Reviews





Nancy Bent, American Library Association's Booklist: "The best collection of koala images available ... . "

Koalas, along with their kin the kangaroos, are icons for the continent of Australia. These cuddly, teddy bear-like marsupials, while instantly recognizable, are little known outside of their natural habitat. Editor Ehrich hopes to rectify this deficiency in her new collection of koala photographs taken by more than 100 photographers. Koalas are so inherently photogenic that many of the photos have a postcard or poster quality to them, but closer examination reveals details of the animals' daily lives. A grouping on the life cycle includes a photo of a tiny joey ensconced in its mother's pouch, along with numerous images of mothers cuddling their offspring. A view of koala characteristics focuses on their physical attributes, including the two-thumbed hand and grasping foot, large hairy ears, and bare nose. Feeding is documented in many amusing photos of the animals munching on eucalyptus, their only food. Although the illustrations sell the book, there are nice short essays that tie each section together. This is the best collection of koala images available and will find a ready audience.

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Jenna Morasca and Ethan Zohn, Reality TV Stars "Survivor: Amazon, Africa, All Stars:" "I just think Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is a wonderful book with an amazing visual display of all things 'koala!' I really love the pictures towards the end that display koalas doing what they do best—resting. The author did a great job and should be very proud of this accomplishment. This book will be a great enhancement on any coffee table. The only thing it lacks, in my humble opinion, is a picture of Ethan and myself holding the two little koalas that were named in our honor when we visited the Australia last last year...

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What a beautiful book!

Irene Watson, Readerviews.com: "I just gasped because this gorgeous piece of art blew me away. The other thing that impressed me was the fresh smell of the print on the glossy pages. The first thing I did was feel the cover—I wanted to pet the Koalas!

Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity by Joanne Ehrich is a 260 page coffee-table book that is filled with 315 photographs of koalas that depict their life cycle, characteristics, types, and feeding. But, there is more. Ehrich explains, in detail, each of the unique attributes that koalas have.

There are fewer than 100,000 koalas that only can be found only in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. Ehrich enlightens the reader by explaining the Aboriginal myths around this nocturnal mammal. If the humans disrespect the tree-dwelling gods, the earth with suffer from drought. There is also a belief that koalas are reincarnated spirits of little children because of the whimpering sound they make when in distress.

Ehrich explains that there are three types of koalas weighing between nine and thirty-two pounds. The size depends on the weather factors and location. However, depending on the migration patterns traits do overlap. Plates of the three types give the reader a close up of the differences.

A marsupial species, baby koalas are born after a 35-day gestation period weighing around a gram (0.035 ounces) and around 2 cm (-1 inch) in size—about the size of a gummy bear. The baby koala continues to stay in the mother's pouch until it is about six or seven months. At that time it weighs about fourteen ounces and is about eight inches long.

The koala diet consists only of eucalyptus leaves and flowers. Although there are nearly 600 species of eucalyptus in Australia, the koalas will only eat about twenty-five types. However, they prefer about twelve species, favoring only two to four.

The photographs, a collection from 120 photographers from 24 countries, are impeccable. Each plate gives the reader a close 'up and personal' account of the koala, whether in a tree, eating, sleeping, or carrying the joey (offspring.) The explanation of each trait is concise and complete. Joanne Ehrich gives us a gift like none other—a gift of serenity vicariously experienced through the koala."

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Angela Leeper, ForeWord Magazine: "...In the tradition of storytelling, the author employs an engaging yet respectful tone to recreate these ancient tales... . "

Cute and cuddly is how koalas are usually described, but in this collection of eight Aboriginal tale retellings, these endearing marsupials possess a more complex character. Set in the Outback during the Dreamtime—the time of creation "when neither men nor animals had taken their final forms"—these pourquoi tales explain why the koala and many of his fellow inhabitants of Australia exhibit certain physical and behavioral characteristics today.

In "The Koala Has Strong Arms," for example, many of Earth's starving creatures hear about the plentiful Australia. Starfish devises a plan to steal the selfish Whale's large canoe, and with Koala at the paddle, the animals make it to fertile land before Whale arrives. An ensuing fight on the shore leaves Whale stabbed in the neck, Starfish hiding among the rocks in a shallow pool, and Koala's ears stretched apart. As a result, whales now use blowholes, starfish still hide in sandy rock pools, and koalas have strong arms and flattened faces.

Other fascinating stories include "The Koala's Tail Ends in a Drought," which portrays why Koala has no tail as a reminder of his thoughtlessness, and "The Koala's Clinging Baby," which explains why koala babies cling to their mothers and why a shaman's magic paint marks remain on koalas' faces. The final tale in the volume, however, is a darker retelling that involves the death of a boy. The description is age-appropriate and the outcome, in which he is turned into a koala that makes the laws of the land and the trees grow, is uplifting.

