Koala Author Makes the News in Premiere of Arts Council Magazine

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Kicking off magazine launch with coverage of prime local talent.

Lee Barwood, author of Klassic Koalas: Ancient Aboriginal Tales in New Retellings, from Koala Jo Publishing (http://www.koalajo.com), is featured in the premiere issue of X-It, the new magazine of the Monmouth County (NJ) Arts Council. In an article, 'The Unlikely Artist," by author Cort Smith on artists who survive on day jobs while they feed their art, Barwood has a chance to talk about her work and how she came to be so devoted to writing - the writing that enables her to help koalas, and, hopefully, the environment as well.

Klassic Koalas: Ancient Aboriginal Tales in New Retellings brings age-old native Australian wisdom to modern readers, young and old. Accompanied by colorful artwork that evokes the brilliance of Australia's native birds and foliage, the stories tell how men and animals in the Dreamtime came to take their present forms and traits. Most of the stories focus on the koala, which, while generally regarded as a sleepy and cuddly animal, definitely has its more powerful side. Native Australians regarded the koala in shamanlike terms, believing that it had the power to sing trees into growing and the rain into stopping.

Currently under threat from environmental degradation, habitat destruction, and global warming (the latest news article theorizes that the koala could be headed for extinction because of declining nutritional value in its sole food, the eucalyptus tree), the koala is in need of help, and that's what Koala Jo Publishing seeks to provide. Not only do all author royalties from sales of Klassic Koalas: Ancient Aboriginal Tales in New Retellings go to the Australian Wildlife Hospital, a major project of the late Steve Irwin's Wildlife Warriors, but Koala Jo's other titles provide a glimpse into the life cycle and habits of this beguiling little animal with its peaceful ways and loving care of its young.

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Marlene Satter