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A Sellwood author has published a new book for children, promoting acceptance and inclusion

RITA A. LEONARD - Sellwood author Kelsey Kagan - with her dog, Osa, who is featured in her new book.Sellwood author Kelsey Kagan recently published a children's book – featuring her dog, Osa – about compassion, and acceptance.

Osa is the Spanish word for "bear". The title, "Osa, A Curiously Different Dog", focuses on the author's hope that, "In a world of inclusivity, our similarities should be recognized, and our differences celebrated." A portion of the book sale proceeds will be donated to animal rescue organizations. Wallace Books on Milwaukie Avenue, south of Bybee in Westmoreland, carries the book.

Kagan grew up in Eastmoreland, and says she loves to walk outdoors; currently she engages in outdoor adventure blogging. In fact, she was volunteering as a dog walker at the Oregon Humane Society when she met Osa, and decided to adopt her. "She was always my dog," she feels, "And now she was finally home."

Her book tells of Osa's "search for self", accompanied by a feline neighborhood friend. "The message is to love your differences," explains the author.

The story culminates in several paragraphs explaining about pet adoption, animal shelters, and discussion questions for readers and students. These subjects explore what makes us all similar, and yet different, as individuals.

Kagan also suggests thinking of ways we can be nice to others, and make them feel like they belong. She has been heartened to hear that after reading the book, some kids want to rename their own dogs "Osa" – which of course would be confusing for their dog – or, or better yet, adopt a dog and name it "Osa".

One reviewer observed that the story is an age-appropriate examination of acceptance, and focusing on our own identity. Educators and parents can use the story as a springboard for important conversations on how we all fit into our world: Although we all differ somewhat in our appearance and personalities, we are all important parts of the world around us.


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