This title is part of a series of books focused on koalas, with a portion of the proceeds allocated to the Australian Wildlife Hospital, established by Steve ("The Crocodile Hunter") and Terri Irwin. The author has been a writer of fantasy, environmental fiction, mystery, and poetry for more than thirty years. Her ecological fantasy novel, A Dream of Drowned Hollow, won Andre Norton's Gryphon Award. The illustrator, a graphic designer and author of Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity, along with the founder of the Central Ohio Art Academy and several young artists from the academy, capture scenes from the tales in digitally rendered illustrations. While a few are cartoonish, the majority are eye-catching with brightly colored animals and landscapes.

In the tradition of storytelling, the author employs an engaging yet respectful tone to recreate these ancient tales. A glossary provides useful descriptions of less familiar animals and terms. Whether used in an educational setting to teach the diverse animal life and folklore of the often overlooked Australia or simply for the stories themselves, this title will appeal to older elementary and middle school students, eager to learn about the kind, mischievous, and secretive sides of Koala.

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Jan Allegretti, Author, The Complete Holistic Dog Book: Home Health Care for Our Canine Companions:"Joanne Ehrich is gifted with the ability to look into an animal's eyes and see who's really there, body, mind, and spirit. Remarkably she's brought that vision to the pages of Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity for all of us to share. Like a walk in the forest, the pages of this book bring us into the world of the koala. We see them at rest, at play, nurturing their young, dining on eucalyptus—most of all we are able to see the presence, groundedness, and openness in their expression.

Koalas brings something rare and vital to our own species. Through gentle prose and the lenses of photographers from all around the world, it demonstrates that our lives are immeasurably enriched by the presence of these animals. A welcome balance of facts, insights, and images brings an understanding of the nature and habits of koalas—but it also goes much further. It awakens an emotional connection even for those of us who have never felt the softness of their fur or watched them revel in a meal of tender leaves. That emotional response is what fuels our desire to do our part to care for the survival of these animals and their habitat, both locally and globally.

Most important this book reminds us of our spiritual connection to the koala. In the directness of their gaze, the simplicity of their lives, and the gentleness of their actions we find a model for how and who we wish to be in the world. The images awaken our knowledge of the interdependence we share with them; much as they now desperately need us to be mindful and active if their species is to survive, so our species needs their presence—and that of other non-human beings—in the world to make our own survival worthwhile.

Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is a valuable contribution to the animal and habitat conservation movement. It's also a delightful, moving, and inspiring volume that brings a smile to our lips and a warm glow to our hearts."

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(out of four possible teacups)

Photos and narratives about Australia's beloved marsupials

Rebecca Brown, RebeccasReads.com: "In easily read narratives, dotted among the huge & fascinating portraits of these cuddly critters, are introductions to the three types of Australian koalas, with information about their habits & life cycles both in the wild & captivity, & their endangered habitats.

About the enduring Allure of the Koalas: "What is the hold koalas have on people worldwide? Photographs of [them] have been snapped ever since the first camera shutters sounded at the shores of Australia.. [p]erhaps Photographer Daniel Dy summed up the mystery... when he said, "I was originally drawn to the koala simply because of its cuteness. Observing it more carefully, I couldn't help but notice how contented it seemed, innocently sleeping on a tree branch without a care in the world."... Koalas often appear to... smile—not unlike the Mona Lisa... there is no single word to accurately describe [them]... wide-eyed, kind, genial, non-offensive, gentle, serene, tranquil, knowing, delightful, modest, enchanting, wise, unobnoxious, guileless, inculpable, innocent, angelic, blameless, bashful, droll, primordial, farcical, funny-looking, impish, whimsical, mischievous, humanoid, eternal, dainty, dreamy, ancient, and majestic.

"No other living being on earth more resembles a teddy bear... [yet] this most affable creature is the farthest thing from being a bear. Even though it is sometimes still called a "native bear"... it's a pouch-bearing marsupial which places it in a completely different zoological family... the koala is... one of Australia's most precious ambassadors... as well as a link to the island continent's primordial past when animals coexisted in a predator-free... paradise-haven... [Koalas] are naturally born Zen Masters... [with the trees... providing] everything—home, food, and drink... remind[ing] us... that our basic needs [are always met] they... utter a gentle whisper that can only be heard by our true selves, rousing our soul's essential desire to take time-out... [i]t asks us to embrace reality in its purest form and to become better masters of our own lives... [t]he special tenderness of a Koala's embrace, the apparent love shared by a mother... and its reposing child, its seeming smile of contentment, all make us want to capture a little bit of that koala power... for ourselves."

And then there are the photos—exquisite & detailed, some stills in sequences showing moving moments.

As Jack Hanna, renowned for his Animal Adventures TV series writes: "[We] are opening a new chapter in their future on earth. Remember the poignant words of African ecologist Baba Dioum: "In the end, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we have been taught..."

So come away to where the scent of eucalyptus lingers, where water is scarce & serenity exudes among these phascolarctor cinereus.

Koalas: Moving portraits of serenity is a truly breathtaking book of photography & information your family will treasure for generations."

