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Rick Sowash . . . Heroes of Ohio
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Critters, Flitters & Spitters

CrittersYou just never know where ideas might come from, and it's amazing what can happen once they sprout. In the spring of 2001 I was in one of my favorite places, a school library, doing one of my favorite things, talking to kids. This particular school was in Cleveland Heights, and the kids were fifth-graders who were there to meet a real live author.

In these programs I talk a bit about my life and my work and about the two other books I've written: Ripsnorting Whoppers and Heroes of Ohio. Then comes the fun part when the kids get to ask questions. This is fun for me because I pretty much know what I'm going to say. After all, I've done lots and lots of these programs. But you never know what might come from the imagination of a youngster. On this particular day a girl named Emily asked why Heroes of Ohio didn't have any stories about ANIMAL heroes. "Animal heroes?"

"Well , it's a book about people," I said, "and what would make an animal a hero anyway? But wait! Yes, I can see it now! The gerbil that saved Cleveland Heights!" Of course everyone laughed, but right away I started thinking more about her question, and lots of interesting ideas came into my head.

I got busy and asked some friends to help with research. Over the next year, sure enough, a book took shape. Some of these stories are about real animals and real historical events, and some sprout from my imagination. Sometimes animals are the stars, and sometimes they only have a little part. But in this book, just like in life, animals are everywhere. And what an interesting bunch they are, with so much to teach us!

These Ohio animals are important in our geography, history and environment. They have influenced different cultures and ethnic groups in Ohio. Interesting animals are found on farms and in cities, in parks and special preserves. And animals really are heroic sometimes, not to mention scary and funny, sweet and sad. Just read these stories and see!

Buy it online!

Table of Contents

Part I – Animals of Very Long Ago
1 Trilobite
2 Woolly Mammoth
3 Serpent Mound
4 Possum Fable

Part II – Animals of History
5 Little Turtle
6 General Sheridan’s “Rienzi”
7 Passenger Pigeons
8 The Wright Family’s Robin

Part III – Animals of Farm and Field
9 Cy Gatton and the Chicken That Ate Lightning Bugs
10 The American Bald Eagle
11 Louis Bromfield’s Remarkable Pig
12 Muskrat Attack—An Amish Story

Part IV – Animals Not Expected in Ohio
13 The Wilds
14 Hellbender
15 Zebra Mussels
16 Ohio’s Elephants

Part V – People Helping Animals
17 The Ohio Bird Sanctuary
18 Toad Tuning at Cedar Bog
19 Canada Geese
20 Guide Dogs

Part VI – Animals Helping People
21 Guide Horses
22 Search and Rescue Dogs
23 A Hero Named LuLu
24 Bud the Wonder Dog

Critters, Flitters and Spitters
Hardback $19.95

Softcover $11.95


Ohio's Elephants, Chapter 16
Read a sample chapter in PDF format (256K). Download it here.

Download the Study Guide in PDF format (116K).


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