor in unexpected situations and to learn more about a fantastic animal—the alpaca! Also, to appreciate the human librarians in our lives.

Great conversational points would be love for libraries and librarians or favorite animals and interesting animal facts.

GRP: What is unique, intriguing or relevant about it that potential interviewers should know about and might want to discuss with you?

It’s written in second person, it’s packed with alpaca facts one might not know, and it has a twist ending that teases its upcoming sequel. The sequel to this book, OWLS MAKE TERRIBLE TEACHERS, will be released in Spring 2026.

GRP: And we're so excited about that! Thank you, Kristi, for telling us more about the inspiration behind your book and we look forward to seeing it on bookshelves this fall. 

You can connect with Kristi Mahoney online:


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