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An intimate detailing and photographic detailing of the beautiful Australian animal's daily life and habitat

Midwest Book Review: "Expertly edited by commercial designer, photographer, illustrator, printmaker, painter and lithographer Joanne Ehrich, Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is an intimate detailing and photographic documentation of the beautiful Australian animal's daily life and habitat. Exploring and studying the Koala and its environmental adaptation, Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity presents a vivid and touching 260-page intimate illustrated portrait of this unique animal's life including feeding habits, sleeping procedures, habitat requirements. Certain to be a popular addition to any personal, academic, or community library Wildlife Studies reference collection, Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is very highly recommended for its touching photography and informative content which will appeal to students of nature in general, and the koala in particular."

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Information on koalas with numerous color photographs

Henry Berry, Reviewer's Bookwatch: "The 315 photographs by over 100 different photographers are grouped in chapters on various aspects of Australia's koalas such as feeding, types (three), and life cycle. Photographs within each chapter and overall have also been ordered to illustrate the koala's movement along the ground, up tree trunks, among branches, and in some cases with a young koala clinging to a mother's back. In keeping with this, some of the pages have several side-by-side smaller photographs in which the koala's sequence of movements stand out especially. Besides offering an opportunity for viewers to enjoy numerous pictures of the always fetching, cute-looking koala, the work has the aim of presenting a broader picture of the koala to publicize environmental threats to it. Koalas are so gentle and congenitally slow-moving and approachable because with "no natural predators in their distant past, [they] have underdeveloped adrenal glands and therefore did not develop the same flight-or-fight mechanisms" of most other animals. This is but one of the little-known facts found in short introductions to the chapters of this book largely of photographs.

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The koala stare melts your heart

John Hoh, Jr., Bookideas.com: "In America we have come to see the koala (commonly called a koala bear) as a cute, fluffy bear found in Australia. We see it as quintessentially Australian.

But the koala, technically speaking, is not a bear. As it has a pouch for its young it is ... of the marsupial family. Most marsupials are found in Australia, a good number in South America, and the Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found in North America. Usually we think of kangaroos, another Australian animal, when we think of marsupials.

The koala also seems to be a laid-back, relaxed animal. It photographs well because it doesn't scare easily. Is this because the koala had no natural enemies? Of course it's trusting nature dooms them today-many Australians have not seen a koala in the wild.

This book is primarily a photo book featuring koalas. Brief text tells us about the koala, it's land, and it's habitat. There are three types of koalas in Australia and each is described with photos so the reader can tell the difference as they are pointed out in the book. In addition is a brief history of the koala and its habits. The enigma that is the koala is even found among the aborigines in Australia. The myths of the aborigines is filled with koala references—I imagine if these stories were gathered in a book you would have a "koala coda." Since koalas rarely drink any water at all, aboriginal folklore suggested that koalas have a knack for stealing water.

This delightful and colorful book brings to our attention the need to preserve the koala for future generations. With scintillating photos and crisp text the reader will come away with a greater appreciation of these serene animals—and a sense of wanting to do what's right to save these precious beings. With a gaze that only a koala can give, how can you not have it in your heart to buy this delightful book and enjoy the many pictures and brief descriptions of the cuddly koala?"

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Marlene Y. Satter, ForeWordReviews.com: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is simultaneously one woman's labor of love and the collaboration of many people who lost their hearts to this winsome little creature from Down Under. The utter delight of seeing image after image of one of the most beloved animals in nature is only part of this book's attraction.

Ehrich, a commercial designer, enlisted 120 amateur and professional photographers from 24 countries to provide images depicting the charming marsupial. She then arranged them not just in categories (segments cover such topics as "Characteristics," "Life Cycle," and "Feeding") but also in sequences, so a series of stills conveys a sense of the sleepy creature's tranquil approach to life. Interspersed with pictures that are nothing short of extraordinary are glimpses into the animal's history, biology, and folklore, as well as its current dire state of endangerment. Deborah Tabart, Executive Director of the Australian Koala Foundation, has provided the foreword, and naturalist/adventurer Jack Hanna has written the afterword. The professional photographers include Shin Yoshino, Rick Prebeg, and Mike Larder.

The photography credits are, oddly enough, very insightful. Ehrich has included snippets of personal information provided by those individuals worldwide who snapped the pictures—showing that the koala's appeal is truly global, no matter what a person's profession, interests, or homeland might be. These people so love the koala that one waited fifteen minutes just for a joey (baby koala) to present the right picture, and others have journeyed halfway around the world to see them in their native habitat after first encountering them in zoos.

