Author: Tom de Paolo
Illustrator: Tom Swimm
Publisher: Tom de Paolo
ISBN: 978-4772-7243-5

Sometimes it is special being the only one of a kind. In Tom de Paolo’s children’s book, Paddy Platypus and the Ring-Tail Squatteroo, the tale of Rollo, a one-of-a-kind animal, is told as he searches for his own identity with the help of his friends.

This second book in the Paddy Platypus series has thirty pages full of colorful pen and water color drawings by illustrator Tom Swimm on almost every page. The front cover has a drawing of Paddy the Platypus and Rollo the Ring-Tail Squatteroo looking at reflections in a lake. The back cover has a paragraph each about the book, the author and the illustrator with a smaller picture of Rollo crying. Although there is one minor scary scene about a Tasmanian devil, the book is appropriate for young children or beginner readers. There are only a couple of spelling errors for emphasis.

In the first book, Paddy wins a world swimming championship and now returns home. This book also initially shows a map of his homeland Tasmania in relationship to Australia. While Paddy is taking a swim one day in the nearby river, he comes across Rollo, a Ring-Tail Squatteroo, who is crying because he cannot find anyone like him or related to him. Willy Wombat comes along and suggests Rollo visit Australia but the Squatteroo is too frightened for such a trip so is convinced to go into the forest with Paddy and Willy in search for someone like him there. Among the trees, they meet Bill Badger, who runs with them when the three hear a Tasmanian devil roar.

While Rollo takes a nap under the celery top tree, Paddy asks his parents how to help Rollo and they suggest seeing Orville, the wise, worldly, Spanish-speaking owl. Beverly Bandicoot tags along but the owl has no good suggestions so they stop and eat some lollyberries and go find the Mugwump, a giant worm. The Mugwump has them bring Rollo back to see him along with a lot more of his favored lollyberries. Using a big book of animals, the Mugwump explains to Rollo that he too is the only one of his kind and one should be proud of such honor.

This book promotes that being the one and only as an individual is good and unique but not different. However, in reading this story, some readers may question if the small island of Tasmania really has things such as lollyberries, wombats, bandicoots, celery top trees, kookaburra birds, ring-tail squatteroos and mugwumps as some do exist and apparently some do not.

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