Author Reaches Booksellers, Librarians with Wildlife Message at BookExpo America

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New books about Australian animals were revealed at the World's largest book trade fair.

Among the 30,000 or so people who attended BookExpo America in New York City were thousands of librarians and booksellers, and author Lee Barwood was there to meet them and talk about her new book, Klassic Koalas: Ancient Aboriginal Tales in New Retellings.

Part of Koala Jo Publishing's new Klassic Koalas imprint, Barwood's title is only one of five new releases in 2007 from Koala Jo. The others are Klassic Koalas: Vegetarian Delights Too Cute to Eat (with a free vegan downloadable supplement that includes recipes from chef Elaina Love); Klassic Koalas: Vintage Postcards and Timeless Quotes of Wisdom; Klassic Koalas: Mr. Douglas' Koalas and the Stars of Qantas; and the magnificent Koalas: Zen in Fur, a stunning pictorial with commentary on the koala, its habitat, characteristics and nature.

Barwood's book, a retelling of Australian Aboriginal legends about the koala and other Australian wildlife, is very much a collaborative effort. Illustrations were provided by graphic artist Joanne Ehrich, and by the young students of the Central Ohio Art Academy under the direction of founder Donna Boiman.

Barwood, an environmental writer, is a longtime koala lover, as is Ehrich; and the student illustrators are fans of the late Steve Irwin, Australia's own Wildlife Warrior, who were devastated at his death and wanted to do something lasting in his memory. Author and artist royalties from the book go to fund the Australian Wildlife Hospital, which was founded in memory of Irwin's mother Lyn, who was herself a wildlife rescuer. The Hospital is a major project of Wildlife Warriors Worldwide.

In addition to a "sellout" autograph session for her award-winning environmental novel A Dream of Drowned Hollow at the Mystery Writers of America booth, Barwood found plenty of time to talk about koalas and the need to help preserve their habitat. And at BEA, she was not the only one offering a message of conservation and preservation. Barwood was there to remind librarians, teachers, and booksellers of the need to preserve and restore habitat, educate the public, and care for the environment -- not only in Australia but all over the world.

While the koala is not officially endangered, it is under threat, and as its habitat disappears daily under the incursions of developers, drought, and catastrophic wildfires, the need grows every day to preserve the dwindling population remnants of these gentle creatures.

Titles by Koala Jo Publishing:
Klassic Koalas: Ancient Aboriginal Tales in New Retellings
Klassic Koalas: Vegetarian Delights Too Cute to Eat
Klassic Koalas: Mr. Douglas' Koalas and the Stars of Qantas     Klassic Koalas: Vintage Postcards and Timeless Quotes of Wisdom     Koalas: Zen in Fur
Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity.

Koala Jo Publishing, San Mateo, CA;
Distributed to the trade by Brodart, Blackwells, and The Book House, Inc. Or, visit http://www.koalajo.com.

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Marlene Satter
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