The pictures are magnificent, and not just for their subject matter. Brilliant sunlight, intense blue skies, and artistic arrangements predominate. Sequences of babies peering out at the world from their mothers' sheltering arms or looking down on creation from lofty perches atop their mothers' heads vie with individual shots of koalas yawning, walking on the ground, eating, slumbering in trees, sharing a branch with a rainbow lorikeet, or willingly cuddling with strangers. The three different basic types of koala are illustrated: Queensland (hot northern Australia—thinner, shorter, light-gray fur), New South Wales (cooler center—fluffy cotton-wool ears, "more sheep-like" darker fur), and Victoria (colder south—long, shaggy ear fur, substantially darker and thicker fur). Efforts made to preserve the species and salvage habitat are discussed, including a housing development built to allow koalas free roaming—no dogs are allowed (sadly, dogs are one of the koala's enemies); speed limits are low (cars are another), and pools must have "lifelines" so wildlife may escape the water if they tumble in. There is also a full page of suggestions for further reading. A portion of the sale proceeds goes to the Australian Koala Foundation.

Ehrich calls koalas "Zen masters" who preserve their tranquility in the face of the modern world. She theorizes that perhaps that is one of the things people love about the koala. Whatever its elusive essential quality is, Ehrich makes a superb case, in words and pictures, for its preservation—for the good of all."

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Harlan Weikle, Greener Magazine: "'Everybody in the vicinity of the koalas looked as if they had seen rare glimpses of eternity.' With her very first words from Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity author/editor Joanne Ehrich sets the stage for this beautifully crafted collection of photographs by amateur photographers and professionals around the world who have been transfixed by the sight and serenity of tiny koala, the gentle "Native Bear" of Australia.

"It seems as though koalas utter a gentle whisper that can only be heard by our true selves, rousing our soul's essential desire to take time-out...to capture a little bit of that koala power to keep for ourselves."

Not actually a bear but rather a marsupial the koala is perhaps the best known teddy bear like creature in common imagination and this book containing over 300 beautiful full color plates by 120 photographers does little to dispel that image. Photo after photo makes us fall in love more with the turn of each page. Every sublime image and each gaze into the lens confirms what these photographers experienced in the presence of Australia's most charismatic resident, that they, "Like Himalayan monks who are helped by people from around the globe... invoke our protective instinct, making us feel good about being good."

But there is another element to this book and that is the more compelling truth that although koalas are unerringly beguiling as anyone who has ever seen one will attest, the koala is truly an endangered species; threatened by its own vulnerability as much as by its endearing charm.

Ms. Ehrich has spent years compiling hundreds of images of these gentle arboreal creatures and brings us a dynamic, almost kinetoscopic, view of the koala as seen through the elegantly scripted pairing of images in successive time line. The result is a fluid sequence of portraits that almost appear to move as you gather in one compelling frame after another. As if strolling through the halls of an exhibit you intuit more from the images than just form and feeling you get a sense of the natural structure and texture of the koala's very lives which leaves you wanting to learn yet more.

The pages are lightly interwoven with an intelligent, readable narration describing the nature and proclivities of this Australian native, adding to the reader's understanding of the plight and perhaps the ultimate salvation of the koala as a species. Like a pictorial reflection of Silent Spring, Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity may in fact serve as a template for the very survival of nature, the koala, and ourselves. The book is about the koala but the story is really of koala and the people who have made a life alongside the tiny Aussie. From the earliest legends of the aboriginal peoples who originally inhabited the land to those of the first settlers and now 21st century modern urban Australians the experience of living with the mystique of the koala has been a seminal experience and not always kind; but there is a power in the relationship seen in these photographs that makes us want to bridge the gap and live more in a world with koalas than in a world without them.

This book should be in every home where there are children and in every heart that is human. Perhaps famed zoologist Jack Hanna says it best in his afterword, "As we close Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity—an exquisite celebration of the lovable koala—we are also opening a new chapter in their future on earth."

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Jenna DeFrei, Writer: "Observing the beautiful pictures in Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity, I found myself back again in the Australian rainforests where I received the greatest blessing of my life—gazing upon these most beautiful and most serene of creatures. The precious photos in this book brought me back to the baby I encountered in the wild, protected by his loving mum. Knowing he was safe in her arms, he could interact with this strange creature that was me. The photos in this book are nothing short of amazing, and definitely moving.

Encountering and touching a koala can be likened to the high a Christian experiences when he makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or the feeling of exhilaration a Buddhist feels by touching a majestic redwood tree. Getting close to a koala is like being touched by pure love. Leafing through the pages of this book is the closest thing to seeing a koala in real life. It is becoming more and more rare for one to be blessed to encounter a wild koala, and yet this book brings about almost the same pleasure I've felt upon meeting these precious creatures in person. The pictures are astounding, full of the feeling of calm and placidity koalas embody.

Koalas are most unusual creatures that silently teach us that we're all here to learn how to be our real selves amidst all the chaos, learn to love, to feel, to enjoy our lives, to just be.

Every time I pick up this book to read it, the photographs encapture me, and I am unable to tear my eyes away. I recently took this book along to my therapist's office for the event that she was going to be late and I had to wait. Instead, both of us spent 15 minutes just looking at serene expressions of absolute peace and tranquility. Koalas clearly have healing powers. Just looking at them brings on a feeling of upmost contentment and a feeling that all of earth's beings are worthy of love.

