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Wombats and roos get great reviews

Young American children will learn about Australia's kangaroos and wombats when their parents or grandparents read them a delightful book released on October 1.

Written by Sallie O'Donnell, a 76-year-old Florida grandmother and former teacher, Animals, Vegetables And Minerals - From A To Z links an animal and a nutritional concept to each letter of the alphabet, in a four-line verse.

"The humorous alliterative verses enhanced by the colorful witty illustrations make learning about a healthy life style fun for kids and delightful for parents to read to them," says the publisher's blurb. "In view of the national concern about childhood obesity this book is not only educational but particularly timely."

Reviewing an advance copy of the book, Laura Parente, assistant principal of a New York intermediate school, said "[It] has all the qualities of becoming a classic. Kids will love it. Parents will love reading it to them."

Dr. Steven R. Sabat, Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. was even more enthusiastic. "There is a Dr. Seuss quality to the humorous and educational verses which teach healthy nutritional habits early in life," he said.

Responding to an email request, Sallie kindly gave us permission to quote these Australian verses:

K for Kangaroo
Vitamin K is the choice of the spry kangaroo
Chewing leafy green vegetables and alfalfa too.
She plans a long life filled with good health and vigor
And will hop in the Olympics when she gets a bit bigger.

W for Wombat
The wise wombat while wooing the weasel's wee daughter
Took a might big sip from a glass of fresh water.
He did this quite often as one who does think
That there's no doubt that this is the world's greatest drink.

The paperback (list price $9.95) is available through Amazon. Sallie offers to send autographed copies at no extra charge to anyone buying the book through her email address.



Story first posted October 2005

Copyright 2005

Eric Shackle

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