Author: Gail Diederich
Author: Lea Murray
Photographer: Gail Diederich
Publisher: The Peppertree Press, LLC
Genre: Children’s Book / Animals / Wildlife
Price: Hardcover ($27.95) Paperback ($18.95)
Available at: Amazon.com
Buy directly from Gail Diederich
A tragic road accident on a dark night and a scared baby possum found himself in an Emergency Vet Clinic thanks to a good samaritan who stopped to render aide. Lea Murray happened to be on duty that night, and when no one else wanted to step in and give this little injured possum a chance, she did. His name was Barley or “Bar-Bar” as his new human Mama, Lea, would come to call him.
Ms. Murray and Barley formed an immediate, unbreakable bond and were often seen together around the Tampa Bay area. Due to certain injuries Barley had sustained after being hit by a car, he was unable to be released back into the wild. Ms. Murray took the opportunity, not only to legally care for Barley for the rest of his life, but she also decided to have Barley help educate the public about the often misunderstood possum. Her tireless efforts and Barley’s adorable face and personality really paid off. Barley has been featured in the news (print/television) and has a huge social media following that grows larger everyday.
Barley A Possum’s Own Story is a special book that not only tells the tale of Barley’s journey from being near death’s door…to the warm, loving arms of Ms. Murray, but it is also full of amazing facts about possums set out in yellow boxes at the bottom of each page.
The featured photographs inside the book help compliment the various topics about Barley. The pictures also allow the reader to vicariously experience what Barley was going through at that time; from eating a yummy bowl of steamed broccoli, to getting a bath, to sleeping with all fours in the air, to the hard times when he had surgery and of course, the heartfelt hugs shared between him and his Mama. The love they shared jumps off each page and straight into your heart.
Barley A Possum’s Own Story makes an excellent educational tool for any classroom or Wildlife Center. The end of the book has an informative glossary of terms seen throughout the book and a page containing ‘Extended Instructional Suggestions’ . These questions help further educate one about Barley, possums and wildlife in general.
Sadly, Barley crossed over the rainbow bridge. But, even though he is no longer with us here on earth, his legacy, along with Ms. Murray’s passion for possums, lives on as she continues her quest to teach the world that possums truly are amazing creatures.
Gail Diederich is a native of Franklin, North Carolina. She is a retired reading specialist and has been a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times for 10 years. Ms. Diederich currently resides in the beautiful city of Tampa, Florida, with her beloved husband and beagle, Eddie.
Lea Murray, a Massena, New York, native, received a AA.S. degree in Veterinary Technology. She has worked as a Registered Veterinary Technician and Practice Manager for 18+ years. Ms. Murray has overwhelming compassion for all animals, especially her cats and possums. She works tirelessly educating the public about possums and the importance they serve on the planet.
Gail Diederich: http://www.gailsdiederich.com/default.html