I promise to anyone who buys a copy of Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity that you will not be able to put it down. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to find out more about these adorable creatures, and to anyone who loves life or animals... and to those who want to experience the natural healing power of koalas.

One no longer needs to travel to Australia and trek through the hot bush, binoculars pressed to the eyes, to meet this precious creature in all its glory! It is captured in this priceless book, for all the world to experience."

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Sheila Campbell, Library and Media Specialist, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium: "What a gorgeous collection of koala photographs. More than a coffee table book, Moving Portraits of Serenity offers a close look at the behavior and personalities of koalas from many angles, in many postures. The photos are a visual treat and the accompanying descriptions of the koala's characteristics, social activities and habits just add to the allure of the book. This title serves as an excellent introduction to the koala, a useful resource for school reports and a book the koala fan will enjoy. This is truly a good addition to anyone's book collection."

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Paula Bandy, Pet Photographer, Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue Volunteer:: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity takes the reader on a magical visit into the world of koalas, endearing animals that forever leave an imprint on the heart of anyone that reads their story. Their beautiful souls as captured in many enchanting moments will keep you spell-bound as you anticipate the next photo, the next, and then the next. It is my sincere hope that we will act to save this magnificent animal before time runs out so that it may continue to live and thrive in blissful harmony. Perhaps, one day, this book will be a requirement for our children to read."

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Barbara Wilkerson, Pets-R-People: "Koalas: Moving portraits of Serenity is the result of an awe-inspiring effort to share love in its purest form. Without ever leaving our home, we are taken on journey to different places we cannot soon forget. We are introduced to the gentle koala by describing its allure, life cycle, characteristics, and the habitat it dwells in. We even learn along the way that a koala smells like eucalyptus.

Page after page, the koala comes alive to us, appearing serene and full of compassion. Its captivating look of love keeps us turning the pages wanting to see more of these animals just being themselves, perhaps so that we can learn ourselves how to just be. The contributors have done a tremendous job in making this peaceful marsupial shine to help us understand the importance of conserving its dwindling habitat.

Jack Hanna leaves us with a wonderful quote in his afterword, which you must read for yourself. Perhaps the appeal of the koala is that it carries a message of love, and maybe it has something to teach everyone who is willing to listen, with an understanding that a great love will be ignited to help make the world become a better place. Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is for adults and children alike; its message is non-discriminant: It is one of gentleness, kindness, and one of compassion."

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David Zirkin, M.Sc. Science, Environmentalist, Haifa, Israel: "believe the book is a must for all true animal lovers. The adorable Koala pictures are moving and inspiring in that they go beyond the immediate apparent by promoting a concept. The concept being their protection and that of other endangered species. It excites me to know that the love of animals and the struggle of their survival is so dear to peoples hearts."

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C. A. Boylan, Shutterbug Magazine: "Koalas are one of the most beloved animals and it's an unfortunate fact that their existence is being threatened. This innovative project brings their world into sharp focus with 315 beautiful images captured by 120 of today's most talented photographers from around the world. To provide the maximum information on this subject, the images are wisely grouped into various categories that include "Life Cycle," "Characteristics," and "Feeding." The inclusion of essays...are informative and entertaining. This is a wonderful book that will both delight and educate the reader."

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Thomas W. Hess, Epinions.com: "Koalas, Moving Portraits of Serenity is bound to become a reference book of unlimited value to those interested in learning more about the fascinating and unique koalas of Australia.

Perhaps no other animal is as linked with a culture, a country, as is the koala. The mere mention of 'koala' conjures images of the continent of Australia and the graceful, serene animal that is perhaps the main symbol of this island continent.

Koalas, Moving Portraits of Serenity captures the natural grace and charm of this one-of-a-kind creature in stunning photographs while providing an increased understanding of the life of the koala with informative and interesting text. The increased perils faced by the koala are also highlighted and suggestions are provided for how the reader might 'think globally and act locally' to foster the preservation of koalas and other endangered species.

A visual delight and an unparalleled source for everything 'koala,' Moving Portraits of Serenity is destined to find a place on the bookshelf of anyone who cares about beauty, about nature, and about saving what is 'best' in the world we share."

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Patrick Lin, Ph.D., Director, The Nanoethics Grou: "As I was looking through Moving Portraits of Serenity, it dawned on me that these are not simply koala photographs, as wonderful as they are. Rather, these koalas give us a glimpse into our own humanity, reminding us of what is good in the world and what we'd like to strive for in ourselves. Perhaps it's because they look to be part teddy bear and part monkey—a Zen-like blend of peace and playfulness. It is as if they've discovered the secret to happiness. Just looking at them can be enough to give us hope in our own lives and bring calm to our day, if only for the moment.

We've all seen koalas before, whether at the zoo or in other pictures, but these exquisite photographs bring these irresistible animals very much to life. Each page is another step inside the koala's hidden world. And guided by stories throughout this book, we may even surprise ourselves at how quickly we are drawn into this Australian adventure. This is something we cannot experience at the zoo.

But more importantly, the koalas in this photographic journey may surprise us that, no matter how hurried or complicated our lives are, we still have the capacity to care about simpler things. These stirring pictures remind us again that the world is larger than our own lives and that we have a responsibility to safeguard nature and its inhabitants. If we lose that basic capacity to care, not only might the koala lose its home, but we also lose a bit of our souls."

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Andi Bruno, Yoga Instructor And Meditation Teacher: "Hundreds of magnificent photos as well as superbly written and very informative text make Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity a sheer delight. The amazing talent of artist and writer come shining through and a deep love for these wonderful animals is evident on every page. The book is a treasure, reminding us that we share the planet with many creatures that deserve our continual appreciation and respect. This is an extremely inspiring book."

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Barbara Liebowitz, Inventor: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity was the best book I have read in years. Each fact and picture leaves you wanting for more. The photography was great! It felt like the koalas were in the same room with me. This book, if made into a movie, has the potential to be the next "March of the Penguins." Recommended for all ages!"

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Britta Kantzer, Magic Note Press: "The beautifully produced book Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is not only an hommage to one of the most curious and delightful wildlife species in the world. The magic of the portraits of the koalas open and touch our hearts and remind us of the deeper meaning and sacredness of all life forms. The fact that the Australian's wild koala population is on a downward spiral to extinction should be a wake-up-call to all of us. In our mutual effort to save the koalas we cultivate the same qualities which will serve us in our own survival as human species: To accept the responsibility of lovingly caring, nurturing and preserving our relationship with the earth and all living organisms."

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David Alexander, Engineer: "To animal lovers and naturalists everywhere...Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is a tribute not only to a vulnerable species but to those whose passion has given rise to this book. The images of koalas come alive on these pages and the words express the deep feelings that Koalas inspire in everyone who comes in contact with them. I kept thinking while reading the text and looking at the pictures that all creatures, humans included, live in a very fragile world, and we must find a way to live in harmony with all of nature. If this book does nothing more than help to ensure a place in this world for koalas, it will have served its purpose. Yet, I think it has the potential to lift our hearts to new heights and give us a greater sense of purpose in seeking to understand how we each have a place and responsibility in maintaining the balance of everything on this planet.

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Peggy Markham, Koala Fan: "I just loved reading Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity. This book is a koala lovers dream. While I thought I knew everything there was to know about koalas, this book has really opened up my eyes even more. The photos show the many faces of the koalas that I have grown to love over the years. There are also a lot of cute babies photos here."

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Colette Witcher, Anthropologist: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is a wonderful and extensive collection of photographs from around the world, complimented with comprehensive information and descriptions of these beautiful animals. The photographs make you feel like as if you are face-to-face with the koalas. But they are not only beautiful; they also reiterate the importance of saving the habitat for these lovely, gentle, and vulnerable animals as well as all creatures of the world. I would highly recommend this book for both koala and all animal lovers."

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Candice Botner, Airway Heights, WA:: I have had no recollections my childhood. Looking at the portraits Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity made me recall having an intense love, fascination, compassion, and infatuation for koalas. It conjured up memories of sitting on my dad's lap and him telling me about these animals. It's odd that something as simple as a book has brought back a time in my life I could not remember. Thank you for giving back a part of me that had been lost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Judy Rees, Columnist, Tucson SaddleBag Notes: "After reading and enjoying the photographs in Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity I was deeply excited that this book is being published. Congratulations and best wishes for this huge undertaking that brings the koala to universal attention."

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Jo Beck, CEO, Beck Interactive: "I was delighted to receive my copy of Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity. Each page delves into the private world of koalas, and you find yourself discovering a little bit of humanity staring back at you. I found myself laughing out loud at the funny little furry faces and all-to-familiar postures of these amazing creatures. The beautifully designed presentation masterfully compiled by Joanne Ehrich takes you on a journey into the world of koalas as seen through the eyes of talented photographers around the world. Moving indeed! This book is a perfect gift for my friends and family."

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Yossi Shoshany, Ph.D. Science, Tel Aviv, Israel:: I found Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity deeply moving. It made me want to drive my car to the nearest zoo. The pictures in the book will probably bring me the closest I'll ever get to a Koala without actually seeing one in person; the text was very interesting and educational. I admire the initiative in writing the book, and bringing the Koala's plight to the public.

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Greg Salter, Golden Valley, MN: "I've worked my way (believe me, a labor of love!) through [the] book—the photographs are just marvelous, some I just can't get over... I just hope and wish that people all over the world will take the time to read and look through [this] book—hopefully, people will see that if everyone that loves koalas makes just a small effort, we can be successful in saving them in the wild for future generations ... thanks for [the] beautiful work!"S

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Steve Lesser, InfoWorks International, Sydney, Australia: "Fan-bloody-tastic! ... I have now "wasted" the best part of the last two hours browsing through and being amazed by a creature I thought I was familiar with.
... I hope the book is a screaming success."

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Mark Underwood, Online Marketing Consultant: "I love it. Even as an Aussie I never realized the variation there was in koala's from state to state or how cute they could be. I think I have only really seen the same type of koala in the Sydney area and then probably only four times in my life I guess ... so I realized how koala-ignorant I was. ... You have educated an Australian about koalas, that has to be a mark of success. [M]any thanks, it is a beautiful book that will always remind me, ironically of my years living away from home."

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Ron Fischer, World Traveler: "My first stuffed animal, 37 years ago, was a koala. Everybody loves Koalas. They are clean and cuddly, with soft fur in gray or brown and white. They have wide eyes and big fluffy ears and a clown's nose stuck on in the front. Only an animal hater could dislike a book about koalas.

This book presents many photographic examples of the koala, with interspersed text sections providing background information (feeding, characteristics, life-cycle, etc.). The photos are broken down by topic and photographer.

It's easy to anthropomorphize the koalas. When they are not shown sleeping they appear to be staring off the page, into your eyes. The book title, 'Moving Portraits of Serenity,' reflects the buddha-like appearance of the animals. ... Particularly engaging were the baby koala pictures by Mike Larder.

Surprisingly, for such well-loved animals, the danger to them (more directly their habitat) appears strong. A portion of the proceeds form the sales of the book will go towards the Australian Koala Foundation."

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Don Steffy, Software Release Engineer: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity will make anyone fall in love with koalas. They are not only interesting animals with a fascinating history. They also are cute, gentle, and kind. The contributors present a collection of photographs that allow the Koala to speak for itself and be its own best argument for saving it from the excesses of modern land-use. This book has impressed a special place in my heart for koalas, and I am very grateful to the author for introducing me to them."

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Janet Jones, Retired Bank Executive: "I had no idea that koalas were in trouble and in danger of facing extinction in a perhaps not too distant future. Like the panda, I find these little creatures cute and cuddly. I think Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity will allow people to learn more about koalas, their personalities, and how they are struggling to survive in Australia."

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Preeti Mehta, QA Manager: "If you don't already love koalas, you will after reading this book. Koalas' behavior and movements come alive with Ms. Ehrich's empathetic and colorful descriptions. I felt like I had actually witnessed the sights that she describes. Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is a wonderful, easy-to-read, lovingly written account of koalas, their character, their habitat, their appearance and behavior, their biology, and the survival challenges they face. The writing is simple, clear, and informative, and the variety of photos she has included are adorable, making the book appealing to children, teenagers, and adults alike."

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Huyen Huynh, QA Manager: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity reminds me of the koala's ability to appeal to our altruistic tendencies. It is not merely enough to protect koalas but also, to safeguard the survival of this species by protecting their natural habitat. Joanne Ehrich acknowledges the Australian Aborigines' regard of koalas, a perspective that is not widely familiar to others. This book describes the Australian Aborigines' respect for the mysticism of koalas and their belief that achieving spiritual communion with koalas will bring prosperity to humans. The photographs within this pictorial demonstrate the gentle natures of koalas and the importance of preservation efforts on behalf of one of Australia's national symbols."

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Sidney Mitchell, Award-winning Elvis Impersonator: "I found Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity to be an enthralling read that touched my sense humanity while reminding me of my own vulnerabilities as a human being. The Koala couldn't have hoped for a more sincere, humane, and genuine ally than this book.

This title documents a heart-moving and intriguing story of a priceless creature that is in special need of our attention given that it is not an aggressive animal. Since the koala has not had many natural predators before white settlement, its natural proclivity to fight or flight is greatly diminished. The example of how Tibetan monks depend on people for their daily needs helps us understand how the koala, too, is dependent on us in much the same way.

The foreword written by "the koala woman," Ms. Deborah Tabart, makes an undoubtedly poignant appeal to the altruism inside of us to save this precious animal from extinction. Insights on how the destruction of eucalyptus trees, koalas' only food source and habitat, leads to dwindling numbers in the wild, are key to understanding how we can ensure its continued survival.

After reading this book, it becomes clear to me that the message of conservation needs to be relentless with a mandate to respect the koala's habitat along with perhaps more meaningful consequences for senseless destruction of its rightful environment." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Kris Tamaki, former CEO, Maxwell Communications Corp., Asia: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is a pictorial account of the life cycle and spiritual aspects of koalas. It is undeniably influential in delivering proof for the need to do all humanly possible to preserve the habitat for this fragile, harmless, and mystical animal of minimal needs.

In Japanese, the two words "kawaii" (cute)" and yasashi" (gentle) best define this most lovable marsupial. Varying personality traits are hidden behind their inquisitive eyes that radiate a God-like sense of "goodness." It is most vulnerable to only the evils humans could bring.

As former CEO of Maxwell Communications Corporation, Asia with Australia part of my territory, I have visited the koalas in 1989. After taking this photographic journey, anyone would be hard-pressed not to cheer for the protection of koalas."

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Jeff Haight, Director of Technical Marketing: "Having visited Australia several years ago, and, like so many, having been captivated by them, I was highly entertained and enlightened by Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity. The wide range of photos shows different styles of natural photography, with the common obvious thread of love for these creatures, while the text is light and informative. Although I have read scientific popularizations extensively, I had no idea that the koala's existence is threatened. This engaging book, in addition to providing an informative and enjoyable read, should provide a wake-up to all who question the mindless "progress" eliminating natural habitats and endangered species."

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Lan Nguyen, Marketing Manager: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity offers us more than just mere facts on habitat and anatomy, so common to most books about animals. Joanne Ehrich's personal perspective paired with in-depth knowledge gives us a rare glimpse inside the world of this magical creature of powerful serenity, and challenges us to move beyond the "cute" stereotype so gladly attached to the koala.

While news of the Australian Koala Foundation's scientific research will open your eyes to the true plight and vulnerability of the Eastern Australian Koala, the intimate photographs will touch your heart, as numerous insights will open your mind to the Zen-like possibilities our own souls could reach, if only we would allow ourselves to, "get in touch with a koala within."

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Lydie Reviglio, Math Teacher: "I did not know anything about koalas until this wonderful book has provided me with essential information about this interesting animal. Foremost, Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity has opened the doors to my heart. I felt strangely compelled to hold a koala one day. It reminds us of the eternal beauty of mother love, the simplicity of happiness. Don't take a yoga class. Look at a baby koala sleeping between two branches. The people shown holding a koala have an indescribable glow on their faces, the same glow brought about by holding a baby. Thank you for bringing this new sweetness into our lives."

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Helen C. Paul, English Teacher: "Captivating! Enchanting! Magical! Describing Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is easy. Extricating oneself from its pages is the hard part...Page after page of enticing photographs keeps one riveting to the story of the furry little animal who is rapidly becoming a rarity in the wild. Buy this book! Keep it close and open it often. It's wonderful."

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Colleen Gleason-Baicher, Marketing Consultant: "This book contains some amazing photos of koalas. The love shared between the mother koala and its offspring on display in Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is just phenomenal—these portraits are the next-best thing to seeing live koalas. I enjoyed learning interesting facts I did not previously know about, such as how joeys spring to life, the paramount role of eucalyptus in the koala's diet, the various combinations of traits the three different types of koalas display, or why we should protect their habitat."

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Franke Stallworth, M.F.A. Art: "Both profoundly insightful and visually fascinating...Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is not your every-day, ordinary wildlife book. Each of the featured photographers contributed different visual qualities in an interesting medley of stunning pictorials. Once you've been fortunate enough to read and look through all pages, you shall know the reason why these animals are worth saving...This book is definitely a keeper."

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Michelle Charpentier-Rohr, President, Art Concepts: "Moving Portraits of Serenity is an invitation to discover the fascinating world of the koala—a creature that is also tenderly known as the true, real-life teddy bear. The reader travels through well-written texts full of interesting information. Each chapter is enriched with ethereally beautiful photographs. It is also a journey of awareness that teaches us about how this cherished fluffy animal is in trouble and thus needs our protection. There is no doubt that this title is not only meant for nature- and animals lovers. It is for everybody. I would certainly recommend reading this book to anyone who would like to wander onto a path of enchanted nature.

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Jessica Miller, Fitness Trainer, Bulli, NSW, Australia: "Browsing through the pages of Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity and finding this many photographs of one of the cutest animals on earth is pure magic! I, along with my children, have always been intrigued and fascinated by these unique creatures. This marvelous work is the end product of drive, knowledge, photographic genius, vision, and sheer talent. We will display this book on our bookshelf with pride. Its inception is breathtaking. This book is richly deserving of success."

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Lynn Crockett, Business Manager: "Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity is a book everyone should be thrilled to possess. It takes the reader on a journey through the life of the koala that many of us will never encounter. The photography is exceptional, capturing your attention from cover to cover. The passion for koalas is well expressed throughout and thus becomes very easy to understand—this title is just WONDERFUL!

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Denis Sweeney, San Jose: "Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves captivated me in a similar way the Griffin and Sabine letters books did. As a guy, this feels a bit like reading through a girl's diary, except this time you know it isn't forbidden. This book will appeal primarily to a female audience, but it is really well done, with rich visuals and interesting letters and old photographs to peruse. I bet anyone knows a girl or woman for whom this would make a great gift."

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Jasrene Amaoui, Frankfurt: "In this modern-day world time is money, speed is achievement. The struggle of strive and drive sometimes causes us to drift away from the simple wonderful moments of life. No emails, SMS, and online activity can replace the happiness of taking time out, waiting not to miss and to open a love letter revealing the heart beat of someone from afar you long so see again. Each page of Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves stirs emotions of pure love all over again, from the depths of my heart. A wonderful gift."